Public pool facility bids higher than $1 million estimate

Published 12:17 am Friday, June 9, 2017

NATCHEZ — Bids for the Liberty Road pool project have been received, but still came in higher than the original $1 million estimate.

The bids ranged from more than $1.2 million to more than $1.4 million, which is still under the initial $1.7 million bid the Natchez-Adams County Recreation Commission received earlier this year.

After the $1.7 million bid was received the Adams County Board of Supervisors and the Natchez Board of Aldermen jointly voted in January to take control of the bidding process of the pool. Leaders have said the recreation commission is still involved in the process and will manage the pool upon completion.

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If the bids are accepted, construction could begin later this summer but the pool would not potentially open until summer 2018.

Supervisors Board Attorney Scott Slover said the community received one bid for the pool and six bids were received for the support structures. The projects were bid separately rather than together in hopes of bringing costs down.

The pool bid came in at approximately $800,000, Slover said, which was near the estimate. The support structures range from more than $400,000 to more than $600,000, Slover said. Slover said he would have exact amounts today.

Slover said a group including the project architect, Johnny Waycaster, and a representative of the city would get together today to discuss options to recommend to city and county leaders.

Slover said the group would examine the bids and will be looking for items to potentially cut.

“The goal is to get the project under way without raising taxes,” Slover said.

Slover said the build out for the project is expected to be approximately 240 days.

Supervisor President Mike Lazarus said he was disappointed the bids did not get down to the $1 million estimate, as that is what is budgeted for the project — $500,000 set aside from the city and county.

Lazarus said he did not think community leaders were considering scrapping the project because many in the public would like to see the pool, but Lazarus said they would have to get together and discuss where to go from here.

“We will have to decide if we want to put more money into this, and if so, where do we get it from?” Lazarus said.

One option Lazarus said was since this project would likely spill into the 2017-18 fiscal year, to set aside the additional funding required in next year’s budget. Lazarus said the county would dedicate $500,000 for this year and discuss setting aside the remaining amount in next year’s budget.

Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell said he was in favor of moving the pool project forward. Grennell also said since the project would spill over into the next fiscal year that the additional amount required would likely have to come out of the 2017-18 budget.

“We are going to have to sit down and figure out how to come up with the additional funds,” Grennell said. “We will have to look at the additional amount required and get our budgets prepared to accommodate it.”