Centerville looking at bids for new utility facility

The City Council here will likely vote on bids for a new public works facility Dec. 20.

Council members were presented a list of bids by Mike Brumfield, the city’s director of operations who also heads the Public Works Department.

Brumfield told the council the three low bids for the project were from: Pro Construction, which submitted a total construction bid of $1.5 million; C.T. Darnell Construction at $1.6 million; and ICB Construction Group at $1.9 million.

Brumfield brought the bids to council members as a point of information, saying the project’s architects were currently vetting the three companies.

He said he expected to present a bid for a vote by council members at their Dec. 20 work session.

In previously discussing the new facility, Brumfield said current utility department operations are in cramped quarters in a residential neighborhood. He said the new facility will be moved to approximately 9 acres on Elberta Road where a two-building maintenance-warehouse complex will be built to house administrative offices, warehouse space and equipment and vehicle space.

Brumfield said he hopes the department will move into the new facility “about this time next year.”

Presenting another point of information to the council that will need future action, Brumfield told members of possible requests the city will make as part of a potential county-wide 2018 special purpose local option sales tax.

Brumfield said, if approved by council, the city will ask for $2 million for construction of a new fire station headquarters; $630,000 for public safety vehicles; $800,000 for Centerville parks and recreation including work toward the Centerville Town Center Park; $500,000 for roads, streets, bridges and sidewalks; and $99,337 for general debt reduction of city general capital obligations.

Total SPLOST requests, if submitted as presented by Brumfield, come to $4,029,337.

The Houston County Commission is expected to meet Dec. 13 to make official its plan to put the new SPLOST before voters March 21, 2017.

Though the current SPLOST remains in effect until September 2018, county officials have said they want the new SPLOST in place early so county and municipal governments can work toward urgently needed projects the new SPLOST will fund.

Officials have said the new SPLOST will not require higher sales taxes but will continue the current tax amount used for SPLOST purposes.

Mayor John Harley asked for and council members agreed to come together for a special called meeting Dec. 12 at 4:30 p.m. to approve their SPLOST requests prior to the county’s meeting.

In another county-related funding matter, the council agreed to an offer by county officials to pay $294,683 in construction costs for installing about 30 streetlights within the city along a portion of the newly widened Carl Vinson Parkway — as long as the city agreed to pay ongoing monthly operating expenses.

Brumfield and Councilman Edward Armijo told council members monthly operating costs would amount $480.

The council voted unanimously to agree, with Councilman Cameron Andrews adding, “That’s a good deal right there,” about the paid-for streetlight installation.

During its Tuesday meeting, the council also unanimously voted to submit two roads to the state for end-to-end resurfacing under a 2017 Georgia Department of Transportation Local Maintenance Improvement Grant.

Proposed roads are Brantley Road and Dogwood Glenn. The LMIG grant will cover $80,076 and the city $49,980 in total estimated costs of $130,056.

Harley said such project costs to the city are also kept lower through an ongoing initiative by Houston County officials that combines road construction projects under one bid for Houston County, its cities and several neighboring counties and communities. He said the plan essentially allows the governments to purchase in bulk at lower costs, and said that, “The more you buy, the less it costs.”