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Bids awarded on Bertie rec facility

WINDSOR n To those waiting for the Bertie County Commissioners to fulfill their promise to build a countywide recreational complex, your patience will soon be rewarded.

During a special called meeting here earlier this week, the Bertie Board of Commissioners awarded the bids on phase 1 of the multi-stage project.

"The contracts will be signed by the end of this week and we hope to see some dirt being moved out there as early as next week," Bertie County Manager Zee Lamb said.

The project, several years in the making, will see an access road off U.S. 17 as well as a multi-purpose field, football field, parking area and a restrooms/concessions building in phase 1.

The remainder of the project calls for a community recreation center, basketball courts, volleyball court, tennis courts, playground area, softball field and picnic areas.

A.R. Chesson Construction, Inc. of Williamston was awarded the general contract. They had a base bid of $588,025. That figure was reduced to $535,005 after the Bertie Commissioners voted to remove several items from the list of alternative bids.

In addition, the board approved the electrical contract for phase 1. That low bidder n Coastline Electrical n will be hired at a price of $104,600 to provide poles, wiring and lighting fixtures at the two fields.

The total price tag for phase 1 amounts to $639,605. To help pay for the project, the county has a $250,000 grant from the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund offered through the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Lamb said the guidelines of the grant required phase 1 to be completed no later than Feb. 28, 2006. He stressed his wish to see phase 1 completed by Jan. 1.

The recreation complex (39.61 total acres) is located on U.S. 17 North, beyond the NC 308 (Cooper Hill Road) intersection.