City approves demolition contract
By: Jefferson Weaver, The News Reporter
The bid from a Winston-Salem contractor to tear down the former Whiteville city Hall and two other buildings was approved Tuesday.
Four Seasons Site and Demolition bid $126,680, $18,000 less than Herr Inc. of Whiteville, for the job of demolishing the 1938 Post Office and a home and garage next door.
Herr bid $144,500, while D.H. Griffin Wrecking Co. bid $248,500 and Trigon of Whiteville, $289,900.
Councilwoman Sara Thompson asked to be excused from discussions and voting on the bid decision, since her family owns Trigon.
City Manager Darren Currie said Four Seasons came recommended by the Oakley Architectural firm, which is the overall manager of the demolition and replacement projects.
“Mr. Oakley said Four Seasons is a reputable company and can do the work as bid,” he said.
While he voted to accept the bid offer from Four Seasons, Councilman Tim Blackmon was critical of the choice.
“We used to have a policy of giving local bidders a preference,” he said. “I thought we had decided years ago that if a bid came in within a certain percentage, and it was a local firm, they would get preference if their bid wasn’t much higher.”
Mayor Terry Mann noted that the policy calls for hiring local qualified bidders that are within 5 percent of the lowest bid.
“I just want to support local businesses,” Blackmon said. “They have invested here, and if something happens we have some recourse with a local company. What happens if they come up later on and say, ‘Oops. We need more money’?”
Currie replied that the city would hold Four Seasons to the bid if that occurred, but noted as well that the company is highly recommended. City Attorney Carlton Williamson added that the city is required to accept the lowest “responsible” bidder, and that Four Seasons met that standard.
Councilman Jimmy Clarida made the motion to accept the bid, with a second from Councilman Robert Leder. The motion was passed unanimously.