The Alleghany County Board of Commissioners met in special session on Friday, September 30, 2005, at 1:00pm in the Conference Room of the County Office Building, 90 South Main Street, Sparta, North Carolina.  The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the Courthouse renovations.

 

            Present:  Chair Eldon Edwards, Vice-Chair Warren Taylor, Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon, Commissioner Ken Richardson, County Attorney Donna Shumate, County Manager Don Adams, and Clerk to the Board Karen Evans.  Commissioner Graylen Blevins was absent.

 

Chair Eldon Edwards called the meeting to order and explained the purpose of the meeting.

 

County Manager Don Adams explained that Courthouse construction bids were opened Monday.  He reviewed the base bids; Vannoy—$1,552,360, Dave’s Construction—$1,798,055 and Streamline—$1,761,960.  He talked about the 13 general, 2 mechanic and 2 electric alternates.  He briefly explained the alternates.  He stated that Frank Randel, who is the lead architect on the project, will explain the alternates in more detail.  He explained the financing scenarios in conjunction with the lowest base bid and the lowest base bid with the alternates.  He reminded the Board what is currently in the budget for the Courthouse payment this year.  He continued reviewing the financing scenarios and explained that the debt payments are $70,000 to $90,000 more than what was projected depending upon the direction the Board wishes to take.

 

Frank Randel explained reasons for renovating the Courthouse including the main reason of the ADA issues.  He explained the ADA issues that are addressed in this project.  He talked about the other renovations in this project including redoing the floors, creating a small courtroom on the 2nd floor, close in the back corridor for the Clerk of Court’s office and new side stairway.

 

County Manager Don Adams and Frank Randel explained the concept of closing in the back stairwell and how the Clerk of Court’s office will be designed.

 

Frank Randel explained the current usage of the downstairs area.

 

County Manager Don Adams and Frank Randel explained the difference in the options for the stairway.  County Manager Don Adams further explained how people in the basement area will get to the courtroom.

 

Frank Randel continued reviewing renovations included in this project.

 

County Manager Don Adams explained that the courtroom renovations are actual suggestions from the Sheriff and attorneys.  He talked about losing one row of seating in the back of the courtroom.

 

Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon, County Manager Don Adams and Frank Randel talked about bathroom access from the courtroom.

 

Chair Eldon Edwards and Frank Randel talked about the balcony, stairway and losing one row of seating in the courtroom.

 

Frank Randel stated that one parking space will be lost on the side, replacing the back retaining wall and the steps, replacing the plumbing and mechanical.  He explained the mechanical alternates with M1 replacing the courtroom unit and run duct work near the ceiling in the courtroom.

 

County Manager Don Adams explained that alternate M2 replaces just the unit and doesn’t run the duct work.

 

Commissioner Warren Taylor, Commissioner Ken Richardson and Frank Randel discussed the differences between M1 and M2 and the airflow with M1.

 

Frank Randel explained the general window repairs covered under the base bid.  He further explained the alternates that deal with the windows.

 

Commissioner Warren Taylor, County Manager Don Adams and Frank Randel talked about new windows versus redoing the existing the windows, the Courthouse being on the National Historic Registry and keeping the window design because of the historical society’s recommendations. 

 

Frank Randel continued explaining the alternates that deal with the windows. 

 

The Board of Commissioners and Frank Randel discussed tinted windows.

 

Frank Randel explained one alternate replaces the carpet in the courtroom. 

 

The Board of Commissioners and Frank Randel talked about the sound in the courtroom and the age of the current carpet.

 

Frank Randel continued explaining the alternates including waterproofing the exterior.

 

County Manager Don Adams explained that the base bid includes re-mortaring the part of the brick where the mortar is coming out.  He further explained that the mortar that is coming out is the red mortar.

 

Commissioner Ken Richardson and County Manager Don Adams talked about the waterproofing maintenance schedule.

 

Frank Randel talked about leaving the plaster since it is part of the character of the building, methods to conceal the updated wiring and new walls having drywall installed.  He explained the alternates dealing with the underground propane tank.

 

Commissioner Ken Richardson and County Manager Don Adams talked about if the propane company supplies the tank, then the County is locked into buying from that supplier regardless of their price.

 

County Manager Don Adams and Frank Randel explained that one alternate is for the retaining wall.

