Contingency funds tapped

Published 5:36 pm Sunday, November 10, 2013

WINDSOR – The Bertie County Board of Commissioners at their regularly scheduled monthly meeting here Monday were asked to approve a change-order providing additional funds for furniture for the new Bertie High School.

$300,000 was originally budgeted for furniture for the new building, said Bertie County Public Schools superintendent Elaine White, and BCPS is currently accepting bid prices for the new furniture.  White submitted a progress report on the bids to the commissioners.

White said the $300,000 allocated was before an additional wing was added to the new school, but it has now risen to $320,000.

The additional furniture items, all in the new wing of the school, include science cabinets, an ink cabinet for graphics, kiln for the art room, a (athletic) training table, and whirlpool room White said would total about $10,000; in addition an instrument storage cabinet is estimated to cost $17,000.

White said they are in the process of getting some other prices as well.

“I’m simply before you this morning to ask you to give us an additional, or add an additional $50,000 to the $350,000 budget and that it be taken from the contingency budget which was $300,000 not including the $50,000 for the DOT re-imbursement and the $150,000 for the E-rate re-imbursement,” White said.

“After the three change orders that were previously made there was $182,000-plus in the contingency budget,” she added. “And we’re asking that you approve a change-order of $50,000 to be moved from the contingency to the furniture budget to cover the additional items.”

Commissioner Ronald Wesson asked about the re-imbursements from both the Department of Transportation (DOT) for the paving of the school bus parking lot and for the driveways.

Ann Williams, a consultant with the school architect firm of Hite Associates, explained those figures were estimates and that the re-imbursement to the county may be higher.

As for E-rate, which is one of four support programs funded through a Universal Service fee charged to companies that provide interstate and/or international telecommunications services, Williams said indications were that the $150,000 would be the minimum re-imbursement.

White said the E-rate funds for this year had been applied for, but they are for the old BHS site. County Manager Scott Sauer said the Department of Public Instruction in Raleigh was aware of the new school and that it would be the one to which the funds would be applied.

“We just have to wait to go through the process,” Sauer said.

Asked by Commissioner John Trent when the construction would be finished, Williams said the completion date for the school is around March 26, 2014, and that construction was ahead of schedule.

“We’re looking to order the furniture this month, if possible, with a delivery date of the first week in April,” Williams said. “As soon as we submit the bills, they (DOT) have said they will re-imburse us.”

After being cautioned about construction override, Commissioner Rick Harrell asked Williams if she believed override at the end of the project was possible.

“No sir, there is not,” Williams replied.

Wesson made a motion for the transfer of funds from the contingency budget to cover the additional furniture costs and it was seconded by Trent.

The board then voted unanimously to approve the transfer of funds.