ROCKINGHAM — Council members Tuesday voted to reject all contract bids for the waste water treatment plant aeration and electrical improvements project after the lowest bidder was unable to lower the cost of the contract to meet the budget.
The Harper Corporation on Aug. 9 submitted an initial bid for completing the project for $1,319,000, which was more than $500,000 over the city’s budget of $800,000.
After a review to find ways to reduce the cost, Harper could only make $184,028 worth of reductions, which City Manager Monty Crump said was not enough to make the project cost effective.
There were only two bidders on the project after two attempts to open bids to other contractors. Crump said this shows that “contractors are not hungry for the job” in the current economic environment.
“Part of this being $500,000 over budget is the fact that we didn’t have numerous bidders on this project,” Crump said. “In this environment you simply have a lot of work right now.
“We talked to other communities and whatever projects they did, they ran into the exact same thing — when contractors aren’t hungry their pencils aren’t sharp.”
With these bids rejected, the city will combine the waste water treatment plant aeration and electrical improvements project into a single bid package with a future effluent pump station generator project and any other future projects for consideration in the next fiscal year, according to Crump.
“There’s no need to go out to bid on something you don’t absolutely need and pay far more than what the value is,” Crump said. “You wait until later on and you get a better value.”
The city council also recognized Detective Ronald L. Brigman Jr. who completed the North Carolina Justice Academy’s Criminal Investigation Certificate Program and the Tactical Training Certificate Program. Both required 500 hours of courses. The Criminal Investigation certificate was required when he was promoted to investigations, the other Brigman completed on his own.
Officers are given five years to complete the courses, but Brigman completed both in two and a half years because he said he “just wanted to get better.” Brigman is the only officer in the Rockingham Police Department to complete the Tactical Training Certificate, according to Rockingham Police Chief Billy Kelly.
“My thinking is, how am I going to be a good leader if I don’t know what I’m talking about,” Brigman said. “It gives me something to work from — knowledge is basically a toolbox.”
Kelly said that Brigman’s efforts not only improves the police department but it serves the citizens as well.
“He’s very dedicated, I saw that in him when he was in basic training and that’s why we recruited him,” Kelly said.
Floyd Yoder, training coordinator with the North Carolina Justice Academy, said in a press release that those who complete the tactical training have mastered important skills used in the field and have achieved “a high level of professionalism” for themselves and their departments.
“The commitment of Detective Brigman to complete this program is a direct example of his dedication to protect the community in which he serves,” Yoder said. “His effort to stay in the forefront of tactical training is a direct reflection on the commitment of the Rockingham Police Department to ensure that their officers are prepared to meet the day-to-day dangers faced by law enforcement officers today.”
The city council also voted to hold public hearings for a request to rezone approximately .73 acres of land at 404 East Franklin St. from business to high-density residential, as well as a request to abandon a portion of the alley behind the R.W. Goodman building in downtown Rockingham.
Those public hearings will be held on Oct. 10.
Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674.