Boards to discuss DSS project

Published 8:48 am Tuesday, March 22, 2011

JACKSON — County officials will discuss the suspended Northampton County Department of Social Services (DSS) building project in an upcoming meeting.

At 2 p.m. next Tuesday (March 29), the Board of Commissioners along with the DSS Board will meet to discuss the matter in a special called meeting at the auditorium of the J.W. Faison Administrative Building.

On Monday, the commissioners agreed to the meeting after Commissioner Robert Carter, who serves on the DSS Board, asked his colleagues to consider meeting with that entity.

The construction of a new $7.46 million DSS facility was initially put on hold after the commissioners received a financial report from their auditor in November. They further extended the suspension of the project after February’s mid-year report.

After the second delay, County Manager Wayne Jenkins said he was approached by two DSS Board members who were concerned about the suspension in correlation to increasing construction costs and those members asked to set up a meeting with the commissioners.

During discussion, Carter said there may be some money available for the project, but did not elaborate what the source of it was.  He asked his fellow board members to consider meeting with DSS officials.

Commission Vice Chair James Hester noted the county finances have not changed since February and the Board was aware of the conditions inside the current DSS building. He questioned why there needed to be a meeting.

Carter motioned to hold the meeting and the motion was seconded by Commissioner Virginia Spruill. The measure passed without objection.