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franklin county times

Veterans Service Office moving to new quarters

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
May 7, 2001
The Lauderdale County Veterans Service Office, located on the first floor of the courthouse, is expected to move into the old Metro headquarters.
District 1 Supervisor Hank Florey and District 5 Supervisor Ray Boswell, who are on a supervisors' building and grounds committee, are trying to find ways to free up space in the courthouse.
Supervisors discussed moving one of the court systems to the seventh floor of the annex, which has been gutted, last month. Florey said the committee has not discussed that option any further, but he said he and Boswell are reviewing all the departments in the courthouse to alleviate space problems.
They said the old Metro headquarters building, located behind the courthouse on Fifth Street at 20th Avenue, has been renovated for the Veterans Service Office.
It has been repaneled, painted and has new carpet. They said they don't know when the office members will be able to move in; it depends on when the new air conditioning system will be installed.
The Veterans Service Office, currently housed in two offices on the Fifth Street side of the courthouse, will have a "quite a bit" more space in their new home, Boswell said.
The Election Commission will move into the Veterans Service space in the courthouse, he said.
Supervisors are also seeking bids for Phase II of their renovation and expansion of the Department of Archives on the second floor of the courthouse annex above the parking deck, where the two buildings connect.
The decision to advertise comes after Boswell, in a work session last week, said he was "going to make an issue" of not advertising the work for bids. Hiatt had collected quotes since county officials are not legally required to advertise work expected to cost less than $10,000.
Boswell said since Lauderdale County is "built on small businesses," it is not fair to get just two quotes on a job because it denies all the other business owners who also pay taxes here the chance to offer their work to their own county.
The bid process delays the two-year project expected to cost $90,000 to $100,000 total by about 30 days.
The newly-renovated space will be for housing records and documents so maintaining a certain humidity and temperature levels with proper heating and air conditioning is critical, Hiatt said.
Officials hope to be moving documents in by the end of the summer. Hiatt said the new space should take care of records storage for the next 27 years, in addition to creating space in the courthouse.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.