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January 29, 2013

Planning for the county’s future

Commissioners considering study, facility assessment

NORMAN — Cleveland County commissioners are thinking long range for budget and community service planning.

Commissioners said Tuesday that they are considering engaging an independent firm to perform a facility assessment and demographic study to better serve county residents in the future.

Commission board chair Rod Cleveland said he has been talking to AIP about the possibility of an assessment of county owned buildings to plan large budget items in the future. AIP is the contractor that built the F. DeWayne Beggs Detention Center.

Cleveland said he was particularly interested to get assessments of when the county would need to replace big-ticket items like a roof or major equipment. He added that the old jail will be torn down and the county should assess how to best use its space.

County Treasurer Jim Reynolds has asked for some minor remodeling to better serve the public at his office. Other county officials could have similar needs in the future, Cleveland said.

County Commissioner Rusty Sullivan said he will visit with AIP, but if the county proceeds, the project should be bid.

Commissioner Darry Stacy said he wants a demographic study in conjunction with the facilities assessment to look at potential population growth in the county as part of the future needs assessment.

Some of the county’s buildings are older and need a close eye on maintenance. The Chase Bank Building built in 1958 where the Sheriff’s Office is housed is serviceable and is a good fit for the sheriff, Undersheriff Rhett Burnett said. But older buildings may have special maintenance needs.

County buildings serve a wide array of purposes and represent a range of ages, some of which are relatively old, Cleveland said.

No action was taken on the building assessment discussion this week, but commissioners will continue to look into the matter.

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