01/10/06 — Princeton board OKs park construction bid

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Princeton board OKs park construction bid

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on January 10, 2006 1:48 PM

PRINCETON -- A town park in Princeton became a step closer to reality Monday night. During its monthly meeting the town board approved a low bid from Lumina Builders of Wrightsville Beach to build much of the park.

"We can make the Ray M. Floors Memorial Park operational by the summer," Mayor Don Rains said in his opening comments. "...I'm excited about the opportunity to move forward with the park."

The town board had earmarked $240,000 for project but may take another $16,000 from its fund balance to complete it.

The town's engineer, Cyrus Clayton of New Bern, said only two bids had been received for the project. It was rebid, and again only two bids were received. Both were more than the town's budget.

Clayton said Lumina Builders agreed to scale back the project, removing gardens, a gazebo, an amphitheater and brick pavement. But the park will include playgrounds, a walking trail, a paved parking lot and a downsized picnic shelter.

Clayton said the landscaping will be done by the Boy Scouts and a sign will be funded by other donations.

Town Clerk Marla Ashworth said the concept for the park was designed by N.C. State University and will include everything the town wanted, except a pond.

Another major project, a new town hall, was a step closer. Clayton said the U.S. Department of Agriculture still had to approve the contract, but he added that it was just a formality. He said he will meet with the contractor in about a week. When construction starts in the near future, Clayton expects it to take nine or 10 months.

Mike Starling, the master of the Princeton Masonic Lodge, where the board met, asked the town to allow the lodge to lay a Masonic cornerstone. The board will study the request.

The town board agreed to apply for a $200,000 grant from the N.C. Rural Center for downtown revitalization and possible economic development. Mayor Rains said the grant can be used for new sidewalks, lights, drainage and building fronts.

In other business, the board scheduled a board retreat for Feb. 18.