Bids for the US 70/White Oak Road Improvement Project were received on Friday, October 25, 2013. Three bids were received and the low bidder is the Fred Smith Company with a base bid of $4,481,702.02. This bid was 11.5% lower than the engineer’s estimate and our consultant recommends award of the project to the low bidder. NCDOT requires that the Town adopt a resolution awarding the contract to the low bidder, pending NCDOT approval before they will review the bids and give their concurrence in the bid award.
Adopt municipal resolution awarding the U-5520 (US 70/White Oak Road Improvements Project) construction contract to the Fred Smith Company in the base bid amount of $4,481,702.02; subject to further discussion regarding the development agreement between Town of Garner and Core Properties.
Council Member Kennedy said he would like to have some general discussion about part of the development agreement; however he is not looking for a resolution tonight. He asked if there has been any feedback from his notes he provided at end of the week. Part of the intent was to minimize the amount of discussion. The situation boils down to two or three key items: Do we need to amend, upgrade, revise or start a new development agreement. The current agreement refers to development in the southwest quadrant. The question is does it make any difference if the 100,000 square feet of retail space has moved to the northeast quadrant if we are getting the development. Second, because the development will need additional turn lanes, the Town would loan the money and the developer will pay it back.
Council Member Kennedy said there is an agreement and announcement by Cabelas to construct 100,000 square feet on the northeast quadrant discard those two provisions and discuss underground utilities. He said all issues need to be put on table so we can make our decision on 11-19.
Council Member Singleton said the anchor store has moved, the announcement made and the agreement has been signed and he is in favor of accepting that. We need to move forward with getting the money and paying it back; he agrees with amending the agreement.
Council Member Johns said he agrees with Council Members Singleton and Kennedy as long as the time table is the same. Council Member Behringer said she appreciates the work the Council Member Kennedy did in keeping this in a form the others can follow. She says she does not have a problem with the location change. She asked if this affects the lane widening and would it still be needed at this time. Council Member Singleton said that would change the scope of the contract and would slow the project before we can get N.C. Department of Transportation approval. He recommended we go ahead with the lane widening.
Council Member Behringer asked if this means the Town will be absorbing the cost of the project. Council Member Kennedy said it will.
Council Member Marshburn said he looked at the agreement and there seems slippage on both parties and asked if there is merit in revising the agreement or do we just proceed to the next step and not have a written document.
Mr. Anderson suggested the Council let him know what they want to do and he will present an agreement at the next meeting.
Council Member Marshburn said the big looming issue has to do with moving of power line; stating if he understands correctly, a decision needs to be made very soon since the power company needs to know by December 1. He asked if it is fair to observe that it is going to cost nearly $ 1 million. The major decision is how you split the costs and how it gets paid.
Council Member Marshburn said in the original proposal there is an amount for overhead utilities and asked if this shared cost? Mr. Watkins said the overhead power shift, $364,000, is included in the budget.
Council Member Behringer asked what is the developer asking us to consider and what are we willing to do. Council Member Singleton said the change is from above ground to underground; the developer has asked us to do as much as we can. Council Marshburn referred to the cost for the portion on Jones Sausage Road and asked if the developer will pay those costs. Council Member Singleton said one-third of the cost is included in the original costs, then the rest will be split. The Town could pay for half of that; $670,000 and the developer will pay the difference. Council Member Marshburn said he is not sure the Town should pay that much, is there a precedent on how we have done this in the past. He said he is having a hard time understanding why the Town is paying a more substantial amount than Core Properties.
Council Member Kennedy said he wanted to get different positions on the table. Council Member Marshburn said the Finance Director said has cautioned the Council
about spending money that will take us below the 30% fund balance policy. Ms. Lucas said $6.9 million has been committed, we will move that money aside. Council Member Singleton said we will pay ourselves back with the tax base we will receive. Council Member Marshburn said he has a hard time understanding why we would pay 2/3 of the cost and said he thinks a 50/50 split is a reasonable target and everyone benefits; therefor he favors proposal C.
Mr. Watkins was directed to invite Core Pore Properties to attend the meeting on November 17 for further discussion of the options.