City seeks ways to fund project

Published 9:35 am Friday, September 27, 2013

Although bids to build the dockmaster’s station at the west end of Stewart Parkway came in higher than the project’s budget, city officials believe they can find the money needed to build the structure.

A combination of  “value engineering,” using surplus money from three other projects that came in under budget and transferring money from elsewhere in the city’s budget likely would provide the funding needed to complete the project, City Manager Brian Alligood told the City Council during its meeting Monday.

The project includes a dockmaster’s station, public restrooms, boaters’ bathrooms and laundry facilities for boaters at the west end of Stewart Parkway. The project budget is $300,000, of which about $20,000 has been spent on the project design and seeking bids to build the structure.

The structure is designed so it reflects the architecture of the historic Pamlico Lighthouse.

The two-story structure’s lower level will house the public restrooms and bathrooms and laundry facilities for boaters. The upper story will provide office space for the dockmaster and serve as a harbor-observation area.

The three bids received came from Stocks & Taylor ($385,000), A.R. Chesson ($369,272) and White Construction ($349,932).

With about $280,000 left for construction, there is about a $70,000 shortfall (using the low bid) between remaining budget funds and the low bid. John Rodman, the city’s planning and development director, will negotiate with White Construction in an effort to “value engineer” $20,000 out of the low bid, according to Alligood. Value engineering is reducing construction costs by using alternative materials and/or alternative building techniques.

Alligood told the council the city has a surplus of about $30,000 as the result of other projects coming in under budget. By applying that $30,000 toward the dockmaster’s station project and value engineering $20,000 out of the low bid, that leaves $20,000 to cover, he said.

Alligood believes he and city staff can find that $20,000 elsewhere in the budget and use that money to build the dockmaster’s station.

Councilman Doug Mercer expressed concern that the project’s cost (using the low-bid figure) would be more than $300 a square foot.

“Three hundred dollars a square foot is ridiculous,” Mercer said.

The council asked Alligood and staff to pursue the recommended options to bring the project within budget and report back at the council’s Oct. 7 meeting.


About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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