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Commissioners approve new roof for correctional institute
Jail fire safety upgrades also set
W Bulloch County Seal

Bulloch County commissioners approved a handful of service contracts Tuesday, including one that will mean a new roof for the Bulloch County Correctional Institute as well as fire safety improvements for the Bulloch County Jail.

Funded by Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax money collected from past years and earmarked for public safety capital outlay projects, the contract for design services and project management was approved unanimously.

Fire safety improvements for the Bulloch County Jail consist mainly of bringing the jail up to code, Bulloch County sheriff’s Chief Deputy Jared Akins said.

Changes in fire code requirements mandate that sprinkler and alarm systems in the jail’s newer area be synchronized with the older part of the facility.

“Everything is working now, just not synchronized,” he said. “There are upgrades needed to have the old jail areas and new jail expansion working together.”

Bulloch County Manager Tom Couch said county officials discussed the Bulloch County Correctional Institute roof several years ago when the jail expansion was underway.

“We’ve been having leakage problems for years,” he said.

The correctional institute was originally built in 1946 and expanded in the 1960’s, he said.

Instead of replacing the current flat roof, commissioners have approved a metal pitched roof for the building.

The same contractor who handled the jail expansion will address the jail fire safety issues as well as the roofing needs for the correctional institute, Akins said.

All work will be done in the roof area of the jail and should not interrupt services to the community, he said.
The contractor is Jim Ingram, with Ingram and Paris, of Valdosta, Couch said.

When Ingram was involved in the jail expansion and inspected the correctional institute roof years ago, he told the county the roof “could collapse in a few years,” Couch said, adding that the project is a serious need.

Bulloch County Correctional Institute Warden Chris Hill was not immediately available Tuesday for comment.
Commissioners also approved an agreement with Holbrook Asphalt to apply a high density mineral bond to parking areas and service drives at Mill Creek Regional Park.

Commissioner Roy Thompson expressed concern over spending funds on an experimental product, as the HA5 high density mineral bond material has not been used before by Bulloch County officials.

“Bluntly speaking, does this stuff work?” Thompson asked.

Bulloch County Engineer Kirk Tatum recommended the product and suggested using it at the park before trying it on a road, which would have more traffic. He said the product had been recommended by other agencies that have used it to conduct road repairs.

Both Thompson and Commissioner Robert Rushing voted against the proposal, but the move passed with a vote of 4-2.
Commissioners unanimously approved purchase of an Aerifier, to be used at Fletcher Park and elsewhere, to combat soil compaction in areas on county park property. Plans for an area in Fletcher Park, on Lakeview Road, include construction of a disc golf course.

According to the Professional Disc Golf Association’s website, disc golf is played like traditional golf, except it uses a flying disc, known as a golf disc, instead of a golf ball. Instead of trying to putt a ball into a hole, players try to throw the disc into a basket.

Like traditional golf, the point is to complete the course in as few throws as possible. Above-ground baskets serve as targets to catch the discs as they are thrown, according to the association.

“Disc golf can be played from school age to old age, making it one of the greatest lifetime fitness sports available” the site says. “Specially-abled and disabled participate, giving them the opportunity to take part in a mainstream activity. Because disc golf is so easy to learn, no one is excluded. Players merely match their pace to their capabilities, and proceed from there.”

Bulloch County Parks and Recreation Director Mike Rollins told commissioners the sport has drawn a “lot of interest” and would provide citizens with “something new to do.”

The course would not adversely affect equestrian events at Fletcher Park. The course would be maintained by a sports group and tournaments and other events would be held to generate revenue, he said.
Players would provide their own discs, he said.

Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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