Bertie commits funds for recreation

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 3, 2008

WINDSOR – The next phase of the Bertie County Recreation Park took a huge step forward last week.

In their regular meeting for June, the Bertie County Commissioners approved A.R. Chesson Construction Company as Construction Manager at Risk and committed up to $230,000 in local funds to approve Phase 2 of the Park.

Phase 2 includes a softball field, soccer field, parking lot, restroom/concession/storage building, maintenance building, shelter, lights for all fields and a playground area.

Al Chesson came before the board to present a proposal for the second phase of the program, including initial drawings for the restroom and concession stand as well as the shelter that will be built on the site.

The total sum projected for the construction project is $1.15 million. Most of the money has already been budgeted through grants and county funds that have been previously set aside for the project.

Chesson’s presentation was based on the information provided by the county as to what would be included in Phase 2. He informed the board the prices given for construction, he believed, would be “worst-case scenario.” Chesson said he thought the price could be considerably less once the project was actually bid.

The construction manager also provided 14 alternates that could be added to the project, including trash receptacles, ADA tables for the shelter, a bike rack, an electronic scoreboard for the softball field, a flag pole and landscaping.

Bertie County Manager Zee Lamb said the project would require commissioners to set aside an additional $150,000 for construction as well as $80,000 in architect fees.

“Again, this is a worst-case scenario,” Lamb said, in regards to the funding. “I think we can bring that down.”

Commissioner Rick Harrell asked where the money would come from and Lamb said it would have to come from the fund balance.

Chairman Norman M. Cherry asked if taking money from the fund balance would create any problems.

“We have a comfortable fund balance,” Lamb said. “I think the money will be there.”

After the discussion, Lamb suggested the commissioners accept A.R. Chesson Construction Company as the Construction Manager at Risk and authorize the $230,000 to move forward with the project.

Commission Vice Chairman L.C. Hoggard made the motion to proceed with Commissioner Charles L. Smith offering a second. It passed without objection.

Later in the meeting, Hoggard said he was pleased to see the commissioners continue to stand behind their commitment to recreation in Bertie County.

“It is going to cost us financially to see this project through, but we committed to it and I’m glad to see us following through,” Hoggard said. “Recreation is important for the citizens of this county.”