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05/04/2019

Justices Discuss Taking Down Tower

During the Energy and Property Committee meeting, Mississippi County Judge John Alan Nelson mentioned the deconstruction of the tower that sits near Railroad Street.

"What I'd like to do is bring it to you all and tell me what you all think. Should we go in the direction of taking each one of those bolts out and removing that tower from the top down or go the much, much cheaper route of falling that tower on the ground," Nelson explained.

Justice Michael White, who doesn't sit on the E&P Committee, asked what the liability was for falling the tower.

White asked, "How do you feel about the property and personnel wise?"

Nelson said that he has confidence in the people doing it and they have done it many times. Nelson added they are carrying a $2 million liability policy.

Justice Rick Ash, who does sit on the committee, asked if Nelson had discussed the falling of the tower with Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad. Ash said if the tower falls on the track or to close to the track BNSF will have "an absolute fit" and could fine people "heavily".

Justice Bill Nelson and Ash said it'd be a courtesy to call them and just let them know.

Ash asked which way did they plan on falling it and Judge Nelson said there were two possibilities - due north and northeast, but due north was better.

White asked how quickly Nelson wants to bring the tower down and Nelson said the shovels won't go in the ground to renovate the courthouse until Nov. 1 but he'd like to have it down before then.

Justice Molly Jackson, who chaired the committee in the absence of Justice Slyvester Belcher, said she feels comfortable with either decision on falling it.

Ash said the person who falls it will take it off as well and Nelson stated that was correct.

Ash made the motion to do whichever Nelson feels comfortable with but his suggestion is the cheaper one if the company has the proper license and proper insurance.

White asked if Ash would add "with the approval of Burlington Northern" to the motion. Ash then added the approval from Burlington Northern to his motion.

County Judge chief strategist JT Harris said he would call BNSF.

"What I'd like to do is bring it to you all and tell me what you all think. Should we go in the direction of taking each one of those bolts out and removing that tower from the top down or go the much, much cheaper route of falling that tower on the ground," Nelson explained.

Justice Michael White, who doesn't sit on the E&P Committee, asked what the liability was for falling the tower.

White asked, "How do you feel about the property and personnel wise?"

Nelson said that he has confidence in the people doing it and they have done it many times. Nelson added they are carrying a $2 million liability policy.

Justice Rick Ash, who does sit on the committee, asked if Nelson had discussed the falling of the tower with Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad. Ash said if the tower falls on the track or to close to the track BNSF will have "an absolute fit" and could fine people "heavily".

Justice Bill Nelson and Ash said it'd be a courtesy to call them and just let them know.

Ash asked which way did they plan on falling it and Judge Nelson said there were two possibilities - due north and northeast, but due north was better.

White asked how quickly Nelson wants to bring the tower down and Nelson said the shovels won't go in the ground to renovate the courthouse until Nov. 1 but he'd like to have it down before then.

Justice Molly Jackson, who chaired the committee in the absence of Justice Slyvester Belcher, said she feels comfortable with either decision on falling it.

Ash said the person who falls it will take it off as well and Nelson stated that was correct.

Ash made the motion to do whichever Nelson feels comfortable with but his suggestion is the cheaper one if the company has the proper license and proper insurance.

White asked if Ash would add "with the approval of Burlington Northern" to the motion. Ash then added the approval from Burlington Northern to his motion.

County Judge chief strategist JT Harris said he would call BNSF.