The City Council approved the resurfacing of the entire Vance Street parking lot, which will officially put a bow on the third phase of the City of Clinton’s Downtown Revitalization Project.
As one project is being brought to a close, however, another is having a tough time getting off the ground. All bids for a comprehensive community development project on Eliza Lane, the bid for which was awarded in September, were thrown out in favor of rebidding.
The Council approved both measures at its recent meeting.
Public Works director Jeff Vreugdenhil requested authorization by City Council to transfer $53,028.05 from the Water and Sewer Fund for the purpose of resurfacing the entire Vance Street parking lot. The additional work would add 3,835 square yards of 1.5-inch asphalt over-layment to a low bid awarded to Southern Asphalt of Burgaw for a 2,250 square yard request for proposal.
“We installed new water lines along the alleyway behind Gracie’s, Kaleel’s, Mr. Reynolds’ Insurance and Leon’s Clothiers,” said city manager John Connet. “We would use this money, this $53,000, plus some grant money we have left over from the downtown project that must be spent or we’ll lose it, to resurface the alley and the entire parking lot.”
Vreugdenhil said the work would essentially be the finishing touch on the third phase of downtown revitalization, which brought sweeping improvements to the Vance Street, Connesstee and College Street areas.
“This will finalize the Downtown Phase III project, add 15 to 20 years of life to the existing parking lot and complete the water line replacement project within the alley performed by Colt Contracting,” Vreugdenhil stated.
The resurfacing is anticipated to be complete “hopefully by the end of November,” Connet said. Along with extending the life of the lot, resurfacing it in its entirety would mean that all the parking lots in the downtown area had received attention in recent years.
“This means all of our larger parking lots have been resurfaced or repaired in the last five years,” said Connet.
Along with approving the transfer of funds for the lot resurfacing, the Council also approved rejecting all bids for the Eliza Lane Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) project. A bid was initially awarded Sept. 4.
“However, due to some issues at the Department of Commerce, the Notice of Award was not issued to the contractor within the 60-day bid period, which ended Sept. 27, and the contractor requested to increase his bid by $42,000,” Connet explained. “We do not believe that it is prudent to just accept the increase and recommend that the City Council reject all bids and direct staff to rebid the project.”
Following a bid opening in July, a total of 11 bids were received for the project, with T&H Construction of North Carolina Inc. of Hampstead receiving the nod from city managerial staff as the lowest bid. Council subsequently approved T&H Construction’s low bid in the amount of $625,600.35.
T&H previously performed the work on the city’s Pugh Road CDBG project.
The Eliza Lane project is expected to improve the quality of life in several neighborhoods by improving streets, fire service and water and sewer infrastructure in the area.
The total project is $790,550 and will include new water and sewer lines in the neighborhood, fire hydrants and paving Eliza Lane, Abron Street and Jerome Street, which are all currently dirt roads. The area, located immediately adjacent the city limits off U.S. 701, consists of 22 residences that do not have city water or sewer services. City officials said the streets are in “extremely bad condition,” some being impassable after a heavy rain.
Specifically, the project will include 2,070 linear feet of water lines, 1,570 linear feet of sewer lines and nearly a half mile of street paving. The CDBG grant for $572,765 was matched with $217,785 from the city, split evenly between the 2011-12 and 2012-13 budgets.
Called “an excellent community development project” by city officials, the Eliza Lane project is expected to allow the city to annex that area and grow to the northeast.
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.