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Nelson Building stabilization to be re-bid

The Bainbridge Downtown Development Authority discussed two economic restructuring projects in the works for 2009 during its meeting held last Thursday, Jan. 15.

The authority reviewed several bid proposals for the partial restoration of the Nelson Building, located at 301 E. Water St.

Repairs to the building will be made to the corner of the structure on the first and second floors to help support and stabilize the building. The construction is to keep the building from further deteriorating and make it more attractive to sell, although there is no current buyer or renter for the property.

Bids for the project were considered from PDC Construction Inc. for $159,000; from Midler Construction for $53,482.30 and Southern Triad Construction for $37,000. The authority tabled the bids to request a full itemized list of expenditures to be included with each bid.

On Jan. 22 the authority held a called meeting to discuss the more in-depth bids including a list of itemized expenditures from each company. It became apparent that the stabilization of the back wall of the Nelson Building was not included in the bids. The authority unanimously voted to reject all three bids and to re-bid for the same scope of work as well as stabilizing the wall.

A stipulation of the bids is that the contractor must be able to perform 51 percent or more of the work themselves and guarantee the work for one year.

Streetscape update

In the Jan. 15 meeting, an update was provided on the progress on Phase II of the downtown Streetscape program. The project, federally funded through the Georgia Department of Transportation with 20 percent of the funds matched by the City of Bainbridge, is for the revitalization of the downtown street aesthetics, which includes the reconstruction of a number of sidewalks, benches and lamp posts.

The Genesis Group was given the task of creating the construction plans for the project.

Phase II will cover the area of Water Street—from Broad Street to Clay and from West to Crawford streets. It also includes West Street—from Water to Calhoun streets, and Broad Street—from Market to Calhoun streets.

Community Development Director Amanda Glover said the plans for Phase II are 90 percent complete and will soon go before the Georgia Department of Transportation for a review period. Recent changes to the plans include the replacement of a number of Savannah Holly trees with Foster Holly trees, which she said are better suited for streets. She also noted that the wooden benches placed around the square as part of Phase I will be replaced with metal benches that will match those used in Phase II and will better withstand the elements. Glover reported Phase II of the project is still on track and bidding out of construction is slated to begin this spring.

Questions were raised about the removal of an area of asphalt in the downtown area to inspect the condition of the bricks that lay beneath, and it was decided that they would look into doing the inspection before Phase II of the project takes place.

The promotion committee reported on the success of the five Christmas holiday events that took place in 2008.

Dit Albritton, Bainbridge Main Street director, reported $3,429.56 in revenue raised for the DDA from the Christmas ornament sales.

The economic restructuring committee also reported two new businesses: Kinsey Hearing Center at 204 S. Broad St. and the reopening of Lashley Auto Center at 203 Shotwell St.