Supervisors move ahead with annex project

The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors got some good news on Wednesday when they received bids for the two story 40,000 square foot annex building to be built on the north side of the existing courthouse in Poplarville.

The bids ranged from a low bid of $7,247,000 from Hanco Corporation of Hattiesburg, MS, to the highest bid of $8,380,000 from Wharton-Smith, Inc. The other two bids were $7,970,000 from Chris Albritton Construction Company, Inc. and $8,123,000 from Jay-Van Corporation.

County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin was pleased with the bid stating, “We had initially felt like we might end up between $185.00 to $200.00 per square foot cost, but to be right at $185.00 really puts in great shape. This is great news.”

The Board had looked initially at being their own contractor and subbing out all the work from the county with the end result becoming a substantial cost savings. With the bid from Hanco Corporation, the focus turned to accepting Hanco’s bid and letting the contractor manage the entire project and associated risk. With the news they received today with the bids, the risk shifts to the contractor doing all the sub-contracting.

District 1 Supervisor Donald Hart shared his thoughts on going with the Hanco bid.

“With the numbers (bids) that have come in, and with the risks involved, we’ve got a turn key option here as an option versus us taking all that risks of us subbing this out. And with all the things going on with tariffs and other related things, I don’t want to go back out for another round of bids and push everything further out,” Hart said.

“With the numbers we received today, we can move forward and put all the risk on the contractor. I want the public to understand that our goal was to subcontract the work and save money, but now we can save money and avoid all the risks,” Board President Sandy Kane Smith said.

Lumpkin was excited and somewhat relieved.

“It’s been ten years talking about this and working toward it. I’m happy with what we got (cost),“ Lumpkin shared.

The board approved a motion to accept the bids and to award the work to Hanco based on their bid which states the construction will take approximately 450 days to complete (estimated 15 months calendar time).

Lumpkin said Hanco has done work in Pearl River County before as the contractor for the storm shelters in the county and other projects.

Also during the meeting, County Engineer Les Dungan provided an update on the county wide overlay (paving) project and upcoming bridge inspections.

Dungan requested the board approve a partial payment of approximately $38,000 to Huey P. Stockstill. Dungan also told the board that due to the condition of Derby Whitesand Road being worse than was initially thought, that part of the overlay project will need a change order for $86,192 due to the need for additional base work.

Dungan shared updates on work that has been completed as part of the overall project. He said that the work on Barth Road was estimated to be $142,613 and came in with a completed cost of $142,553. Oak Hill was estimated at $210,000 with actual cost of $175,000. Palestine Road, with an estimate of $86,099, ended up costing $85,140.

Dungan gave the board an update from the state on upcoming bridge inspections. These inspections are not for the timber piling bridges, but instead it was all other bridges. The state (MDOT) issued a memorandum that will pay the county $1,250 per bridge inspection and allow the county to select their own contractor. The board approved an order for Dungan Engineering to perform the work for the county.

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