Supes discuss maintenance issues at hospital

By Daniel Brunty
The Choctaw Plaindealer

The Choctaw County Board of Supervisors discussed maintenance issues concerning the hospital, as well as met with a health care group regarding the nursing home during their first monthly meeting on May 5.
Board members had previously discussed the issue of water leaking from the south yard facing Hwy 25 on the Pioneer Hospital of Choctaw County campus. Pioneer Hospital Administrator Jamie Rogers had also expressed other maintenance concerns to the board as well. The board decided to try to resolve the matter in a timely manner because of upcoming warranty limits with the contractor of the project.
To get the issues resolved, the board requested for Maxie Patterson with Pryor and Morrow Engineering and Rogers to attend today’s meeting.
Patterson first informed the board and Rogers that the sprinkler system was the possible cause of the water leak, and that repairs had been made. Patterson then gave a list of maintenance items that needed to be addressed with the contractor. Rogers mentioned that some of the items included on the list would need to meet inspection standards.
Patterson stated that at the time when the facility was inspected by State Department of Health, everything that regarding fire rating was checked. Rogers also mentioned that Pioneer has employed a private outfit named EOC to certify each room, to a higher standard beyond the Department of Health.
When hearing this, Patterson stated “We didn’t design for the higher standard, we designed for one set of documents and we built it. But now you are saying that you have a higher standard that you would really like the contractor to come back and make that adjustment.”
Rogers responded, “We ask that you just check it. If it hasn’t deviated from the plan then there is no problem.”
From that point, Patterson and Rogers went over the list of items individually. Patterson informed Rogers and the board members that he would contact the contractor immediately to make them aware of the list of items for resolution before the warranty expiration date.
Also, representatives from Cognos Consulting of Natchez attended Monday’s meeting as well. The healthcare provider, not scheduled on the agenda, appeared before the board and stated they had visited the Choctaw County Nursing Home the week before and requested to take a tour of the facility with the supervisors.
After the representatives introduced themselves to the board, Board President Chris McIntire left the meeting to accompany them the tour.
The board also heard from Ray Evans, County Administrator for Community Counseling Services. Evans explained how with the changes in healthcare, the organization has had to pay for some services that were previously covered by Medicaid. To allow for patients who have come dependent on some of these services, the organization now tries to provide them on their own dime.
With these changes, Evans asked for the board to consider increasing the amount of the annual budget that is reserved for Community Counseling. After his presentation, the board informed Evans that they would take the request into consideration.
The board also met with Choctaw County Sheriff Cloyd Halford and Ackerman Police Chief Kevin Stark. Halford and Stark stated that they have had discussions regarding cooperation between the Sheriff’s Dept. and Police Dept. Halford stated that with the Sheriff’s Office having authority to dispatch deputies to assist the police dept. if needed, his deputies have liability coverage that protects them in these situations.
Halford’s concern arises from situations in which the Sheriff’s Office needs to ask for assistance for his deputies outside the city limits and the issue of liability for the police officers outside the coverage. So Halford and Stark requested permission from the board to enter into an interlocal agreement which would allow the Ackerman police officers to enter into the county beyond city limits and allow liability to follow the officers.
Board attorney Steve Wright said before entering into any type of agreement, the police dept. would need to review the agreement with their liability insurer and get in writing from them that their liability coverage will follow the officers if they are outside city limits and within the county. Stark said he would contact the insurer further on this matter.
In other news, the board:

  • Approved to host an open enrollment day on May 20 for meeting with supplemental insurance carriers
  • Approved request of Justice Court Clerk to attend training seminar from May 8-9 2014
  • Approved request of Solid Waste Dept. for 600 stamps for $294.00
  • Approved partial tax exemption on the County side of taxes for Mississippi Forge.  The School side of taxes cannot be exempted. Mississippi Forge is also paying the tax that is levied for fire protection.
  • Approved agenda
  • Approved April minutes
  • Approved Jail Inspection
  • Approved claims
  • Approved easements from Mississippi Lignite Mining Company so the County could reopen part of McIntire Road

The Choctaw County Board of Supervisors will hold their next meeting on May 12 at the Choctaw County Courthouse.