Board may award jail-related contracts

Published 5:10 pm Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Beaufort County Board of Commissioners, during its meeting Monday, is expected to consider awarding contracts for engineering and design work related to building a new jail/sheriff’s office facility.

The board’s jail committee is expected to make a recommendation concerning which firm or firms should be awarded the contracts. The matter is tentatively on the commissioners’ agenda for the meeting.

During its Nov. 4 meeting, the board approved seeking qualifications from entities interested in doing architectural-design work for a new jail and sheriff’s office. It also approved seeking qualifications from entities interested in providing construction-management services regarding the building of a new jail.

Those decisions do not commit the county to spending money to build a new jail, which would be located in the Chocowinity Industrial Park.

The qualifications were due Dec. 9. The jail committee reviewed them Dec. 11.

“The qualification packets will be reviewed on the basis of experience and expertise in similar past projects that will include the construction of a new detention center facility with attached Sheriff’s Office and 911 Center,” explained a notice about the request for qualifications on the county’s website.  “The detention center will contain approximately 250 beds and total square footage of the facility is estimated to be approximately 85,000 square feet.”

At the board’s Dec. 2 meeting, Commissioner Stan Deatherage sought to have the entire board (at its Jan. 6 meeting) publicly grade requests for qualifications the county would receive regarding construction of a new jail and facility to house the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. That request was defeated by a 4-3 vote, with commissioners Jerry Langley (board chairman), Ed Booth, Robert Belcher, all Democrats, and Republican Al Klemm voting against Deatherage’s motion. Commissioners Hood Richardson, Gary Brinn and Deatherage voted for the motion.

Richardson, Brinn and Deatherage have said Beaufort County taxpayers cannot afford to pay for a new jail.

“They’ve already decided who’s going to get this RFQ. It will b rigged,” Richardson said at the Dec. 2 meeting.

Brinn commended Deatherage for coming up with the idea of having the submissions graded publicly.

At a meeting in November, Richardson told the commissioners who voted for the architectural RFQ item that they have already “picked your man” for that work.


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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