Supervisors agree new roof needed for courthouse, but not process

Published 6:46 pm Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The 35-year-old roof on the Warren County Courthouse needs to be replaced, but some of the Warren County Board of Supervisors are not in agreement on the process.

According to Building & Grounds Director Chuck Thornton, the first section of the roof was put on in 1981 and a second section was completed in 1994. During Monday’s regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors, Thornton said the cost estimate he received from a vendor in February was approximately $225,000 to replace the roof.

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“It’s in bad need of repair,” Thornton said. “We’ve patched it over the years, but it can’t be patched any more. We’ve got to move on it quickly. I’ve got blue tarps up there now keeping the water out. We’ve got two new judges coming in and they’re wanting to upgrade offices and they’re down below where the water is coming in. I hate to spend all that money re-doing offices when we’ve got water coming in.”

The supervisors agreed to advertise for bids to replace the roof.

But prior to the work taking place, an architect must be hired to create plans for the project. The county has used Brumfield Ward & Associates Architects in Ridgeland in replacing the previous two roofs, but Supervisor Charles Selmon would like for the county to take proposals from local architects.

“I think because it is public money, every body should be allowed to submit a proposal,” Selmon said.

Need to move quickly

Board President Richard George said the need to get the process underway quickly, as well as the success the county has had working with Brumfield Ward & Associates should also be weighed. He added the Mississippi Department of Archives and History has also recommended the architecture firm in the past.

“We have no idea what they shall propose,” George said. “The timing and their familiarity with us and us with them I think warrants moving directly and efficiently would be good for all involved.”

“Brumfield might be the best candidate for this job; however, I think it’s unfair for us to just say we’re going to choose any particular company because they have a great track record and not give an opportunity to people who pay taxes in Warren County,” Selmon said. “If we constantly choose a particular firm to do the county’s work, then we’re not being fair to all the taxpayers of this county.”

Selmon and Supervisor William Banks voted against the motion to hire Brumfield Ward as the architect on the job, while supervisors John Carlisle and John Arnold both voted in favor. George was the deciding yay vote on the motion.