Council chooses City Hall Contractor

Council chooses City Hall Contractor

By John Brasier, Editor

J.M. Wilkerson Construction of Marietta was the Hartwell City Council’s choice to build a new City Hall facility, pending a formal agreement.
City council members voted 4-2 on Nov. 18 to make Wilkerson its top choice among three finalists .
Council member Tray Hicks, who motioned for the vote on Wilkerson, pointed out that Wilkerson submitted the lowest bid and promised that locals would be hired to do much of the work.

“This company gave a far better presentation,” Hicks said. “Wilkerson presented themselves as a company that could do the work and presented themselves as a company that’s in the best interest of the city.”

City manager David Aldrich said an exact price would not be known until a formal agreement was reached. Council member David Little said Wilkerson’s estimated price was about $250,000 less than that of Trehel Corportation of Clemson, S.C., the council’s second choice.

The conceptual drawing presented by Wilkerson to the city council has obvious differences from the plans by Trehel, which was hired by the city to draw plans for a feasibility study.

The Wilkerson plan features a prominent entrance with four columns and a clock tower. Wilkerson’s presentation is available for viewing at the current City Hall and at the Hart County Library., though Aldrich stressed that the plans are not final.

Trehel would be negotiated with if an agreement could not be reached with Wilkerson. Council members Sarah Mayfield, Van Senkbeil and Arthur Craft joined Hicks in voting for Wilkerson. Little and Billy Ethridge favored Trehel.

The council received presentations from the finalists earlier in the month.

“I listened to all three companies and based on the information they provided in that meeting was how I made my decision,” Hicks said.

The Wilkerson plan includes a one-story area with high ceilings, a two-story area and a drive-through lane. There are three “holding cells” for prisoners.

“We’re close to reaching an agreement with the county to take our prisoners,” Little said.

The entrance would be on the corner of Carter and Howell streets. Among possible changes mentioned were a reconfiguring to allow parking closer to the main entrance and a rear entrance for the police department.

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