Posted: Tuesday, July 8th 2014 at 2:00pm
Hall commissioners question contracts for Cherokee Bluffs Park
By B.J. Williams Administrator
GAINESVILLE - Hall County commissioners are trying to move forward with construction on Cherokee Bluffs Park in south Hall County, but first they need some answers in the bidding process for both infrastructure and amenities.
Cherokee Bluffs is set to be built on a 106-acre tract of land on Blackjack Road in District 1, Commissioner Craig Lutz' district. At a commission work session Monday afternoon, Lutz said the bidding process is a little unclear on this particular project.
"It's a little vague, and a lot of it is vague because there's not a lot of money for it," said Lutz following the work session. "This was on the SPLOST [VI] project list, but SPLOST did not come in from a revenue perspective like anybody had hoped for."
As a result, all bids - even the low bid - for Phase I of the infrastructure for the park and for construction of a pavilion, an amphitheater and other amenities came in over budget.
County Public Works Director Ken Rearden and County Purchasing Director Tim Sims both recommended the commission consent to bids that were over the budgeted amount, but also suggested commissioners direct the contractors to not do any work over the budgeted amount.
Commissioners declined to place the bids on Thursday's consent agenda, asking instead that county staff talk with the lowest bidders to determine what parts of the projects would have to be eliminated in order to stay within budget. If commissioners' questions can be answered by Thursday, a vote on the contracts is possible.
The commission did agree to a license agreement with Vulcan Lands, Inc. to use 60 acres of Vulcan's property adjacent to Cherokee Bluffs Park for a public trail system. That agreement will appear on the consent agenda for Thursday's meeting.
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