Former sheriff’s office renovation cost goes up

By: W. Curt Vincent - Bladen Journal

ELIZABETHTOWN — Asbestos will cause the price tag for the renovation of the former Bladen County Sheriff’s Office building to go up by $21,500.

Kip McClary, director of the county’s General Services Department, told county commissioners on Monday that abatement would be necessary before work could proceed on the building’s floors.

“We knew there was asbestos there, but we were hoping not to disturb it so we could avoid abatement,” he said. “Unfortunately, when we got started, the flooring just crumbled and the asbestos was exposed — now it has to be removed.”

A single bid of $21,500 had been received for the work, and McClary requested a change order for the renovation process.

“It seems that most of those who would normally do this work are either too busy (to bid) or have moved on to new construction,” McClary said. “In the end, it will be good for everyone that (the asbestos) is gone.”

Commissioners approved McClary’s request.

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GenX update

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County Chairman Ray Britt reported the commissioners had met with Chemours officials in small groups recently for what amounted to about a three-hour combined session, and that he was “encouraged” with what came out of the discussions.

“I feel sure Chemours will step up and do what has to be done,” Britt said. “I want to remain positive on this — it’s a process that’s in the hands of the state right now.

“Once the state makes its decision, this board will do all we can to make sure our people get good, clean water,” he added.

Britt also reported that last week’s GenX meeting at Bladen Community College was well-attended and was “very informative.”

He also gave thanks to Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker, whose deputies handled a difficult situation will a vocal resident who got a little out of hand.

“Those deputies did a marvelous job with how they handled things, and they deserve our thanks,” Britt said.

In other county business Monday:

— Recognized Randy Garner on his retirement Feb. 1. Garner was employed in the water department since 1991.

— Recognized Milton Parker on his retirement on Feb. 1. Parker was employed at the transfer station since 1989.

— Approved a rezoning request at 2317 Burney Road from residential/agricultural to commercial.

— Established March 20 as the deadline to pay county property taxes before they are advertised.

— Approved a request from Badley Kinlaw, director of Emergency Services, for a part-time administrative position to continue working with grants and projects following Hurricane Matthew. The position would last 50 days.

— Approved two projects by NCDOT for left-turn lanes to be added at N.C. 87 and Baltimore Road, and N.C. 211 and Elwell Ferry Road. Each project would cost about $300,000.

— Tabled a discussion and vote on a one-time donation to the Bladen County Hospital Foundation for $750.

— Decided to hold a public hearing on Feb. 19 at 6:30 p.m. for discussion on hunting from public roadways in the county.

— Recognized employees for their years of service. They were: Cynthia Martin-McKoy, 25 years with finance; Kimberly Jones, 20 years with communications; Taaffe Andrews, 10 years with EMS; Barry Pait, 10 years with the Sheriff’s Office; Karen Suggs, 10 years with animal control; James White Jr., five years with the Sheriff’s Office; Heather Warwick, five years with EMS; Dana Norris, five years with EMS; Joyce Montgomery, five years with DSS; and Zulema Cardenas, five years with DSS.

The next meeting of the county commissioners will be Monday, Feb. 19, at 6:30 p.m.

W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or cvincent@bladenjournal.com.

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W. Curt Vincent

Bladen Journal