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Richardson to survey land at county home

By Staff
Was low bidder by just over $300
By NIKIE MAYO
News Editor
Commissioner Hood Richardson will survey the land surrounding the old Beaufort County Home, based on supportive votes from his fellow commissioners.
Richardson, a land surveyor by trade, was the low bidder on the projects, coming in at $4,697. He edged out Washington-based Mayo and Associates by $302 in a sealed bid.
County Manager Paul Spruill said the bidding process was “very up front” and that he feels comfortable with the way things were handled. But he cautioned commissioners that they were entering a “gray area” when deciding whether or not to do business with one of their own.
Spruill was referring to litigation involving former Hyde County Commissioner Troy Lane Mayo. In 2004, Mayo was ordered to pay back about $300,000 for repairs he made to Hyde County’s courthouse and health department while he served as a county commissioner.
Beaufort County Commissioner Al Klemm said he was OK with awarding Richardson the bid because of the amount of the contract.
Spruill said each responding surveyor had the opportunity to tour the facility on Highland Drive. He also said he had spoken with a representative of Mayo and Associates and that the firm “holds no grudges.”
Still, Spruill told commissioners there’s “no black or white answer.”
Spruill said they could award the bid to Richardson under North Carolina General Statutes, but acknowledged that with the perception of a conflict of interest, commissioners had a “close call” to make.
Commissioner Stan Deatherage said Richardson had done work for him in the past, so he believes the service offered will be high quality.
The Beaufort County Home had been losing money and needed major repairs when commissioners voted to close it in December 2004. It was the last county-run facility of its kind when the doors closed in February 2005.
Richardson excused himself from the vote on the surveying contract.
News Editor’s note:
Nikie Mayo is the daughter of former Hyde County Commissioner Troy Lane Mayo.