Florala OKs $231K sidewalk bid

Published 9:20 pm Thursday, May 21, 2015

Florala’s City Council awarded a low bid of $231,847.60 to Carter’s Contracting Services Inc. for sidewalk improvements on the north block of Fifth Street at its Wednesday night meeting.

Florala Mayor Robert Willia-mson said the city was awarded a $250,000 Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) grant for the renovation on Fifth Street, adding the bids that came in were high, which was anticipated after the first bids were let.

As a result, CDG Engineers drew up some new bid specifications and broke them down into phases and alternates, Williamson said.

“Basically, what was the base bid is for the block north and south of Fifth Avenue on Fifth Street,” he said. “The block north is where the Veterans Memorial is, and the block south is where the Christmas tree is usually. I like the block south being the base.

“When the bid was presented, that was kind of the base agreement,” he said. “If we want to do other sections, then the city was going to absorb other costs. The north block was the base block. I would prefer it be the south block.”

Before voting on the low bid resolution, the city council discussed at length the different options associated with the decision.

“If we add the alternates, then we’ve got to take on the costs,” Williamson said.

Florala Councilwoman Hazel Lee asked how much it would take to get both blocks done.

Williamson said it would take somewhere around $487,000.

“We’d have to pay for the south block,” Williamson said. “If we were to add the south block, you’re talking about adding another $181,000.”

If the city council had included the south block bid, then it would have to cover the cost of the alternate options, but would have to rebid the south block.

In the end, the council came to an agreement to accept the low bid for the north block, and wait some time to improve the south side of the sidewalk.

Lee said from a financial point of view, it’s best for the city to do the south side later.

“If we do it now, it’s going to cost us a bunch of dough,” Lee said.

In addition to accepting the low bid of $231,847.60, the city will have to match $62,000.

In other business, the council:

• agreed to sell of the former American Legion building to James Smith for $6,000 with a five-year renewable and negotiable lease on the 20-foot easement on the backside of the building;

• approved a rezoning property request at 709 Third Street;

• approved a liquor license for Monterrey’s Mexican Grill;

• approved the purchase of new computer software for the city clerk’s office;

• approved the demolition of the old armory to make way for the new playground;

• discussed moving the old armory to a different location;

• approved a $500 donation for the Florala High School gymnasium floor renovation;

• agreed to allow 60 more days for repairs to be made on the Zingaretti building roof;

• approved a 60-day work extension on the Billingsley building;

• declared the property located at 22597 Longview Ave. as derelict;

• declared Aug. 7-9, 2015, as a sales tax holiday;

• agreed to pay $925 of the carpet cost for Tin Man Carpet; and,

• tabled the 24th of June road closings decision.