 

The Board of Commissioners talked about the price for stone facing on the wall to match the walls near the road.

 

County Manager Don Adams explained the plans maintain the ceiling height in some of the rooms and the hall and uses drop ceiling in the Clerk of Court’s office to help absorb sound.

 

Frank Randel talked about the drop ceiling and redoing the lighting system.

 

Commissioner Ken Richardson and Frank Randel talked about upgrading the fluorescent lights.  They also talked about replacing the roof in the base bid.

 

Frank Randel explained reasons that affected the higher construction price including the hurricanes affecting fuel and construction material prices and there is plenty of construction work in the mountain-area.

 

Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon asked about the $300,000 price difference between the lowest base bid and the next closest base bid.

 

County Manager Don Adams explained that the bidders have 72 hours to review their bids and withdraw their bids.  He further explained that they had to submit a 5% bid bond.  He stated that he and Frank Randel had been in contact with Mark Vannoy about Vannoy’s price.

 

Frank Randel stated that he went over everything with Vannoy’s estimator, talked several times, and he even talked to Dave’s Construction to compare notes on their bid.  He further stated that they found one area of concern but it wasn’t enough to withdraw their bids.  He reminded everyone that they are required to have performance bonds, too.

 

Commissioner Warren Taylor reviewed the options that the Board has today: leaving out the alternates, which he doesn’t recommend; go out to bid again but the bid may be higher; delay the project until economic times are better.

 

Frank Randel talked about the Administration Building being near completion and the ability to move the court people in that building while the Courthouse construction is in process.  He stated that if the Courthouse project is delayed and the contractor has to work around court personnel that the costs will increase.

 

County Manager Don Adams reviewed other options the Board has; major construction negotiations and re-bid or redesign the facility and re-bid.  He talked about the highest priorities in this project but everything is needed.

 

Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon asked where the money would come from for this project.

 

County Manager Don Adams reviewed the financing scenarios again.  He stated that the money in already in this year’s budget for the first debt payment.  He explained level principal payments.

 

Commissioner Warren Taylor and Frank Randel discussed the small amount of savings if the basement wasn’t remodeled since the mechanical room and elevator room must be done.

 

Chair Eldon Edwards talked about this is a golden opportunity with the Administration Building.  He stated the need to do the project right while renovations are being done.  He talked about the needed upgrades.

 

Commissioner Ken Richardson stated that he has a great deal of respect for the Board but is concerned about the 3.5-4 million dollars that has been spent on old buildings and patching things as we go.  He further stated that he doesn’t know where the money is coming from.  He reminded everyone of the schools’ needs.  He stated that he is just sharing his opinion.

 

County Manager Don Adams stated that if funding is the issue then they could redesign the project.  He further stated that if the Board wants to move forward, he needs to know what is included with the base bid.  He also stated that moving forward would mean scheduling a public hearing on the financing of the project.

 

Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon made a motion to move forward with Vannoy.  Commissioner Warren Taylor seconded the motion.  Vote 4:0.

 

County Manager Don Adams asked which alternates are included and the contingency.

 

Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon stated alternates G2, G3, G4, G6, G8, G9, G10, G12, G13, M1, E1 for a total construction price of $1,770,043 and contingency.

 

Commissioner Warren Taylor and Frank Randel talked about the windows and the National Historic Registry.

 

Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon asked Frank Randel to check on prices for all new windows.

 

County Manager Don Adams stated that the contracts wouldn’t be signed until November and the construction number can be reduced in regards to the windows.

 

Frank Randel stated that he will ask the contractor to get an estimate on the windows.

 

County Manager Don Adams asked for clarification that the Board is looking at most of the alternates and proceeding with the $2,046,048 price for the Courthouse project.

 

Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon stated that yes, proceed with the $2,046,048.

 

County Manager Don Adams stated that he needs permission to advertise for the financing public hearing on October 17.  He reminded everyone that there were four interested bidders on this project with three submitting bids.

 

Chair Eldon Edwards said to set the public hearing on October 17 and Frank Randel to check on the windows.

 

            Being no further business, Commissioner Ken Richardson made a motion to adjourn at 2:54pm.  Commissioner Warren Taylor seconded the motion.  Vote 4:0.

 

Respectfully submitted,                   

 

 

 

Karen Evans                         

Clerk to the Board                

 

Attest:

 

 

 

Eldon Edwards

Chairman