The Lookout Mountain, Ga., Town Council on Thursday night selected a builder for the long-awaited Town Center and also moved to issue an RFP for a developer for the planned commercial part of the center.
Mayor David Bennett, saying next year will be a banner one for the town, said the Town Center, 12 years in the making, is on schedule to be built during the year. Ground breaking is planned in January or early February.
Two out of the three bids submitted were contenders - the one from DBS Corporation, which bid $3,352,100, and the bid from J&J Contractors at $3,353,587.
More than price was considered when making the choice. DBS has projected the construction would take 250 days to complete and J&J would need 420 days - almost six months more. This timing was the deciding factor for choosing which construction company the city would use since the response time will be a little longer for the fire and police departments while they are in the temporary location farther from the heart of town.
With both bids being over budget, a motion was made to enter into a contract with DBS and negotiate the price down.
On the move to issue a request for proposal for the commercial portion of the Town Center development, officials said consistency is what the council and residents are looking for and that will be an important part of this decision. Part of the RFP will be that each developer will be allowed to make a presentation at a public meeting. .
The town’s employees have already started the move to temporary offices at the Methodist Church, which will officially be open Jan. 2.
Community volunteers Jimmy Campbell and Kenny Lee have found and applied for grants to increase green space and outdoor activities in the town. The money would be used for building trails, parks and gardens throughout the town. An $85,000 grant from Riverview Foundation will be used to build a trail between Fairyland Elementary School and Carter Field. The council unanimously decided to name the trail the Jimmy Campbell Connector Trail. “It’s an incredible honor to award this to you tonight,” said Mayor Bennett while handing him the wooden trail marker. The goal will be to finish the trail by next spring.
The comprehensive plan that will be used to guide the town’s future growth is expected to be finished in 2020. Mr. Campbell has also been a volunteer steering that project.
An update was given from volunteer Wes Hasden, who is in charge of the sewer board. Two pumps have been lost in December. One was struck by lightning and the cost to replace it will be around $24,000 for the equipment and $5,000 to $6,000 for installation and removal of the old one. It is expected that insurance will pay for this pump’s replacement. A seal failure shut down the second pump, which will cost $4,000 to $6,000 to repair. A motion passed to spend up to $35,000 to repair or replace the two pumps, with hope that insurance will replace one.
The town will be getting a new server, which is desperately needed, said the mayor. The council agreed to spending a $100 lease payment per month for five years.
Mr. Campbell is also researching grants for a new fire truck. He found a program that the town will apply for.
The next meeting of the Lookout Mountain, Ga., Town Council will be Jan. 9 at 6 p.m.