HAMLET — Under the direction of former Mayor Jeff Smart and Council, the city of Hamlet approved on Tuesday a contract with Summey Engineering Associates for engineering and design services at the former A&P building across the street from City Hall.
The goal is to convert the former grocery store into the new Hamlet Police Department headquarters. The engineering firm’s job is to get the building up to code in all aspects — mechanical, plumbing, electrical and structural — in order to allow for the proper permits to be secured.
City Manager Marchell David suggested a modification to the proposal, which included a price tag of $28,500 for engineering and design services and another $7,800 for construction specification and bid services. David said she and City Clerk Tammy Kirkley could help lower the Asheboro-based firm’s $7,800 charge by managing some of the administrative details such as developing bid documents and coordinating any bid openings.
David told the council that the Asheboro firm submitted the only bid but noted that the company’s fee structure “is in line” with recent city projects such as the renovation of the Hamlet Depot.
Little seems to be on public record regarding the purchase of the building. According to minutes of the council’s public meeting on Sept. 10, Smart noted that council members had unanimously voted to purchase the building.
The decision does not appear to have been made during a public meeting, as “this was done since the last meeting” the minutes quote Smart. That previous monthly meeting took place Aug. 13.
The Sept. 10 meeting minutes show that Smart said the building would be the future Hamlet Police Department and called it a “great purchase.” There is no mention of any discussion regarding the former A&P building in any other month’s minutes in 2013.
On Tuesday, Councilman Johnathan Buie acknowledged the city had to act.
“We’re going to have to do something,” Buie said. “We can’t let it sit.”
David said Summey Engineering Associates is expected to start work early next month.