Supervisors discuss reopening offices and courthouse renovations
The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors will decide on what day the county offices in Picayune and Poplarville will re-open next week after discussing some of the issues that need to be resolved prior to allowing residents access to the inside of the facilities.
The county has been conducting business utilizing varying methods of providing services since mid March for the Tax Assessor/Collector, Circuit Clerk, and Chancery Clerk offices shortly after the outbreak of the Coronavirus. Governor Tate Reeves issued Executive Order 1495 last week requiring all state and county offices to re-open for normal business on Wednesday, July 1st.
The supervisors discussed the possibility of setting Monday, June 29 as the day to open up the county offices. During the discussion, the question of how the offices will be sanitized per CDC and state guidelines for the safety of county employees and residents became front and center. The board did not take action on the re-opening, but will reconvene in one week on June 24th to make that decision along with how to address the cleaning and sanitizing of the county offices.
The board also approved an order to advertise for bids for renovating of the courthouse building in Poplarville. County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin presented architectural drawings of the proposed modifications to the courthouse which had to first be approved by the Mississippi Department of History and Archives. The majority of the proposed renovations will address the south end of the courthouse including the basement and first floor. This area is currently occupied primarily by the Chancery Clerk personnel who are in the process of moving into the new annex building that was recently turned over to the county for occupation.
Once the space is renovated, it will be used for offices for the county administration personnel including accounting, purchasing, payroll, and the board of supervisors support staff. The renovation will include new windows, new HVAC systems that will include the replacement of existing window a/c units with mini-splits and heat pumps, new air handler units for the courtroom on the second floor, and the moving of walls to better utilize the existing space.
The estimated cost of the renovations is $2.5 million which includes approximately $400,000 to redo the windows