Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

April 30, 2013

Courthouse project timeline approved

Commissioners OK process to get bids on restoration

By Bob Belcher
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — The next steps in the proposed Navarro County Courthouse restoration project were approved Tuesday in an afternoon meeting of the commissioners court.

After a question about the wording of the court’s April 25 meeting delayed a vote until Tuesday, commissioners approved a tentative timeline for the bidding and public notice process, and the selection of a “competitive sealed proposal” process for contractors to follow, and authorized the county auditor to advertise for bids as spelled out in the timeline.

Commissioners also approved the hiring of Don Gonzales of the Estrada Hinojosa firm of San Antonio to serve as the project’s financial advisor, to assist the county in the preparation of financial proposals for its share of the cost of the work.

The timeline approved Tuesday calls for the placement of advertising for bids on May 4 and May 11; plan availability for contractors on May 7; a pre-bid conference on May 13; a walk-through for contractors and sub-contractors on May 20; and a final bid date of June 5.

The adopted timeline also calls for a vote on June 24 on the issuance of a certificate of obligation issue to fund the county share, triggering a 30-day window for citizens to file a petition calling for an election to vote on the certificate issue. A verified petition signed by 5 percent of the county’s registered voters submitted to the court by July 24 would require the county to hold an election in November on the certificate issue, should the county wish to continue with the project.

Tuesday’s meeting also found Commissioner James Olsen objecting to the agenda wording that contained the phrase “including but not limited to” in reference to the court’s approval of the bidding timetable. Olsen voted no on the issue, based on its wording.

“What does that include, when you say ‘not limited to,’” Olsen said following the meeting. “I don’t think (the phrase) belongs in an agenda item. That sounds very, very broad to me.”

Olsen, who voted yes to all other items on the agenda, said he would have voted yes on the timetable too, had it not been for the “not limited to” phrase.

“That is really broad for an agenda item to say ‘not limited to’ because that includes everything.”

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Bob Belcher may be reached by email at bbelcher@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com