Storms help repair Mantachie Clinic roof

By Adam Armour/The Itawamba County Times

An “act of God” has turned out to be a blessing for Mantachie Clinic.

Wind damage from the series of storms that passed through the area in recent weeks left the roof of Mantachie Rural Health Care’s dental clinic severely damaged. While this might have been considered a disaster under normal circumstances, it just so happens the clinic needed a new roof anyway, but had no way to pay for it.

During their most recent regular meeting, the Itawamba County Board of Supervisors spoke with acting Mantachie Rural Health Care CEO Patsy Collins about the damaged roof. The building is owned by the county, but leased by Mantachie Rural Health Care, which owns both its new clinic on Highway 363 and the building immediately behind the dentistry office, which is being leased to Mudpuddles Daycare.

Collins told the board recent wind damage to the roof has enabled the company to file an insurance claim, which will cover the estimated $10,800 bill for tearing out and replacing the old roof and the rotted wood beneath it.

“We have a big enough claim to completely fix our roof,” Collins said. “We should be able to repair both the inside and outside of the building.”

It’s good news because the non-profit organization, which provides most of its services to patients at little cost, simply couldn’t afford the repairs. Previously, Collins had requested the board either help pay to replace the dental clinic’s leaky, water-damaged roof or lend the clinic enough money to have the roof fixed.

Although Collins didn’t give an exact date that the roof would be replaced, she said it would be sooner rather than later.

“We just need to get it done,” she said. “It keeps raining and the roof keeps leaking.”

In October of last year, Collins appeared before the board to request assistance in fixing the roof, either by helping pay for the repairs or by providing the clinic a loan and rolling repayments into the building’s monthly lease. At the time, the board agreed to take Collins’ request under consideration but never returned to the issue. She returned to the board in March and repeated the request, adding that the water damage had grown more significant in the intervening months.

While the board never outright denied the clinic’s request, supervisors expressed reluctance to loan the company money. Under the current agreement between the county board and Mantachie Rural Health Care, the latter is wholly responsible for the upkeep of the building.

adam.armour@journalinc.com