Renovation bid awarded

Published 11:24 am Tuesday, March 15, 2016

WINTON – The bid has been awarded to renovate Hertford County Office Building #1 in Winton.

At their meeting here last week, the Hertford County Board of Commissioners awarded the bid to American Builders, Inc. of Greenville. That company submitted a base bid of $2,055,000. Additionally, the Commissioners approved three alternate bids to the base bid submitted by American Builders, taking the total amount of the renovation project to $2,208,800. The alternate bids were for the replacement of existing windows ($109,100), power supply system ($42,900), and building security control system ($1,800).

Renovation of the building has been an ongoing topic of discussion for the Commissioners since last year, upon the opening of the new County Government Administration office on the grounds of the new Hertford County Courthouse. The Tax Office, Mapping Office, Economic Development and office of the County Manager moved from Hertford County Office Building #1 to the new building.

Following renovation the entire building will be used by Hertford County’s Department of Social Services.

At last week’s meeting, Assistant County Manager Ray Wiggins told the Commissioners that the bids were opened Feb. 9. Seven companies submitted bids.

“In the initial review of the bids, Pro Construction was identified as the low bidder, but unfortunately there was an important document left out of their bid package,” Wiggins said. “Thereby, the next lowest responsible bidder was American Builders, who included all documents. We’re are sharing this information with you to let you know that American Builders is the lowest acceptable bidder in the total amount of $2,208,800.”

According to the documents in the Commissioners meeting packet, Pro Construction submitted a base bid of $1,979,400. However, it was noted they failed to provide the proper first page of the bid form that was required and acknowledged by all the bidders as received. For that reason, the bid submitted by Pro Construction was rejected.

Others bidding on the job were (base bids) Burney & Burney Construction ($2,100,000), Progressive Contracting Company ($2,146,900), Farmor & Sons ($2,212,000), A.R. Chesson Construction ($2,224,500), and DanCo Builders ($2,231,000).

“According to our architect, American Builders does outstanding work,” Wiggins noted.

Attorney Chuck Revelle, who serves as legal counsel to the Commissioners, noted that the state’s Local Government Commission (LGC) had pre-approved a $3 million budget for the renovation project.

“It was never anticipated that it would cost that much,” Revelle said. “We’re well under that cost.”

Revelle also made note of the underlying reason why Pro Construction’s bid was rejected.

“We required a form that lists all the subcontractors and they failed to do so,” he stressed. “The reason why that form is necessary up front is to prevent bid shopping for sub contractors after a bid is awarded.”

He also noted that once the bid is accepted it still needs to be approved by the LGC for financing purposes. The details of the financing will be put before the Commissioners during a public hearing at their March 21 meeting.

John Farkas, architect for the renovation project, said his firm has previously done work with American Builders and he was pleased with the outcome.

“We’ve worked with them a number of times….as a matter of fact they have done some work with Hertford County over 10 years ago with work at your EMS building,” he said.

On a motion from Commissioner Johnnie Ray Farmer, the bid was awarded to American Builders without objection.

The board also approved the public hearing at 7:30 p.m. on March 21 where discussion is expected on by what means the county will finance the renovation.


About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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