11/23/05 — Princeton awards contract for town hall

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Princeton awards contract for town hall

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on November 23, 2005 1:46 PM

PRINCETON -- A Smithfield firm has been awarded a contract to build a new town hall for Princeton.

Durwood Stephenson and Associates Inc. submitted the low bid of $893,413.05. The bid was accepted Monday night by the Princeton town board during a special meeting at Town Hall.

The bid was lower than the expected cost of $1,030,000. The cost had skyrocketed from the original figure of $750,000 because of higher prices for materials, especially steel, since Hurricane Katrina, officials said.

Assistant Town Clerk Kay Earp said three other companies -- Hayes Inc., Group 3 Management Inc. and Harrod and Associates Constructors Inc. -- also submitted bids.

The proposed contract will be forwarded to the Local Government Commission for approval. The commission will meet Dec. 8 to make a final decision. The meeting, however, will occur three days after the Princeton town board's next regular monthly meeting on Dec. 5.

The town will probably know later in December when construction will start, Mrs. Earp said.

The new town hall will be build on West Dr. Donnie Jones Boulevard near the Rescue Squad building. It will replace an aging building on South Pine Street. Town employees and the Police Department have complained about cramped space in the building. The roof also leaks during heavy rains.

Princeton will borrow the full amount from First Citizens Bank and repay it at 3.35 percent interest over 30 years. The bank was awarded the contract during the Nov. 7 town board meeting. Three other banks also had bid for the contract.

Mrs. Earp explained that the town has secured a $300,000 grant and a $400,000 loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and will use the bank loan to pay back the USDA loan.

All four town commissioners and Mayor Don Rains attended the two-hour meeting.