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Fire chief plans meeting with MPD about fire codes

By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Oct. 30, 2001
Meridian Fire Chief Bunky Partridge plans to meet with officials from the Meridian Police Department this week to discuss the department's failure to meet city fire codes.
The 26-year-old Sixth Street MPD headquarters failed to meet fire inspection codes and was cited for 66 violations during its annual inspection in April. The building failed a follow-up inspection in August, when it was cited for 34 violations.
Partridge said the most recent follow-up inspection, on Oct. 22, mirrored the August inspection.
Partridge said city ordinances require him to issue a citation presentable in court. But "just like with any business," he said, "we're going to sit down and discuss it, find out what the problems are and see how we can help them."
Nearly half of the fire code violations involved missing, damaged or cracked ceiling tiles. But because those tiles are no longer made, Acting Police Chief Benny DuBose said the entire ceiling would have to be replaced.
DuBose said a leakage problem likely cannot be fixed because the roof design is flat and some of the leakage is from walls that are cracked and separating.
While some minor problems have been corrected, DuBose said, others cannot be remedied without major expense.
City officials said they are aware of the problem. And although there is no money in the city budget for it, they are looking at several options including the possible renovation of an existing building to house the MPD.
Other problems include office space with glue on the floors left over from the removal of torn and stained carpeting; mold on ceiling tiles, especially over the chairs of city councilmen; loose and torn carpeting in the front desk area; and cracked walls in the sally port.
The building was constructed in 1975 under the direction of architect Chris Risher and was considered a state-of-the-art police department at the time.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3236, or e-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.

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