Aberdeen Taps Contractor for Midway Gardens Work
Aberdeen has selected a contractor for the Midway Gardens subdivision, but delays and higher costs likely will force Habitat for Humanity to have to raise more than $100,000 not covered by two grants to complete construction of the affordable homes in the neighborhood.
Town officials Monday night accepted Anson Contractors to do the work and authorized Town Manager Bill Zell to negotiate a contract not to exceed $175,600.
Anson’s total bid of $458,882.10 was to put in all of the streets, utilities, sidewalks and landscaping in the community.
The town and Habitat had a combined $460,000 in grants to complete the project. Of that money, $250,000 from the town came in the form of a community block development grant, and the remaining $210,000 came to Habitat for Humanity from another federal grant. The grants were awarded on the premise that 14 homes would be built in the Midway Gardens subdivision.
Town Planner Kathy Liles told the board that delays have slowed construction. Two homes have been completed and four more are under construction, but Habitat only expects to have 11 of the planned 14 homes done before the grant’s deadline expires. As a result, the group stands to lose out on about $45,000 from the grant money, Liles said.
Factoring in $74,500 coming out of the grant for design and administrative costs, that will leave Habitat to cover more than $100,000 for the remaining costs.
Liles called the situation “painful” and attributed the problems to the economy, saying there were fewer contractors bidding on the project and costs have gone up from two years ago, when the grants were applied for.
She said the town will have to take a look at the itemized bid submitted by Anson Constructors and “cherry pick” items to be completed.
She said there are concerns that if the town doesn’t move forward, they will miss the window to get in all the necessary infrastructure and cause further delays.
The infrastructure for the project is expected to be completed by the end of the year or early January, Liles said.
She also said that delaying the project further by not completing it in its entirety and closing the site until a future date when work could resume would only be more costly in the future.
Also Monday, the town board approved the application process for $250,000 in federal grant funding for four businesses through the 2012 Small Business Entrepreneurial Assistance program.
Of the four businesses:
n Meridian Zero Degrees, 312 S. Pine Street, is up for $175,000. Meridian Zero is expected to use the money for machinery and equipment necessary for expansion. The company hopes to add 30 jobs and will have $200,000 in matching funds.
n 111 Main, 111 S. Main St. is up for $25,000. 111 Main will use the money for improving the outside of its building, as well as installing and expanding its e-commerce business. It will add one full-time employee.
n UPRO, corner of N.C. 211 and Keyser Street, is up for $25,000. UPRO will use the money for equipment at its new location as well as the addition of an outdoor patio. It will add one full-time and three part-time employees.
n Specialized Services & Personnel Inc., 301 N. Sycamore, is up for $25,000. The business will use the money for a technology upgrade. It will add one employee.
The grant provided $25,000 per job created minus expenses.
Also as part of the grant, the town will work with Sandhills Community College to create entrepreneur classes to fulfill a grant requirement.
The application deadline is due Oct. 15, and town officials say they should hear back within 60 days.
The businesses selected for the grant were among eight that submitted proposals.
The town board also observed a moment of silence for Staff Sgt. Justin Marquez, 25, who died Saturday from wounds received while on active duty in Afghanistan, the Army said.
Marquez lived in Aberdeen; his mother, Terry, is a former Aberdeen commissioner.
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or tembrey @thepilot.com.
More like this story