By Gretchen McPherson
Ledger Staff 

Century council OKs lowest bid


February 21, 2019

The Century council approved several requests submitted by town grant writer and administrator Robin Phillips Monday night on amendments or change orders on houses currently being built in the town using CBDG and tornado emergency funds.

Phillips said they received bids on the demolition and reconstruction of a house at 581 Church Street through the CDBG emergency set aside grant money for tornado recovery on Nov. 13.

The low bidder was Parker Custom Built Homes in the amount of $160,000 and Phillips was seeking guidance from the council. Phillips recommended the Department of Economic Development, who oversees and awards the grant, said the bid looked good and that the town should award it to Parker.

Century Mayor Henry Hawkins asked if this property will have to be soil tested or demucked, which will be one of he most expensive houses they have built.

Phillips told Hawkins a company named Biome performed soil testing and the results were the soil at this location was better than the soil on Front Street, but they cannot say definitely there will be no demucking or not. Demucking consists of improving soil by sometimes removing it, which can be necessary due to wetness that prevents a solid foundation to build a structure on.

Phillips said they won't have an answer until they demolish the house.

Hawkins asked that since a mobile home was already at the site, it would make sense for the town to simply put back in a mobile home to save money.

“This will be one of the most expensive houses we've built,” said Hawkins. “Wouldn't it be cheaper to put a mobile home back there?”

Phillips said since it is in the historic district, she could request it, but she doubted the State Department of Historic Preservation would approve it.

“They don't govern what is there already, but they do govern what we're paying state and federal money for to put back there,”said Phillips.

Phillips said building costs have gone up since Hurricane Michael and also the house plans are different, and will be more like the houses on Front Street which ranged from $119,000 to $131,000 but did not include demolition and the cost of increasing building materials.

Phillips said homes built before 1978 can have lead and asbestos issues, which can drive up the cost because of disposal of hazardous materials.

Emerald Coast Construction built the Front Street houses, but they could not submit a bid on this one, because it was not cost effective for him, according to Phillips. She said there are various costs that are covered, such as the appliances being covered by Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE) before, which can effect the overall cost.

In a motion made by Boutwell to award the bid to Parker and seconded by Jackson, the motion carried.

Next, Phillips asked the council to authorize her to proceed with the request for a six-month extension on the CDBG Housing Grants. She said one house is in probate, which can slow the process down, but she could go ahead and begin an environmental assessment on the next house.

Jackson made a motion, seconded by Boutwell. All voted approval.

The next Century council meeting will be Monday, March 4, at 7 p.m.


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