In Monday’s Bolivar County Board of Supervisor meeting, Contract Administrator Margo Brooks presented an update on the center.
“It has been an intense 29 month process and now I am happy to say that the grand opening is set for April 6,” said Brooks.
According to Brooks, Taborian was one of two places in the county where black surgeons could work and it is the first Urgent Care Center in the county.
“We are not trying to be a primary care center or a hospital. We are trying to become a health partner in Bolivar County and not a competitor,” she added.
Brooks said the center is to provide telehealth services through fiber optic networks and she is currently communicating with Pafford Emergency Medical Services about co-locating.
“We believe that this would cut down on some of the transportation and response time in rural areas, “continued Brooks.
Although the building is almost complete, Brooks said there are a few minor issues that she would like to the county to take part in.
“The building and some elements around it hold historical significance. We would like for the stop light to be replaced, signs to be placed north and south on highway 61 and a road near the center to be repaired,” she added.
Supervisor James McBride said he would be more than happy to aid in some of Brooks’ requests.
“This center is something that is long overdue and we are here to assist you,” said McBride.
"This is where I was born," he added.
As the meeting progressed, McBride addressed a street name change submission and opened the floor for Billings to discuss the proposal.
“After deep thought and consideration about the street name I have come to the realization that changing the street name is a complex issue. As of now it is a negative – it will not happen right now. The street name change was not my decision alone and there is a lot of work to be done to get a name changed,” said Billings.
“I didn’t really know that so much goes into getting a street name changed. I spoke to a member of congress down in Jackson about it and he said that it is a big issue,” he added.
After Billings rendered a few comments on the issue, he requested further assistance from members of the board on the matter.
“I would like for everyone in the county to have a street named after them, have a deputy sheriff standing at each citizen’s door to protect them and a nurse every time they get sick. We all know that these are things that we cannot do,” said Supervisor Andrew Williams.
Subsequently, the lengthy debate led to members of the board making a motion to table the issue until the next board meeting.
Sheriff Kelvin Williams and Warden Ora Starks presented their reports.
Williams open his report by saying, ““Everything is going well in the county, we had a few incidents but everything else is fine.”
Towards the end of his report, Billing asked the sheriff about an ongoing emergency response issue.
“I am still receiving phones calls about emergency personnel. We all need to be on the same page. There are some major issues when it comes to our radio communication system,” he said.
Sheriff Williams said one of the reasons why there is a “break down” in communication with emergency personnel is because some municipalities have their own radio system and this causes problems with the county’s communication frequency.
“Right now everyone is trying to update their frequencies and I will do my best to ensure that this is taken care of,” he added.
Road manager James Pritchett presented several requests from Shelby, Lead Bayou, Renova and Rosedale.
He also made a request to spend over $10,000 in efforts of repairing a trash compacter.
“The mechanic did an assessment and found that the clutches and pumps needed some serious work,” said Pritchett.
County Engineer Bob Eley presented an update on some ongoing sewer projects and present an order for the approval of two utility permits.
Starks reserved a personnel matter for executive session and County Administrator Will Hooker went into executive session to discuss potential litigation for the Bolivar County Exposition Center.
No decision was announced.
Before the meeting reached its adjournment, Billings and Supervisor Larry King stood up with a sign to congratulate John F. Kennedy Hornets and Shaw Hawks in their victorious win during the 1A State Championships.