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Rec Center road paving postponed

WINDSOR – The Bertie County Recreation Center is inching closer to its expected Aug. 15 completion date.

However, a few minor alterations in the project were approved here Monday morning during a meeting of the Bertie Board of Commissioners.

Recreation Director Donna Mizelle updated the commissioners on the progress of the center. She informed the board that a change order was needed in order to add a second well, one closer to the ballfields that will be primarily used for irrigation. The price tag for that addition was $6,500, which will be paid in project contingency funds.

The main topic of discussion centered on the access road to the recreation center. Original plans called for paving the road at an estimated price tag in the $60,000 range. However, there was concern expressed among the commissioners that due to heavy construction equipment and dump trucks still using the unpaved road, it might not be a good idea to pave it at the present time.

“I’m thinking out loud here, but if we pave it now and it becomes damaged by the heavy construction traffic still using that road, then we’ll have a patchwork road leading to a brand new facility,” board chairman Rick Harrell said.

Harrell suggested spending some of the project money set aside for the road for better soil and rock on the thoroughfare, let the heavy construction traffic pack it down and then pave it at a later date.

Bertie County Manager Zee Lamb said a grant had been submitted in the amount of $500,000 for phase II of the recreation center project. He said the grant process was “looking good for Bertie County” at this point.

Upon hearing that news, Harrell offered a suggestion to use some of the phase II money to pave the access road.

“I agree, but we need to let the citizens know that this road will eventually be paved,” board member L.C. Hoggard III said. “I see no reason to spend the taxpayer’s money now to pave it and then have to spend that money all over again to re-pave it once it’s damaged by the heavy construction traffic.”

The commissioners agreed to remove the paving of the access road from phase I of the project and place it back on the plans for phase II.

In a related matter, Mizelle said she was working closely with Town of Windsor officials in obtaining poles in order to mount the scoreboards at the recreation center’s athletic fields.