Workforce Center opening this year
Work on completion of the Marshall County Workforce Training Center is coming together rapidly and will be ready for occupancy in late summer, according to Justin Hall, executive director of the Industrial Development Authority.
It is located in the growing Chickasaw Trail Industrial Park in the northwest portion of Marshall County.
He said Northwest Community College, in charge of staffing and training, asked for a letter of support detailing responsibilities of the college and those of the county. The school is getting ready for procurement, he said.
Some of the entities expected to occupy the structure include WOIA (Workforce Opportunity Investment Act), Northwest, DHS (Mississippi Department of Human Services), TANIF, and the Department of Rehabilitation Services.
“I do think it is a great opportunity to cost-share with these entities,” Hall said.
Chancery clerk Chuck Thomas also suggested Northcentral Electric could be asked to contribute.
Northwest is expected to bring in about $700,000 worth of equipment, he said.
County administrator Larry Hall noted some forward-thinking ideas such as asking partnering entities to share the costs of housekeeping services and landscaping work.
“We’re getting ready to put together an operating MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Northwest,” Larry Hall said. “We need housekeeping and we probably should contract it out. There are plenty of cleaning services.”
Thomas said the outdoor work of cutting grass and landscaping could be included in the contract.
He said the county runs lawnmowers every day, trying to keep up with the lawns at the courthouse, community centers and other county properties.
“The county can do minor maintenance,” Hall said.
County consultant Gary Anderson suggested cameras that can zoom in to get better quality videos than what some surveillance cameras will take.
Hall said the county can put a substation for police and fire next door to the center and monitor the building. He suggested the MOU be ready by March 15.
“We will not worry about budgeting until next fiscal year,” he said. “I think they could get 25 percent to 30 percent of the power bill from the agency partners.”
Justin Hall said the building is very large – 37,500 square feet.
Supervisor George Zinn III said he wanted to be able to hire local people to do the housecleaning.
“It’s not going to be cheap,” Larry Hall said. “It will need cleaning every day.”
Supervisor Charles Terry said the janitorial contract could include cleaning at the fairgrounds as well.
Discussions completed, the board passed a motion to enter into an MOU with Northwest.
Thomas, in his report, suggested supervisors should declare an emergency to get work moving faster on the repair of the courthouse roof.
With lots of rain this year, Thomas said he has to come in at night and weekends to check the buckets set at various places in the courthouse. Some equipment in some of the offices also has to be covered with plastic.
Supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett said there is concern that too much water could collapse the roof. The roofs on the wings have been worked on by county crews and more recently the roof on the east wing has been replaced. Thomas also wanted to see something done with the gazebos, one of which is teetering over.
Larry Hall said the county can repair the gazebos.
The board passed a motion to pay $4,899 for some work already progressing on the appraisal of the roof and damage under it.
“That’s a lot of heritage right there,” Bennett said. “People come in (to downtown) and they love it.”
Larry Hall reported that Memphis Sign Corp. quoted $6,656 to design and install lettering naming the tax office building after the late tax assessor and collector Bobby Fant.
Signs and Designs Inc. quoted a price of $7,556. Supervisors approved the lower quote.
Larry Hall also reported:
• a 45-day extension on the Niagara water tank has been granted by state agencies handling DIP and ARC monies.
• heard a report of a preconstruction meeting with SB Construction resulting in providing names of the site managers for work at Mt. Carmel Road and the extension of Global Logistics Drive.
• heard a request from court reporters for a sound system for the courtroom.
• spread on the minutes an agreement with MDOC and Sheriff Dickerson to allow state inmates to help with roadside trash cleanup.
Supervisor Eddie Dixon also thanked Roy Valentine for his work on cleaning up Roberts Chapel Road off Highway 72 in his district.
“The board of supervisors appreaciates his efforts to help improve the image of Roberts Chapel Road,” Dixon said. “This sets a good example of the community stepping up with other citizens to help keep our county roadsides clean.”
Several groups are now reporting their efforts to clean up roadsides including deputy Kenneth Jones and his friends and neighbors who have adopted Cayce Road and also cleaned Cox Road and Lee Creek Road.
The community of Hudsonville cleans the sides of Hudsonville Road annually and Spring Hill Baptist Church has worked to keep roads in the Waterford area cleaned.
“We are doing anything we can do to get people to help,” Dixon said. “A lot of times things like this catch on.”