Moore County Board of Commissioners held their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday.

The board discussed an issue with the bid for the construction of the new Southern Pines Elementary School, which is scheduled to open in 2020.

The current low bidder for construction withdrew their proposal Monday after discovering mathematical miscalculations in their bid. Accepting the second lowest bid, which was submitted by Monteith Construction of Raleigh, will result in an approximately $2.68 million shortfall.

Opening up the project for new proposals would delay the construction until after the start of the 2020 school year. In a presentation to the board, Moore County Schools Superintendent Dr. Bob Grimesey recommended accepting the second lowest bid.

Several of the factors he considered was it is unlikely that any additional proposals would be lower than the current bids since the process has resulted in the proposals being made public.

Complicating the process was a deadline of noon Wednesday that Montieth construction had stipulated as they were in the process of submitting a bid on a different project and lacked the resources to tackle two projects simultaneously.

The commissioners requested that the funds from the sale of the four schools being replaced would come back to the county. As Mike Bundy, Moore County Schools Executive Officer for Budget and Finance, explained that by statue the funds would come to the school board, but could be kept separate and earmarked for future capital projects.

The commissioners voted 5-0 to approve awarding the bid while requesting that the school district make every attempt possible to curtail the costs.

In other business, The Sandhills Center is a Local Management Entity-Managed Care Organization (LME-MCO) serving people in nine counties in central North Carolina. They have a robust network of providers who offer treatment and support for mental health, substance abuse, and intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Moore County Finance Officer Caroline Xing presented a quarterly financial report showing that the center’s revenue was the quarter ending December 31, 2018, was $154,349,748 with expenditures of $159,653,508 resulting in a budget shortfall of $5,303,760 which will be made up for by use of the center’s fund balance.

Over the last few years, the center has built up a significant fund balance, and the state reduced funding this year to allow some of the access balance to be utilized.

In other business, the council approved a request for the purchase of five compact trucks to replace five vehicles that had over 150,000 miles. The winning bid was submitted by Fred Anderson for $126,565 who will deliver the trucks by the end of June. The existing vehicles will be sold as surplus.

The board scheduled a public hearing for March 19 to consider a rezoning proposal for the land adjacent to North Moore High School to allow for the construction of an auxiliary gym, classrooms, and bathrooms. That meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

The next regular Moore County Commissioners Meeting is March 19 at 5:30 p.m.

Feature photo: Artist rendering of the new Southern Pines Elementary School courtesy of Moore County Schools.

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Local News/Government Reporter Chris Prentice.

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