School board considers bid on home

Published 11:44 am Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The sale of a house to a local company was tabled due to the bid being too low in the opinion of the members of the Picayune Municipal Separate School District school board.

Bids were opened during the board’s meeting Tuesday afternoon, but only one bid was turned in. That bid was for $250 to purchase a home located at 100 Carver Dr., from Thompson Investments and Construction LLC.

As part of purchasing the building, the owner would have to enter into a 25 year lease with the school district since the home is located on 16th section land, said Financial Administrator Lisa Penton. She expressed concern on the low amount of the bid, since another home on Greenview Drive, also located on 16th section land in the same area, sold for about $6,000 in 2006.

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Lavar Thompson, a representative for the company that turned in the bid, said the board should consider the fact that the bid Penton referred to was issued shortly after Hurricane Katrina, when property values were much higher. Also, Thompson said he estimates the Carver Drive house he is bidding on needs a lot of work, in addition to cleaning, before he can fix it up. The previous homeowners abandoned the house, leaving everything in the house including food in the refrigerator, Thompson said.

To repair the house would at least entail tearing the inside down to the studs and replacing the roof, Thompson said.

Penton said since the house was abandoned, it now belongs to the District, however the school district can not rent the house out or repair it, so the only option other than selling it would be to tear it down and hope someone else builds a house on the property.

The board approved a motion to table the matter in order to gather more information on the state of the house before making a decision on Thompson’s offer.

A bid of $374,617 by GMR Construction to do foundation work on the Roseland Park Elementary multi-purpose building was approved. That was the lowest bid, said Superintendent Dean Shaw.

Board member Frank Feeley expressed concern about the amount of the bid, since it was significantly lower than the other bids received. He said his concern stemmed from a previous contract with another company that turned in the low bid for the Nicholson Elementary multi-purpose building. Apparently the district has been having some problems with the company building the Nicholson Elementary multi-purpose building. Feeley said the company working at Nicholson Elementary also turned in a bid lower than the rest of the companies but failed to make calls before digging, leading to problems. Feeley now suspects a company that turns in such a low bid may not realize the full scale of a project. Shaw said a check was conducted on GMR that found only good reports.

The board unanimously agreed to award the contract to GMR.

The board also heard a presentation on what the district intends to do to improve the school district as a whole. Information on that presentation will be covered in a follow-up story.

The next regular school board meeting will be Nov. 13, at 5:30 p.m.