WIGGINS, MS (WLOX) - Wiggins officials are hoping to turn their obstacles into opportunities. Work should start this week to fix the Wiggins Police building and officials said they want to improve, as well as repair.
Back in September, officers were forced to relocate because of a leaky roof. As crews were getting ready to fix the roof, they discovered asbestos and electrical problems.
Chief Matt Barnett said every time it rains. It pours inside the Wiggins Police Department.
"It got to the point where we were trying to catch it in buckets and trash cans and everything else," said Chief Barnett. "We had some people come in and look at the roof and it was determined it needed a new roof."
Wiggins isn't stopping at a new roof for the building, which also houses municipal court. Chief Barnett said before the city bought the building, it was a medical clinic with a lot of small rooms. Since everything has been completely gutted, he said it was a perfect opportunity to change the building's layout and construct a 1,200 square foot addition.
"Gives us a lot more room for our investigators," said Chief Barnett. "They were really cramped in the office that they had. It also gives us a chance to move the interior walls around and make the building more user friendly for the employees and the citizens."
Chief Barnett added, "Also, we have court here. We're able to enlarge the courtroom some, so that's going to be very beneficial also."
Barnett said the city is also looking to save taxpayer money in the long run. He said the windows, which are old and drafty, are being replaced with more energy efficient ones.
"When you've got it stripped down to this point here, you've got to plan for the future," said Chief Barnett. "It's cheaper to do it now than do it later."
Wiggins Mayor Joel Miles said the asbestos has been removed from the building, so crews should be able to start repair work soon.