Drivers on Statesboro's streets this summer should encounter paving crews at work and, eventually, fewer potholes. And for the next month or so, watch out for painters outside City Hall.
City Council on Tuesday awarded a contract to Sikes Brothers Inc. for resurfacing segments of at least 12 different streets. Sikes' bid for the package of work was $667,403, but the city upped the total to a "not to exceed" amount of $673,846 to include additional work at the same unit prices.
One of the priority areas getting attention is Gentilly Road, where the resurfacing will go deeper in an attempt to fix the cumulative effects of big trucks and about 15,000 cars a day.
"We think that a lot of the problems on Gentilly are caused by poor base material under the pavement, so we're going to go in and not overlay the street but actually take the worst sections and completely remove the pavement that's there," Assistant City Engineer Brad Deal said in an interview.
Covering a little less than half a mile from the Howard Lumber driveway to Herty Drive, the Gentilly project accounts for about $140,000 of the total resurfacing package.
This project also came up Tuesday as part of the city's third budget amendment of the current fiscal year. Amid other shifts of revenue from line items where it wasn't needed to new purposes, $50,000 in Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds left over from a Gentilly Road sidewalk project was made available for the resurfacing.
Total funding for the repaving work includes $464,278 from the old SPLOST authorized by local voters in 2007 plus $209,568 in state funds through the Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant program.
The city sent its request for bids to several contractors and received two responses, said city Purchasing Director Darren Prather, who presented the bid recommendation. The total bids, based on unit pricing and rounded here to the nearest dollar, were $670,074 from Ellis Wood Contracting and $667,403 from Sikes Brothers.
"Local preference does not come in because this is a state road project with all the requirements," Prather told City Council. "This is a public works project. You can't apply the local preference to this type of project."
In other words, an exception that allows local governments to select a local vendor that is not the lowest bidder could not apply. Ellis Wood is based in Statesboro; Sikes Brothers, in Metter.
The city's engineering department asked that City Council approve Sikes Brothers' bid but give the department authority to pay the company up to the budgeted amount of $673,846 for extending the unit pricing to additional work.
Councilman Will Britt asked where the extra, which he noted was only 1 percent of the total, will be used.
"More than likely, it's going to be used on Gentilly," answered City Engineer Robert Cheshire. "We're going to get in there and try to refine some things, so we'd like to get that additional money so we don't have to come back to you and ask for it."
Council members unanimously approved the bid with the additional amount.
The longest street segment to be resurfaced, 0.85 mile, will be Lanier Drive from north of Veterans Memorial Parkway to Georgia Avenue. It will cost about $125,000, Deal said.
Other projects include two segments of East Grady Street and portions of Old Register Road, Oak Street, West Vine Street, Pinewood Drive, Wendwood Drive, Tillman Road, Brown Street, Dunlap Street and Greenbriar Trail. A 14th project, on Davis Street, is listed as an alternate if funding becomes available.
All the segments together measure only about 3 1/3 miles in length, but Deal noted that they range up to five lanes wide.
City Hall paint
A $38,300 contract to Melton Painting the paint the exterior of City Hall and the adjacent Drummers Building was another of several purchases and contracts Prather presented and council approved. Melton's was lowest of three bids.
The Drummers Building is the little building across the City Hall drive-thru. Built in 1910 and once used by railroad-based salesmen called drummers, it has more recently been used for storage, but city officials have hopes of renovating it for other purposes. For now, it and City Hall - born in 1905 as the Jaeckel Hotel - will get fresh paint in existing colors, including caulk and trim.
City Hall's exterior was last painted in 2002, with paint expected to last 10 years. The project had been included in previous budgets but postponed, officials said during Tuesday's discussion.
"Now we're looking a little shabby in spots," Mayor Jan Moore said.
The painting should begin at the end of May and be done by the end of June, Prather predicted.
"There is a requirement that they work around the drive-thru service so no public access to pay bills will be halted," he said.
Other spending approved Tuesday, all on the lowest bids among several bidders, included $106,500 for 30 roll-off, 30-yard refuse containers from Lewis Steel; $48,387 for Consolidated Disposal to retrofit a current refuse truck with a new hoist system; and $24,592 for a Ford F-350 cab and chassis from Wade Ford. The city will add a landscape body to the F-350 for use by the Streets Division.
Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9454.