Jacksonville switches gears on complex
by Paige Rentz
The Jacksonville City Council is giving its chosen construction management firm for the proposed public safety complex one more chance to keep the job.

At a work session last week, council members had instructed Mayor Johnny Smith to notify Brasfield & Gorrie, the firm which had won the project, that the city had decided against having the company serve as construction manager for the project. Council members said they were concerned about costs and other items in the firm’s proposed contract.

But Council President Mark Jones informed the council members Monday that he and George Lord, director of facilities at Jacksonville State University and a member of the city’s public safety complex construction committee, had met with John Stivender and Steven Franklin of Brasfield & Gorrie earlier in the day because they had requested further dialogue with the city upon hearing the council’s decision.

“I said ‘sure, I’ll listen to what you have to say,’” Jones said after the council meeting.

He said the company men requested the opportunity to submit a counter-proposal that addressed the concerns city officials had with the contract, including flexible costs and no company liability for certain performed tests and services.

Smith said the contract included a fee of 3.25 percent of the construction cost, plus additional hourly fees during the construction phase and no base cost for any work during the design phase.

City officials estimate the potential for the cost of construction management to reach $2-2.5 million.

The council had been set to vote Monday on rescinding a resolution from July which stated the city would utilize a construction manager for the project. Another resolution would have approved the architect’s schematic design from Sept. 19 and issued the firm a notice to proceed with the next design phase and production of construction documents.

Instead, members voted to schedule a work session for next Tuesday that will include a presentation by a representative of Brasfield & Gorrie and a question and answer session for the council.

In other business, the council:

• Authorized the mayor to sign a contract with Kilgore Construction Company to replace sewer lines between 4th and 5th avenues Northeast at a total cost of $36,020.

• Approved a public works project to repair the roof and exterior siding of the historic Union Yarn Cotton Mill and authorized the mayor to sign a contract with Moore and Thompson for the repairs at a cost of $14,550.

• Approved a public works project to replace the upstairs carpet on the floor of the main library at Jacksonville Public Library and authorized the mayor to sign a contract with Jacksonville Discount Carpet for the project at a total cost of $9,400.00.

• Voted to move all bank accounts for the Water Works, Gas and Sewer Board from Regions Bank to Cheaha Bank.

• Approved the promotion of Fire Lieutenant/Paramedic Chris Roberts to Assistant Fire Chief/Paramedic, effective immediately, and requested the Civil Service Board for a list of eligible applicants for his former position.

• Authorized action to request the Civil Service Board for a list of eligible applicants for the position of public safety communications officer due to the resignation of Lona Pitts.

Star staff writer Paige Rentz: 256-235-3564. On Twitter @PRentz_Star.
© 2012