New fire station construction hits snag

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Construction of a new fire station has been delayed due to the Council’s need to rescind a previously approved bid during Tuesday’s meeting.

City attorney Nathan Farmer said the reason the Council needed to rescind the previous bid was because the bid did not include a bid bond, and the language in the city’s bid packet did not meet state requirements.

Councilor Larry Breland took that moment to express his previous concerns with the project and ask if the city was protected from any possible litigation as a result of the Council’s motion to rescind the bid. One of his previous concerns focused on the move to change the building from a steel frame to wood frame.

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Farmer said the city is fortunate to have found the discrepancies prior to the project starting, and allows the Council to once again seek competitive bids.

After about ten minutes of further discussion between Breland and Farmer about the city’s potential litigation exposure, the Council approved a motion to rescind the previous bid and advertise for more.

Breland was the only Councilor to vote against rescinding the bid. Councilor Tammy Valente was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.

The Council also approved a motion to award a bid of $2.9 million from Jay Bearden Construction for the replacement of the remaining transite water lines in the city.

The bid was approved without objection. Jonathan Hickman with Dungan Engineering said the project will replace all remaining transite water lines in the city, including the areas of Ponderosa, Telly Road and Woodland Heights to name a few. A State Revolving Fund loan worth $3.5 million will be used to pay for the work. City Clerk Amber Hinton said that at times cities have been able to get up to $500,000 of those loans forgiven.

A motion was also approved to apply for Lower Pearl River Valley grant funding help pay for the Picayune Police Summer Camp. Grants Administrator Christy Goss said the funds will be used to offset the cost of the two week camp, which typically costs $12,000 for both weeks. Funding for the camp is provided by community donations and grants.

In other business, the Council:

— Approved a motion to accept donations of cigarette butt receptacles and trash grabbers from Keep America Beautiful.

— Accepted the donation of a Santa Claus suit from Walmart.

The next meeting of the Council will be at 5 p.m. on Feb. 19.