Fire station bids too high

The City of Holly Springs has decided to rebid the expansion plan for the fire station.

Debbie Cherry, architect with A2H Engineers/Architects/Planners in Oxford, discussed two bids that were opened at the October 20 meeting of the board of aldermen.

The engineer’s estimate for the expansion was about $650,000. The baseline bid from Wagner General Contractors was $1,640,000 and J.P. Corporate General Contractors bid $1,375,000.

Alderman-at-large Tim Liddy asked why one bid was nearly three times and the other two times the engineer’s budget estimate.

“I wonder if the material differed in prices,” he said.

Mayor Kelvin Buck said material costs have doubled and tripled due to hurricanes. Costs could come back down and stabilize later, he said.

“We will have to either rebid or revise the scope,” Buck said.

“It’s like the stock market,” Liddy said. “You never know.” Cherry said she met with a contractor and learned material costs are 40 percent higher. Some work, such as painting, could be done by the city or firefighters and save some money, she said. An inside stairwell that was to double as a storm shelter could be built outside the new building, that will primarily provide sleeping quarters, and save on costs, as well.

Metal studs that are taking two and a half to three months to get in should take two weeks, Cherry said. Wood is 50 percent higher in price, now, she said.

“We tried to do the least expensive material we had,” the architect said.

Buck asked if the city is going to get anything for a $600,000 budget.

The price is close to $400 a square foot, he said.

“Is this an up and down cycle or can it keep going higher?” Liddy asked.

Cherry said she thinks people are concerned about the election.

“Several bidders did not show up,” she said. “Something is not right, This is way to much of a swing (spread) in pricing on alternate bids.”

Not all alternate bids were read out in order to save valuable meeting time.

“We are pretty sure where we are,” Cherry said. “I don’t know what they (bidders) saw. Yesterday we knew right where the money was. I’m curious myself.”

In other business, the board of aldermen:

• approved travel for Anthony Jones to attend physical agility testing at the state fire academy.

• authorized a position of non-certified police officer for Traniescia Walker. A former certified officer, she will take the state refresher course to recertify.

Walker, who worked for the Holly Springs Police Department in her first job as a law enforcement officer, answered questions from the mayor and board.

She said she left HSPD for a better salary in about 2011.

“I am more mature,” she said. “I am here to retire with HSPD and I am here to serve the community.” She served 12 months overseas in Iraq as a medic and then transitioned to law enforcement after the service. She said she is familiar with structure and that is what she likes about law enforcement.

• approved travel for Maurice Jeffries to attend the TVPPA (Tennessee Public Power Association) lineman apprenticeship Lab 4, underground course in Huntsville, Ala., and permission for Destin Wells to attend TVPPA lineman apprentice Lab 2 construction training in Scottsboro, Ala.

• accepted the resignation of Brian “Stacy” Byrd from the electric department.

• authorized the transfer of Larry Whisenant from warehouse superintendent to assistant warehouse superintendent as his request.

• approved the transfer of Keith Freeman to warehouse superintendent effective immediately.

Freeman will also become a certified state purchasing agent.

• adjusted pay rate for Jimmie Harris after an oversight on the budgeted pay scale.

• authorized payment of $189 to Commerce Bank and $8,000 to American Heating and Air for work at the recently renovated historic Hugh Craft Survey Office.

Holly Springs South Reporter

P.O. Box 278
Holly Springs, MS 38635
PH: (662) 252-4261
FAX: (662) 252-3388
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