LUMBERTON — The Robeson County Board of Commissioners on Monday approved $90,000 to replace antiquated heating and air conditioning units at the county jail and Sheriff’s Office.
According to Leroy Scott, who oversees the department responsible for maintaining the county’s public buildings, the total cost of the project will be about $390,000. The $90,000 awarded Monday will be added to $300,000 the county received in a grant from the Lumbee River Electric Membership Corporation, County Manager Ricky Harris said.
Replacing the units, which Scott said are 20 years old, is expected to lower energy costs.
“Energy saved is money saved,” Scott told the board.
The commissioners on Monday also approved about $68,000 to install computer and phone systems at the county’s former Social Services building.
Harris said that the addition of the systems is one of the last steps in getting the building on Caton Road ready to open as a “one-stop shop” by mid-September. County residents will no longer have to go to separate locations to get building permits, handle some tax issues, and address environmental health needs, Harris said.
The county has been planning for some time to renovate the the facility and use it for a “one-stop shop.” Plans call for the building to provide office space for the planning and Zoning, Inspections and Environmental Health departments. Plans also call for locating a GIS mapping technician in the building.
The former DSS building has been vacant since April 2011, when Social Services moved into its new million building on N.C. 711, just west of the Health Department. The former DSS building had not met state space requirements for a number of years.
In other business:
— The board heard a brief presentation from representatives of Robeson Emergency Mobile Specialists, a new emergency mobile repair organization. The company provides preventive maintenance and repair services to emergency mobile equipment.The presentation was just to update commissioners on the presence of the new organization. No action was taken.
— The commissioners agreed to renewing a franchise agreement regulating the county’s Emergency Medical Services. A non-emergency franchise contract was also agreed to that will allow Southeastern Regional Medical Center to transport patients to and from hospital facilities, as well as transport discharged patients when MED1 is unable to provide transport.
MED1 was recently granted the franchise to operate non-emergency ambulance transport in Robeson County.
— A conditional-use permit, issued in July 2007 allowing the establishment of a winery/vineyard in Smith’s Township, was amended. The amendment provides for a community center on the property, as well as the extension of hours of the winery’s operation.
Reach staff writer Bob Shiles at 910-272-6117 or email@example.com.