New extension building planned

Published 7:57 pm Friday, October 29, 2010

Decatur County is planning to build a new office building to house local and federal agricultural agencies under one roof at the Decatur County Fairgrounds.

At their Tuesday meeting, commissioners unanimously approved an agreement to lease 4,400 square feet in the future building to the federal government, which maintains local offices for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Service Center and the Farm Service Agency.

The new building will also house the Decatur County Cooperative Extension Office and its 4-H program, both of which are jointly funded by the county and the state government.

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County Administrator Tom Patton said the new building will be constructed by the county on land located on Coachman Street, near the Cloud Agricultural Building. The building will be approximately 8,000 total square feet in size, he said.

County inmates’ medical needs to be covered

County commissioners unanimously voted on an agreement with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, which will extend co-pay discounts when county inmates need medical treatment.

Currently, the county has to pay the full cost of medical care for sick or injured inmates, except those who are being held for the State of Georgia, which are covered, said Marjorie Mayfield, human resources director for the county. Mayfield cited an example of an inmate who has accrued approximately $30,000 in medical expenses, all of which the county is liable for.

Under the new program, Blue Cross Blue Shield will be assigned to employees at the County Prison and County Jail, who will show the card when inmates have to go to the hospital or need prescriptions, Mayfield said. The fee for coverage is based on a per-claim basis, she said.

Patton said both Sheriff Wiley Griffin and Prison Warden Elijah McCoy were aware of the program and supported the county’s participation in it.

Other business

In other business, county commissioners:

• Tabled consideration of awarding a bid for a remounted ambulance. Commissioners received two bids on two of three engine options, a Chevrolet 3500 D and a Ford 350 6.7 L diesel engine. They voted to table awarding the bid until more research could be done on the Ford engine. County EMS Director Bill Hogan said the 6.7 L is a new engine designed to replace an older 6.0 L engine, which had proven problematic for use in ambulances.

• Approved, by unanimous vote, a low bid of $11,215.49 from Home Depot of Bainbridge for metal roofing materials that will be used in an ongoing effort to renovate the Decatur-Seminole Service Center building. Patton said the cost of the project, which also includes reflooring and other improvements, will be in the range of $50,000 to $60,000. The money will come from leftover funds from the county Health Department’s former operation of the center.

• Heard an update on the status of repairs to leaky sections of roof on the Decatur County Jail. The repairs had been in jeopardy after county officials had a disagreement with the contractor, David Cottles. However, Patton said issues related to the project’s scope of work and warranty have been resolved and the repairs will go forward.

• Approved, by unanimous vote, to give its consent for the transfer of a 1.72-acre parcel to the Development Authority of Bainbridge and Decatur County, which has a contract to sell the property to Dollar General for construction of a new store. The Bainbridge City Council also approved the property transfer earlier in October.