Archived Story

Board to consider policy-related changes

Published 11:09pm Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Beaufort County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to consider revising the county’s Hurricane Irene hazard mitigation grant program’s policy on awarding contracts during its meeting Monday night.
Chris Hilbert with Holland Consulting Planners requested the policy be modified. He is slated to discuss the matter with the commissioners about 7:15 p.m., according to the board’s tentative agenda.
If the revisions are approved, the county will use the guidelines in the process of awarding contracts to contractors who submit bids to elevate or demolish residential structures. One key element of the proposed revised guidelines reads: “If construction estimates are prepared, no contract award shall be made if the contract is less than 85% or more than 115% of the HMGP Administrator’s final estimate. The HMGP Administrator will document negotiation of bids and/or estimates before contract awards are made.”
The revised guidelines also authorize the county’s emergency-management coordinator to approve and execute all elevation and demolition contracts and change order on behalf of the commissioners.
Under the hazard-mitigation program, some residential structures are elevated so they are less likely to be flooded during and/or after a major rain event like a tropical storm or hurricane.
The program pays 100 percent of the cost of housing elevation for qualified applicants, according to county officials. The state-federal hazard mitigation grant program has been used to elevate Beaufort County homes following previous hurricanes.
In the wake of Hurricane Irene in 2011, the county received at least 108 applications for participating in the program by early February 2012.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency sometimes provides funds to acquire then demolish some structures in flood-prone areas that suffer from repetitive damage because of flooding instead of paying repeated claims for flood-related damage.
The Board of Commissioners meets at 5 p.m. in the Beaufort County Administrative Building, 121 W. Third St., Washington. To review the entire agenda for the meeting, visit www.co.beaufort.nc.us. At the right side of the page, click on “Agenda” under the heading “Next regular Board of Commissioners meeting.”

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