Granite Quarry awards FEMA contract for Granite Lake Park

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 20, 2021

GRANITE QUARRY — Work on a major restoration project at Granite Lake Park is expected to be underway shortly.

Town Manager Larry Smith told the board the lake would be prepared to be drained immediately after the construction contract for the project was approved last Monday. Sealed bids were opened on March 30 and the board approved RPM Partners as the contractor for the project with a low bid of $547,618.50.

Two other bidders, North State Environmental and Carolina Siteworks, came in with significantly higher bids at $685,00 and $1.1 million, respectively.

Mayor Pro Tem John Linker asked Smith why there was such a large gap in the bids, though he knows the town went through standard due diligence.

Smith said the company specializes in this kind of work and seemed to know these kind of projects inside and out during a site visit. RPM is a Kernersville-based general contractor.

The project is grant funded, with 75% of the funding is coming from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and 25% from the N.C. Division of Emergency Management.

Awarding the contract came with an amended project ordinance changing the total appropriation from the project from $697,815 to $768,381. The change was caused by construction costs increasing from $82,500 and engineering costs decreasing by $20,000. The increased total cost required $8,000 in additional contingency funding as well.

Smith said the project engineer recommended the lake be dried out as quickly as possible and the fished moved. The town held a fish for fun event on Saturday at the lake and anglers were allowed to keep what they caught.

“We might just put a big grill out there or something,” Smith joked.

Kim Cress asked if it would be a good time to treat piers at the lake while it was drained.

“That would be an opportune time to do that,” Cress said.

Smith said the town would look into it. The motion to award the contract was approved unanimously.

The project is more than two years in the making after the park was damaged by Hurricane Florence in 2018. The flooding caused banks near the lake to erode. At the time, FEMA estimated it would cost $750,000 to repair the park and future-proof it so a similar event would not damage it again.

Smith has been updating the board about the project at almost every meeting since as it has waited for it to move through FEMA’s processes. Last year, the board said the grant for the project was high priority.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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