Opp department heads: needs are real

Published 12:41 am Friday, January 22, 2016

Opp city employees said Thursday their departments have serious needs that could be corrected if proceeds of a proposed refinancing project could be used by the city.


Fire Chief Cory Spurlin said mold is a major issue in the fire station, which was built around 1970.

Additionally, he said the front façade is old and collapsing, the exterior doors are falling apart, and there are several other issues.

Spurlin said the roof is leaking inside the truck bay and leaking on the trucks.

“We need updates,” he said. “It has been a concern of mine for a while.”

Library director Courtney Smart said the library has been dealing with roof issues for years, but it has gotten significantly worse within the last year.

“The roof has been patched several times, but it doesn’t solve our issue. Every time a spot is patched another spot begins leaking,” she said. “Tiles have fallen in various parts of the library due to heavy water accumulation, including the teen room and my personal office.”

Smart said it wasn’t safe for the electrical wiring.

“I worry about the safety of our citizens,” she said. “We currently cannot hold any events in our community room because of water damage. This is where we hold all of our events, including the summer reading program, which is our biggest annual event.”

Smart said the summer program brings about 50 kids per day, and on a daily basis they have residents from Opp, Kinston and Covington County who use the facilities.

“If we don’t get a permanent fix soon, there may be other parts of our library and our equipment deemed unusable because of damage.”

Mayor John Bartholomew has proposed refinancing a bond issue designated for education and using the proceeds for other projects in the city. Supporters of education oppose the plan.

In addition to the projects at the fire department and library, the mayor also wants to replace the awning at Channell-Lee Stadium and upgrade the bathrooms at Hardin Street Community Center.