Maxton hires Metcon for water project

By: By T.C. Hunter -

MAXTON — Town leaders approved the low bid for a water infrastructure improvement project following a closed session during which they considered three proposals.

After the 30-minute closed session, the commissioners gave unanimous voice approval to the $1,824,744 bid from Metcon Construction, of Pembroke. The project would be paid for using a $1.9 million Community Development Block Grant.

Before any action could be taken on the bid, Councilman James McDougald voiced concern about Metcon’s “reputation.”

“I don’t want the town to be left owing more money than we have grant funds to pay with,” McDougald said.

The councilman’s comments prompted Town Attorney Nickolas Sojka Jr. to advise the commissioners to discuss the bids in closed session and avoid “any legal ramifications.”

McGill Associates, a Pinehurst-based engineering firm, has developed plans to replace more than 15,000 feet of pipe in an effort to reduce waste. The second-lowest bid was for $1,848,026 and was submitted by ELJ Incorporated, of Jacksonville.

The town is facing an April 17 deadline to be under contract with a bidder, said Mike Apke with McGill Associates.

In other business, the commissioners adopted an ordinance imposing a $20 business application fee that is effective April 1. It applies to existing and new businesses.

The ordinance is in response to state action that “took away” some of the town’s fees, Bordeaux said. The town’s old business application fee was one of them. The money will be used to cover the cost of processing applications.

The council also gave Town Manager Kate Bordeaux freedom to pursue the purchase of a new dump truck, as long as it doesn’t cost more than $50,000.

The expense is covered in the town’s current budget, Bordeaux said.

Bordeaux asked for the purchasing freedom because she had been in the process of examining two possible replacement trucks and could not get information about the vehicles to the commissioners before the purchase window closed.

Bordeaux also received the board’s permission to buy a new air conditioning system for the Maxton Police Department’s administrative offices. A price limit of $6,000 was set. Bordeaux said the old system is in need of repairs that would cost at least $2,700 and come with no guarantees.

“The Maxton Police Department will be cool before it gets warm,” Mayor Emmett Morton said.

By T.C. Hunter

Reach T.C. Hunter at 910-816-1974

Reach T.C. Hunter at 910-816-1974