Town’s projects are on the move

Published 9:41 pm Wednesday, January 14, 2009

By Staff
Belhaven wantslocal contractorsto perform the work
Staff Writer
BELHAVEN — Slowly but surely, progress is being made on several Belhaven town projects.
Repair and/or replacement work is set to begin on the town’s breakwater, the fire station’s roof, the Wynne’s Gut dock and the Water Street bridge.
At the Town Council’s meeting Monday night, Mayor Adam O’Neal said the breakwater-replacement project’s feasibility study is almost wrapped up.
In the meantime, the Army Corps of Engineers will step in and make immediate repairs to the crumbling breakwater.
From the Corps of Engineers, the town received a $750,000 grant for operation and maintenance of the “Belhaven Harbor,” or Wynne’s Gut Gateway project. The grant money will be used to stabilize the breakwater’s most fragile parts and, the town hopes, reduce the amount of debris entering the harbor, said Town Manager Guinn Leverett.
Leverett expects the repairs to commence this spring.
In February, Leverett and O’Neal will travel to Washington, D.C., to lobby the U.S. House and Senate for federal funding to pay for the design and construction phases of the project.
Replacing the dock at Wynne’s Gut is another project under the “Belhaven Harbor” umbrella..
The town will begin removal of old pilings at the docks off of Water Street as soon as it contracts with a local company to do the work, said Leverett.
The town manager expects repairs to the docks to begin this summer and be completed by this fall.
Replacement of the fire station’s south-side roof probably will start this week, said Leverett.
Following an informal bidding procedure, the contract for the roofing project was awarded to local contractor Mitchell Keech. The town received a good response from local contractors during bidding on the project and will use the informal process again, when appropriate, said Leverett.
O’Neal said he is elated that Belhaven Planning and Development Director Marty Overholt and Leverett chose a local contractor to do the work.
The town will be seeking bids to repair the station’s four other roofs next week, along with refining the scope of work to be done at the station, said Leverett.
Replacement of the Water Street bridge may take much longer than other projects included in the “Belhaven Harbor” plan.
The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources is demanding a “categorical exclusion” on the project, which would require a one-year delay so the department can look for endangered species in Wynne’s Gut.
The National Marine Fisheries Services previously reported to the town that no endangered species live in the creek.