Baldwin County inspections take place at Central State Hospital following lawsuit filed in 2021
Baldwin County leaders met with state officials Wednesday to inspect 13 buildings at Central State Hospital.
MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Baldwin County leaders met with state officials Wednesday to inspect 13 buildings at Central State Hospital.
The inspections follow a lawsuit the county filed against the state’s Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities after an alleged breach of contract. The county accuses the state of improper upkeep of the buildings.
“It was the department’s responsibility and duty under Georgia law to maintain its properties,” Brandon Palmer, an attorney hired by the county, said.
The contract between the county and the state was established in 1999. Palmer says the state has not taken care of the buildings and it’s resulted in several issues for local fire crews.
“Fire teams are going into these buildings,” he said. “They need to be upkept for the safety of both the citizens and the firefighters that go in there.”
According to County Manager Carlos Tobar, Wednesday’s inspections provide an inside look at the conditions.
“If you look at pictures of the buildings of Chernobyl and the pictures at the Central State Hospital, you won’t be able to tell the difference,” he said. “That was a nuclear disaster. This was the state of Georgia policy disaster. They’ve left us is a dangerous situation.”
Tobar says the buildings pose dangers for anyone who trespasses and also the residents who live near the buildings.
“This is a disaster for our community,” he said. “It’s a public safety problem. It’s an environmental hazard. It detracts from businesses coming in here. It detracts from citizens coming in here.”
Inspections will continue through March 7. The county says no court date has been set.