By Jennifer Stone, Athens Review Online
County officials haven’t been able to remove the mold from the law library, so they’ve decided to move the law library from the mold.
The commissioners court voted unanimously Monday morning to authorize County Judge Aubrey Jones to negotiate a contract with Lake Area Restoration, a Kemp-based company that specializes in mold decontamination.
For the cost of $3 a book, Lake Area Restoration has agreed to clean the mold off the books in the law library and store them until the county needs them back. The county has between 3,000 and 3,500 law books, said Jones, so the cost will be around $10,000.
The books will be cleaned with a filtered vacuum and treated with a biocide wipe. They will then be moved from the library to a storage facility owned by Lake Area Restoration, where they will be re-vacuumed and treated with biocide again, stored in a low-humidity environment and inspected before being brought back to the county. Lake Area Restoration’s proposal only includes storing the books for a month.
The cost of having the books cleaned is less expensive than spending the money to replace them a second time, Jones pointed out. The presence of mold prompted the disposal of law books last year, at a replacement cost of $28,000. Those same books are now infected.
The county has recently had an assessment of the mold issue done and is waiting on the results. But no matter what the results of the testing, it will still be awhile before the problem is fixed, said Jones.
“We need to do something (with the books) in the interim until we can get the humidity removed from the library,” said Jones. “This is where the mold problems and the humidity problems are the worst.”
The commissioners court also decided to postpone a contract between Broaddus & Associates and architect Jim Wiginton. Broaddus & Associates, which is helping the county put together a long-range county facilities improvement plan, has asked the commissioners to consider employing Wiginton as a special consultant for the jail expansion portion of the project.
According to Chief Tony Allison, Broaddus has said the specifics of jail planning is outside their level of expertise. The planning company can identify needs, but a jail specialist is necessary to project the inmate population growth the county will experience over the next few years. And since Wiginton was the architect who designed the jail to begin with and specializes in jail projections, he’s the best man for the job.
The commissioners agreed Broaddus might need some extra help, but were concerned about whether hiring Wiginton was necessary. The state’s Jail Standards Commission will send a team to help the county come up with long-range projections for free. The court decided to table the issue in order to gather more information.
In other business, County Treasurer Carolyn Hamilton gave the quarterly financial report. According to Hamilton, the county has earned $105,139 in interest on its investments during the second quarter of 2002. That may seem like a lot, but Hamilton said the county’s investment returns could definitely be better.
“The interest rate is way down,” she noted.
Right now, the county is earning just under 2 percent on its investments. The money being kept in local banks is drawing more interest than the government investment pool right now, said Hamilton. So much of the county’s money is not in the pool right now.
The court also approved:
- the payment of $218,860 in bills;
- a request from the property owners association of Westwood Beach Subdivision in Pct. 3 to accept several of the roads in the subdivision into the county maintenance program;
- a request from the property owners association in Indian Harbor subdivision in Pct. 2 to accept several of the roads in the subdivision into the county maintenance program;
- and a contract with West Cedar Creek Water Supply Corporation to lease a plot of land near Seven Points for county use. The county will pay $1 a year and use the plot to store equipment and materials for Pct. 1. The Pct. 1 office is located in Malakoff, said Pct. 1 Commissioner Joe Hall, and the space will be used to store materials that will be used to repair roads in that area.