05/13/13 — County: Dudley project moving forward

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County: Dudley project moving forward

By Steve Herring
Published in News on May 13, 2013 1:46 PM

Two Goldsboro companies have been selected to handle the engineering and legal aspects of the county's $500,000 Love Drive Community Development Block Grant Catalyst program.

Grant project manager David Harris of RSM Harris Associates told commissioners last week that engineering/construction firms McDavid Associates and Cox-Edwards Co., both of Goldsboro, and The Adams Co. of Warsaw responded to the county's request for proposals. Nine companies were contacted, he said.

He recommended that the contract go to McDavid Associates.

Nine legal firms specializing in real estate were contacted as well, Harris said.

Baddour, Parker & Hine, PC, Everett, Womble & Lawrence and Dees, Smith, Powell, Jarrett, Dees & Jones responded to the county's request for proposals. Harris recommended the contract be awarded to Baddour, Parker & Hine.

Both recommendations were unanimously ap-proved by commissioners.

Commissioner Joe Daughtery, who took office in December, said he was unfamiliar with the project and asked Harris to explain the grant.

Commissioners applied for the grant in April 2012 to help revitalize the Love Drive area of Dudley. The county will provide a $30,000 local match.

Several years ago, the county's application for a similar grant for the Love Drive area off of Arrington Bridge Road was not approved. When the grant was offered again in 2012, Harris recommended the project be scaled back and that the county reapply.

The project area will start at the intersection of Love Drive and Arrington Bridge Road and will require that a street be constructed where there is currently a gravel road.

The road will be built to state Department of Transportation standards so that it can be taken over by the state for maintenance and not be a long-term maintenance issue for the county, he said.

An undersized waterline will be increased to six inches.

Houses in the area that are repairable will be rehabilitated. Those that cannot will be demolished and the occupants relocated, Harris said.

Daughtery wanted to know how areas are selected.

Harris said he has been working on community development projects for the county since the 1980s. Over that period of time, numerous areas have been identified as possible sites to consider when funding becomes available.

Daughtery also asked what water district Love Drive is in and the name of the engineering firm for the district.

It is in the Southeastern Wayne district, and McDavid Associates is the engineering firm, Harris said.

Is that a conflict of interest, Daughtery asked.

It is not, Harris said. There have been other projects in which the engineering firm selected for a project also worked for the water district. It is actually an advantage because the firm already knows the specifics of an area's water line infrastructure, he said.

Also, both McDavid Associates and Baddour, Parker & Hine have a long and well-established history of working with the county, Harris said.

County Attorney Borden Parker is a partner in the law firm.

Harris later said that draft contracts would be prepared in the next couple of weeks by the attorney and the engineer, which would break down their costs based on the services to be performed and the hourly rate schedule.

Once these draft contracts are received, the county will review and negotiate fixed amounts for services to be performed before executing.

The engineering contract will be lump sum because the scope of work is readily defined, Harris said. The attorney contract will not be lump sum, but will be a fixed fee for each service required, such as title opinions, loan closings, document preparation, etc., which will vary by client and housing situation

In other business at the board's meeting last week, commissioners approved a $455,678 budget for Wayne County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council programs to help reduce/prevent delinquent behavior.

Daughtery questioned the dollar amounts for local contributions.

County Manager Lee Smith said that no county tax dollars are used. The programs are funded through the N.C. Department of Public Safety Division of Juvenile Justice, he said. The local listing reflects the dollar value of local in-kind services provided by the county, Smith said.

The programs and allocations are:

* Teen Court, $46,134 (state), $11,428 (local in-kind)

* Connect Four, $81,228 (state), $17,616 (local in-kind)

* C-4 Restitution, $42,988 (state), $17,500 (local in-kind)

* Wayne County Structured Day, $142,843 (state), $42,288 (local in-kind)

* Methodist Home for Children Transition/Reentry, $21,173 (state), $4,235 (local in-kind)

* Juvenile Crime Prevention Council administration funds, $3,000 (state).

Commissioners approved an agreement with Cambridge for an economic impact study of U.S. 70 in partnership with the DOT and the U.S. 70 Corridor Commission.

No local dollars are involved. The study is being funded by up to $250,000 from the Federal Highway Commission.

The company is well-known for its work including a study of Interstate 95, Smith said.

The U.S. 70 Commission is an informal group of counties, and Wayne County is a member. The county also handles business for the commission including contracts.

The study is expected to cost less than the $250,000 and funds will be available to reimburse the county for any expense it might incur because of handling the contract, Smith said.