Murfreesboro to study building hazards

Published 7:52 am Friday, July 17, 2009

MURFREESBORO, N.C.—The Town Council on Tuesday took action to ask its general liability and workers-compensation insurance carrier to conduct an audit of hazards that might exist in any of the town’s buildings.

The request grew out of the council’s decision last month not to pursue a feasibility study in connection with the possible construction of a new public safety building. That decision followed a consensus by the council that the town should not incur any additional debt at present.

Consideration of the new building was in part based on currently available space. The requested audit is expected to provide an objective look at that need without incurring the expense of a formal feasibility study or a study by a space needs expert. Town Administrator Cathy Davison said the cost of a full-blown feasibility study would be 1 percent of the cost of the construction, or about $15,000; a U.S. Department of Agriculture-formatted feasibility study to check grant availability would be about $3,800; or a study by a space needs expert would be from $5,000 to $7,000.

Billy Theodorakis moved to pursue the audit by the town’s insurance carrier after Councilwoman Gloria Odum said, “Option 3 (the audit) to me is better than the others, but I’m not even sure about that.”

Theodorakis’ motion was seconded by Councilman Lloyd Hill and unanimously approved by the council.

On another topic, Davison told the council that staffing has been finalized for the rescue squad to be located in Murfreesboro and will be operating on 12-hour shifts beginning during the Watermelon Festival “to work out the kinks.”

Following the festival and after “working out the kinks,” the rescue squad, which will provide immediate ambulance service in the town, will begin 24-hour service. At present, that service is based in Winton and response time is 20 minutes, Davison said.

Work toward basing ambulance service in Murfreesboro has been under way for almost two years, and work on the facility to house the rescue squad and vehicles was completed two months ago.

In other action, the council approved a Flood Plain Damage Prevention Ordinance on a motion by Hill and a second by Sarah Wallace. The ordinance is being adopted by entities throughout the county and is required by the state and by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to satisfy the National Flood Insurance Program.

The council was told that the Murfreesboro Police Department has received a military surplus thermal imaging camera valued at $14,800. The camera, the council was told, can be used by both the fire and police departments, the former to locate persons in a burning structure, the latter to locate people in a wooded area or contraband, such as marijuana being grown under lamps.

Public Works Director Gene Byrd told the council his department is installing water and sewer lines on Moore and Vance Streets. He said the water line work is about 95 percent complete and the sewer line work about 50 percent complete. He also reported that a water line will be installed on Oak Street in the Riverview School area within the next two weeks to serve a new residence.

Byrd also told the council that his department has changed out banners on Main Street in preparation for the Watermelon Festival and that work continues on other preparations for the festival. Saying, “We’re not getting as much help as we’ve had in the past,” Byrd asked that “everyone be patient with us.”

In her report to the council, Davison said Curt Mason has asked for permission to hold his Navy re-enlistment ceremony July 21 at noon at the Town’s War Memorial.

She also reported that Terry Fleming of Como, a veteran of the Vietnam Conflict, donated a new U.S. flag to be flown at the War Memorial and expressed her appreciation for that.

Davison said notices of condemnation of a residence at 401 E. Vance St. had expired without any response from the owner of the property and that the Town will therefore seek bids for demolition of the structure.

She also reported that a bid on 1.68 acres on Main Street in Murfreesboro near Riverview School has been received from Alton White and will now be advertised under the Upset Bid process.