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HC Board awards reappraisal contract

WINTON – As Hertford County prepares for its octennial reappraisal of real property, county officials have to decide who will perform that critical work.

On Monday morning, the Hertford County Board of Commissioners did just that.

After looking at three bids, the commissioner chose a face familiar to county residents and officials as Pearson’s Appraisals Service of Richmond, Va. was awarded the contract.

However, the choice did stir a bit of debate as Pearson’s was not the low bidder, judging from what was submitted on paper.

Hertford County Manager Loria Williams explained to the board that Wampler-Eanes Appraisal, a firm based in Daleville, Va., submitted the lowest bid.

In their bid, Wampler-Eanes officials said they could perform the task for $17.75 per parcel ($284,000 based on an estimated 16,000 parcels within the county). That bid was lower than Pearson’s ($18.78 per parcel for a total of $300,440). The third bidder was Tyler Technologies, a national firm with a North Carolina office located in Raleigh. Their proposal was $396,000.

But as things turned out, Wampler-Eanes’ bid did not include add-on charges. The most noticeable add-on, according to Williams, was a $2 charge per digital photo.

“Pearson’s bid has all services and the products needed for reappraisal of property included in their price,” Williams said.

She went on to point out that of the estimated 16,000 parcels which will be reappraised beginning later this year, 11,209 contain primary structures that need to be photographed. With that in mind, Williams said the additional charge for photos would add $22,418 to Wampler-Eanes’ proposal, thusly increasing their bid to $306,418. That add-on charge moved Wampler-Eanes to the position of second lowest bidder.

During her portion of the presentation before the board, Hertford County Tax Assessor Sylvia Anderson said Pearson’s performed the county’s last reappraisal project, which took place in 2003.

“They are very familiar with the county,” Anderson said. “Plus, they’ve agreed to stay on as long as three years to hear revaluation appeals (as compared to one year as proposed by Wampler-Eanes). Pearson’s is my recommendation to do the work.”

Commissioner DuPont Davis motioned to award the bid to Pearson’s Appraisals. The motion passed without objection.

The revaluation of property in Hertford County becomes effective for the 2011 tax year.

In other business, the board:

Approved forwarding a request to North Carolina DOT to use up to $25,000 of the county’s Secondary Road Improvement Program funds to pave the parking lot at the newly constructed Union Rural Fire Department;

Okayed the use of fireworks at the St. John Fire Department’s sixth annual Pork Fest on May 23;

Heard a request from the county manager and approved the reappointment of Winston, Williams, Creech, Evans & Company, CPA, of Oxford to handle the county’s annual financial audit for the next three years;

Adopted the Hertford County Disaster Recovery Plan;

Approved a request to advertise for upset bid on the Glennie S. Mitchell tax foreclosure property;

Welcomed a new county employee, Colin J. Ryan, an EMT-I working with EMS; and

Following a closed session, established an additional deputy sheriff’s position in order that the current deputy can retain employment upon the return of another deputy who has been on active military duty leave.