Repairs, opioid epidemic on next county agenda

Published 10:15 pm Sunday, July 2, 2017

In response to the Fourth of July holiday, the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners has postponed its regular meeting until Wednesday night.

Commissioners will consider awarding contracts centering around repairs to county buildings. Public Works Director Christina Smith is asking for approval of contracts with Dude Solutions to do a study on the current condition of county-owned buildings. The assessment, in the amount of $25,755, will give a detailed review of all mechanical, electrical, plumbing, architectural elements and exterior features of the buildings. The report will be used by the county to come up with a comprehensive maintenance plan, as well as identify any needed repairs and upgrades.

The other contract poised for vote is with REI Engineers out of Greenville for the design and construction administration for roof projects on four county buildings: the Oakland Building where the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office is located, the Seaboard Building, home of the Tax Assessor’s Office, the Courthouse Annex, where the DA’s office is located, and “old jail” building, where the sheriff’s office drug unit is housed. The engineering contract fee is $60,100 of a total project budget of $811,376.

According to REI’s proposal, the projects should take an estimated 90 days.

County Manager Brian Alligood will talk about the nationwide opioid-addiction epidemic and a request from North Carolina Association of County Commissioners President Fred D. McClure to address it on a local level.

In a letter to Beaufort County Board of Commissioners Chairman Frankie Waters, McClure points out that drug overdose deaths in North Carolina increased by 14 percent between 2014 and 2015.

“It is time for the county commissioners to take a leadership role in addressing the fundamental causes of this problem and initiate local steps to intervene in these trends,” McClure wrote

McClure asked that every county board meet for an informed discussion with all local elected officials to discuss what he calls a “significant health threat to our citizens.”

According to Beaufort County Emergency Management officials, in the first six months of 2017, the county has seen more drug overdoses than were reported in all of 2016.

The commissioners meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. at the County Administrative Office. The meeting is open to the public.