Calhoun County Supervisors accept courthouse bid, await final contract

PITTSBORO – Construction, real construction, on a new courthouse may be on the horizon.
After negotiation with low bidder Sanderson Construction, architect Rud Robison told county supervisors that the price had been lowered by $282,000 to the board’s estimated cost of $5 million.
Though a total of $437,194 in deductions was submitted for consideration, only items totaling $282,000 were actually accepted for deduction from the bid.
Among the largest deductions: a $40,000 lowering of the contingency allowance, money held in case a change order increases the price of some facet of the construction; $38,000 for special ceramic tile, $35,000 from door hardware, $31,000 for fiber optic installation and connection and $24,000 from lowering brick quality.
The board accepted the slate of deductions and Sanderson’s renegotiated bid of $5 million. Later in the month, a final contract will be presented for the board’s approval.
The contract is complicated by the need to include conditions imposed by USDA’s Rural Development division, which is funding a sizable portion of the project.
“We’re ready to hit the ground running when we get notice to proceed,” Sanderson representative Tony Carroll said.
The county is still in the running for a federal appropriation of $900,000 which is included in a funding bill for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development.
Also, Rural Development representative Sheila Freely told supervisors that she is still looking for grant possibilities to help the board fund the project and reduce the amount of bonds the county will have to issue.
In other business:
– The board accepted the unpaid taxes roll presented by tax assessor Bill Malone.
– A request from Grover Edington for reimbursement of utility costs at the New Liberty Schoolhouse was taken under advisement.
Chancery clerk Jess Moore said the electric bill for the building had been coming to the county for some time; but Natchez Trace Electric Power had apparently also continued to draft payment from Edington’s bank account since the bill was supposedly changed to the county.
– The board approved participation in a prescription drug plan offered by the National Association of County Officals.
– Don Newlin was appointed to the Dixie Regional Library Board.
– Millie Goforth’s contract as volunteer coordinator with the Extension Service was extended for one year.
– Travel and lodging were approved for a justice court clerk training seminar.
– The board approved $8,000 for each volunteer fire department in the county, payable from volunteer fire funds.
– The Soil Conservation Service budget from the county was increased by $3,000, to be divided equally for work in each beat.

Mack Spencer/Monitor-Herald