County Judge provides update on demolition


Bradley County Judge Klay McKinney talked about the demolition process of the downtown buildings at the monthly quorum court meeting on Monday, May 15.

The judge said it took a lot of preparation and hours to get the buildings down. He reported there were no injuries and no light poles torn down. About 300 to 400 loads of material from the demolition was moved out to the county landfill. In the building walls, there were 10 rows thick of brick. The bricks were able to be saved. There were over 100 years of experience between the operators of the heavy machinery.

Judge McKinney said the reason the two buildings connected to the Sandwich Shop had to come down was because the inspector said there was a 99 percent change the demolition would do damage to the buildings and it was too dangerous. That’s why the county purchased those buildings as well. The judge commented it would cost more money if the county had not purchased all the buildings.

Some of the buildings were 38 feet tall and required a large crane to help with the demolition. The buildings were also rotted out.

The Sandwich Shop was built over a brick cistern and there was sewage coming out of it.

Judge McKinney also said they did not see any rats, mice, or other bugs when they went to inspect the buildings.

The judge said they plan to place pillars with electrical power to use as a food court or for special events.

Judge McKinney thanked the quorum court members for allowing the project to happen.

The quorum court will form a committee to go through the process of what to do with the property. The judge said he would ask Warren Mayor Gregg Reep and two other representatives from the city to be on the committee and two from the quorum court. Justices Dana Harvey and Gwen Bullard volunteered to be a part of the committee.

In other business, resident Edith Strong spoke before the quorum court about the renovation of a church building in Mount Olive on Bradley 45. The judge was helping them get a grant for the renovation project. Judge McKinney said he contacted the Southeast Arkansas Economic Development District and they would seek a grant from the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program.

There are two wooden bridges left in Bradley County.

The judge said the county received $300,000 mitigation grants to replace the bridges with concrete bridges. The funds would also be used to put in a 90-foot steel bridge in the Union Hill community.

The county received a $300,000 grant from the state to address the opioid problem in the county. The grant would be used to restore the assisted living facility.

The county applied for a $150,000 grant from the Delta Regional Authority to hire an architect. The architect will look at county properties such as the Bradley County Courthouse for a five to ten-year strategic planning program.

Catrina Tatum was reappointed on the equalization board.

The next quorum court meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 19 at the Bradley County Courthouse. It will be held at the courtroom.