A power outage disabled all the county buildings on the courthouse square Monday just before the Board of Supervisors was to meet.
It appeared that a neutral conductor broke or burned in two and possible contacted a transformer, sending a huge voltage surge through all the electrical systems in the buildings.
Early fears were that much of the county’s technology and HVAC equipment could be damaged or ruined entirely but by mid-afternoon, most of the systems were up and working again.
Board President Danny Jordan said, other than nearly all the surge protectors that will have to be replaced, the only thing they knew for sure that was inoperable was the courthouse elevator, stuck on the second floor. No one was in the elevator when the outage occurred, he added.
Still unknown was the condition of two of the large compressors that provide air conditioning for the courthouse. Repair or replacement still could be expensive, but not nearly as disruptive as some of the other potential damage could have been.
The surge protectors apparently protected all the county’s computer equipment, but were destroyed in the process.
Once the board meeting started, supervisors took a next step toward brining more industry to Union County.
They approved advertising that they are seeking a capital loan of $1 million for something referred to as “Project Gemini,” an unnamed industrial prospect. This past week they also approved seeking up to $1.5 million in the form of a Community Development Block Grant, all for prospective plant space that could be repaid by a company using it.
Supervisors also approved designating ESI to serve as engineers for Project Gemini.
In other business supervisors:
- Approved a resolution allowing engineer Larry Britt to do required underwater bridge inspection for the county. The county apparently has only one bridge that qualifies, over the Tallahatchie River near Enterprise. Payment for inspection will come from a separate designated fund rather than State Aid Road Project money.
- Gave Emergency Management Director Curt Clayton permission to accompany nine volunteers to Meridian May 4-7 for search and rescue training. Both training and funds to pay for the training will come from Homeland Security and not cost the county any money.
- Heard from county engineer Larry Britt that enough State Aid funds are still available to the county to place slurry seal over about 10 miles of road, or about two miles per district. He said slurry seal works best over old DBST surface roads and the funds must be used on state aid roads and the project programmed before June 1. Supervisors agreed to that plan, also agreeing that two miles will only be an approximation, that one district might need a little more or a little less. DBST stands for double bituminous surface treatment used for roads and parking lots. It involves two applications of asphalt holding mineral aggregate material together.
- Approved purchasing a hydraulic cylinder for one of the garbage trucks as a single-source item. Since the part is unique and only available from one source, it is exempt from the usual laws requiring bids.
- Approved school bus turnarounds.
- Approved paying two election commissioners’ per diem claims.
- Approved paying Medical Examiner-Investigator Pam Boman for several death investigations.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Union County Board of Supervisors will be next Monday, April 20, at 10 a.m.