County to demolish buyout properties

Published 6:36 pm Friday, April 29, 2011

Decatur County commissioners awarded bids on the demolition of three properties included in a flood buyout program at their Tuesday meeting.

The county government had received bids from six area contractors for the demolition work. One of the contractors bid one sum for proposed work on three properties; however, commissioners awarded bids on each property separately.

To be eligible for the flood buyout program, properties had to have been damaged by three separate flood events in the past. Sixteen properties damaged by the heavy rainfall and associated flooding of April 2009 were included in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s hazard mitigation buyout program.

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For 2576 Lake Douglas Road, commissioners accepted the low bid of $12,251 from Ducky Johnson. For 150 Whispering Pines, commissioners accepted the low bid of $6,000 from Circle B Contracting.

Commissioners didn’t award a bid for the third property, 205 Riverview Drive, on Tuesday night. The low bid was $9,998 from Knight Timber Company of Grady County. However, Circle B Contracting of Decatur County submitted a bid of $10,000, just $2 more than the low bid.

Commissioners unanimously agreed to have County Attorney Brown Moseley investigate whether or not they could accept Circle B’s second-lowest bid so that the money could be spent within Decatur County.

Moseley said it was his opinion that because 85 percent of the demolition costs would be paid by FEMA, that county commissioners should stay with the low bid.

Commissioner comments on citizen request

Commissioners discussed receiving a written request to re-open Smallwood-Owens Road, located a couple of miles west of Attapulgus.

Commission Chairman Butch Mosely asked other commissioners about what to do with the request from citizen Clarence Owens, who is listed as the owner of a 418-acre property located on the road, which was closed several years ago.

Commissioner Earl Perry explained some of the background of the request. He said Owens, whom Perry understands lives in Tallahassee, Fla., had in recent years built a two-story building on the property with the intention of hosting science classes for Attapulgus-area youth.

The problem is that Owens never received a certificate of occupation from the county, because the building had been built without a permit from the county building inspector.

According to Perry, Decatur County Planning Board minutes show that Owens was instructed that he could not occupy the building and would have to hire an engineer to certify it was sound. Perry said he learned Owens had contacted an engineer but never obtained a certification of the quality of the building’s construction.

The board unanimously approved a motion made by Commissioner Charles Stafford to have County Attorney Moseley respond to Owens’ request stating the county’s position on the matter.