03/24/14 — Board to move on new center

View Archive

Board to move on new center

By Steve Herring
Published in News on March 24, 2014 1:46 PM

Wayne County commissioners Tuesday are expected to take the next step in developing the $12 million Wayne County Regional Agriculture Center.

Interim County Manager George Wood told commissioners at their March 11 session that the project, which has been a long-standing goal since at least 2006, had reached a point that the county needed to move forward.

The meeting will start with an 8 a.m. agenda briefing followed by the formal meeting at 9 a.m. Both sessions will be held in the commissioners' meeting room on the fourth floor of the county courthouse annex.

The county has asked the state to convey the old state-owned dairy property at Cherry Hospital for the center site.

The project has been endorsed by state Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler.

The county has about $176,000 remaining from a state appropriation from several years ago for a project study along with $2 million appropriated by commissioners earlier this year.

On Tuesday, Wood is expected to ask commissioners to authorize a survey of the property and to officially ask for the property.

He also plans to ask to the board to proceed with a request for qualifications to hire an architect and that would split the project into two phases.

The first is a schematic design that would show the basic layout of the facility and where it would sit on the property.

The second phase is either full design plans, specifications and contact should the county decide to use the traditional design, bid, build procedure or a contract for design/build.

In design/build, an architect and general contractor form a team that works under one contract with the project owner, in this case the county, providing both design and construction services.

The county needs to have at least the schematic design in hand if it plans to go after federal money for the project.

In other business Tuesday, commissioners will be asked for formal approval of the county's personnel policies

In a memo to commissioners, Wood said that the existing policies had been adopted administratively, but had never been formally approved by the board.

He is recommending the policies be adopted with two changes.

One would add language clarifying that the policies were adopted by the board and could now only be amended by commissioners.

The second change addresses when progressive disciplinary steps can be used. In the memo Wood said that process would be appropriate for minor issues, like being late for work, but not for more serious infractions.

Also on the agenda, commissioners will consider approval of the county's annual membership dues of $25,000 to the U.S. 70 Corridor Commission.

It will be up to Wayne County Commission Chairman Wayne Aycock to appoint the county's five members on the U.S. 70 Corridor Commission board.

Public comments will be taken at 10 a.m. People will have four minutes to speak on their topic of choice.