Havelock is moving forward with one building project, while another has been delayed.
City commissioners delayed any action on plans for expansion of the animal shelter during their meeting Monday night, but did receive what they said was good news in terms of construction of a new city hall building.
A representative from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development notified the city that American Recovery and Reinvestment Act waivers releasing the city from a strict timeline for construction of the new city hall had been approved.
Mayor Jimmy Sanders said U.S. Reps. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., 1st Dist., and Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., 3rd Dist., contacted the Office of Management and Budget in support of the city’s waiver request.
"If they had not gotten involved, this project was dead on arrival," Sanders said.
Sanders wrote letters of thanks to both legislators.
"Havelock can now proceed with the project knowing that it can do so carefully and in a reasonable time frame to ensure the project is done right," he said in the letter.
Havelock had earlier been approved for a $1.8 million loan/grant package from USDA Rural Development to build a new city hall. When initial plans for the building came in above budgeted costs, commissioners fired the architect and hired a new one. Architect Oakley and Collier is currently working on plans for the building.
While that project is moving forward, the brakes were put on a planned expansion of the animal shelter. Planned discussion of the project during Monday’s meeting was taken off the agenda prior to the start of the meeting.
The city had budgeted $42,600 for the project, but during a second round of bidding for the project, all came in well above the budgeted amount. Diane Miller, city spokeswoman, said staff with city public services is working on a potential contract with a bidder, but that the details of that contract were not yet ready to be presented to commissioners.
The city plans an expansion of the shelter that would allow for more dogs and cats to be kept at the building.
In other business Monday night, the board:
-- approved the city’s share of an Assistance to Firefighters grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to train city firefighters as certified driver/operators of the city’s ladder firetruck. The federal share of the grant is $78,615, while the city will put in $4,137.
-- approved a McCotter Canal Connection contract through the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources 2012 Recreation Trails Program. The project cost is $74,000, and the city’s match is $16,000. The project will include construction of a roughly two-mile trail from the city recreation complex on N.C. 101, along the McCotter Canal on the east end of the city to the vicinity of the Cinema 6 theaters. The plan calls for a small footbridge to be built across the canal, along with solar lighting, benches and trash cans along the path.
-- heard from city Parks and Recreation Director Dave Smith that the state had agreed to disregard a low appraisal for the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund application involving the city’s plans to build a recreation facility on a 47-acre tract at the end of Lewis Farm Road in the future. The move to user a higher appraisal cost allows the city to use the value of the land as a match for trust fund money to help build the facility.
-- heard from Information Technology Director Chad Ives that the state would allow the city to use about $98,000 in 911 funds to replace computer-aided dispatch servers and related equipment at the police department. The city will have to pay about $30,000 to replace the older equipment.
-- appointed Jackie Attaway to a term on the Havelock Planning Board, and appointed Mary Eastman, Agnes Curran-Tonkin, Marlene Lynch, Sherry Hunt and Amber Lewis to terms on the Havelock Appearance Commission.
-- welcomed Ashley Wimberly as the new assistant public services director for the city.