Contract awarded

Published 10:53 am Monday, November 20, 2017

WINTON – A contract worth nearly a half-million dollars has been approved by the Hertford County Board of Commissioners for renovations to a county-owned building in Ahoskie that will serve as that town’s Nutrition Site as well as the county’s new Board of Elections office.

At their meeting here earlier this month, the Commissioners awarded the contract to Burney & Burney Construction of Greenville. For a base bid of $484,000 (plus a combined $15,000 for two alternate sub bids minus a $6,000 savings on a third alternate), that firm will perform the renovation work on the building located at 418 Everett Street (behind Abrams Barbecue), the former office of District Attorney Valerie Asbell.

Exactly one year ago, Hertford County local government purchased the property from Scott Edwards for $275,000. The building is actually two separate offices under the same roof.

Before awarding the bid, the Commissioners heard from Herford County Manager Loria Williams. She informed the board that Burney & Burney was not the lowest bidder (on the base bid), but were the lowest overall when considering the three alternate bids.

Spruill Construction Corporation of Greenville put in a base bid of $468,000. A third bid was received from Aarene Contracting, based in Georgia, for $903,808 (plus $27,000 for the three alternates).

In her presentation, Williams noted that even though Spruill Construction submitted the lowest base bid, their overall proposal would total $493,880 when adding in the alternates. That was $880 higher than Burney & Burney.

“What made Burney & Burney the low bidder is due to the alternates. I recommend that we add each of the three alternates,” Williams told the board.

Two of the three alternates are for the Ahoskie Nutrition Site portion of the building. They are for the heating trays used to keep the food warm, and the type of kitchen appliances needed.

“We need more along the lines of residential types of appliances rather than commercial grade because the food is brought to the site rather than prepared at the site,” Williams explained.

The third alternate dealt with the type of floor tile used.

Burney & Burney was approved without objection. A contract between the county and that firm is expected to be signed during the week of Nov. 20.

From there, the work may begin as early as Dec. 1 with a six-to-eight month time frame to perform the renovations.

The total cost, to include purchasing the building and the architectural design fees, is in excess of $725,000. The major costs ($357,380) will come with new walls, doors, hardware, carpet, paint, flooring, ceilings, plumbing, HVAC and electrical.  The architect’s fee, to include engineering costs, is $54,818.

One of the positives of relocating the Board of Elections office from Winton to Ahoskie is the added space the old Edwards building allows. Williams said the Board of Elections, due to extremely limited space at its Winton office, has to store all of its equipment (voting machines, etc.) at an off-site location.

“With this new location, all that equipment can be housed on-site,” she noted in an earlier interview. “It will be in a more controlled environment.”

Williams added that the new location is also better suited for one-stop voting.

Finding a new location for the Ahoskie Nutrition site has been discussed for well over one year. It is currently housed at the cafeteria of the old R.L. Vann School on Holloman Avenue. A leaking roof has caused multiple problems there for years and the commissioners finally agreed that a new location would be cheaper in the long run compared to replacing the roof and making other repairs caused by water damage at the current site.

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.

email author More by Cal