Panama City approves $ 14 million for construction projects



PANAMA CITY – Panama City commissioners on Tuesday approved nearly $ 14 million construction projects aimed at improving the quality of life for residents.

The city has awarded Bay County Builders up to $ 112,000 to renovate the AD Harris Gymnasium; Hull’s Environmental Services with $ 129,420 to remove lead paint from historic McKenzie House; Roberts and Roberts, Inc. with $ 568,992.25 for emergency repairs to East Avenue from Nelson Street to Fifth Street; Inland Construction and Engineering with $ 1,347,067 for improvements to Sudduth Park; American Sand and Asphalt with $ 4,400,000 to improve the pavement on Lindenwood Drive; and Royal American Construction Company, Inc. with $ 7,269,014 for the first segment of the Harrison Avenue streetscape reconstruction project.

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“It’s been a long time coming. We worked to get the funding in place, we worked to put the designs in place. And now we’re getting to the point of acting on all of this, ”Panama City manager Mark McQueen said. “These are all the first steps needed to make Panama City the first city in the Florida Panhandle.”

However, one of the projects got a 3-1 vote. Commissioner Josh Street, who gave the dissenting vote, raised concerns over the recommendation of city staff for the first segment of the streetscapes project, which was initially estimated to be around $ 2.5 million, and then to approximately $ 4 million and was awarded Tuesday at $ 7.2 million.

“It’s a really big jump. I think that estimate is quite reasonable – the one the staff came up with, ”he told the commission and staff. He later added, “I don’t want to throw the box on the ground, but at the same time, I want to be responsible with the taxpayer’s money. And this is a great, great number.

Mayor Greg Brudnicki and Commissioner Billy Rader highlighted the rising costs of materials, as well as the intricacies involved in the quarter-mile project.

“We don’t know all of the extenuating circumstances, but we do know that everyone is busy right now, everyone is looking for contractors. And the prices of everything we do… the cost of construction has gone crazy, ”Brudnicki said. “When we looked at $ 4 (million) or $ 5 million on this, it was wishful thinking, we were hoping.”

The scope of the project includes the reconstruction of Harrison Avenue from Government Street to Fourth Street, and the reconstruction of side streets, including Government Street, Beach Drive, Oak Avenue and Fourth Street. The main works include the replacement of the water and sewer infrastructure, the laying of paving stones, the widening of sidewalks and the installation of soil cells, landscaping, irrigation, lighting. and signage, according to city documents. Construction is expected to begin within 45 days and be completed next year, officials said.

“(Initially) there were some things that were overlooked; I can’t identify what they were, ”Rader said. “And I understand… I’m the first person who wants to save every dollar we can, I would do the same. We’ve come this far… people have come meeting after meeting. With the escalating prices, I don’t see how you are going to make it cheaper.

Drone photos of Harrison Avenue in downtown Panama City.  Photo shows Harrison from Government Street looking northeast towards Fourth Street.

And Street took the same tone with a Lindenwood pavement improvement project. The project was estimated at around half of the $ 4.4 million that was awarded at Tuesday’s meeting. The scope of the project includes the replacement of the roadway and all utility infrastructure over 2,250 feet of Lindenwood Drive.

“It’s another double of where we were,” Street said. “My comments are the same: we have a supply problem. This one, as I understand it, this one took a long time to come.

He said city staff should focus on developing a more efficient procurement process, which will attract more bids. Only one eligible bid was submitted for the Streetscape and the Lindenwood Drive Project.

McQueen responded, noting that the city had advertised in its usual way, by newspaper, emailing contractors registered with the city and posting a notification on the city’s website. He said the process was carried out in accordance with city procurement procedures and was not carried out according to local preferences.

Nonetheless, Street asked staff to provide an update on their procurement process that would be on the agenda for the next meeting.

“I just want to draw our attention to the fact that it’s not so much about this project here or this one… I think we have a bigger problem that we need to solve because it’s less than three. Quarters of a mile we’ve spent almost three-quarters of all of our surtax dollars we’ve collected over the past four years, ”Street said.

Projects, descriptions, costs and sources of funding, by city of Panama City:

AD Harris Gymnasium Renovation – awarded to Bay County builders

Scope of the project: Renovate the gymnasium with the aim of reintegrating the site into an active and complete facility for training programs, tutoring and individual sports. This project mainly involves renovations to include the replacement of the gymnasium floor, the installation of two new basketball hoops, the installation of a basketball / multisport scoreboard, the padding, the bleachers and the extension of the land from half to full.

Cost: Not to exceed $ 112,000, funded by the proceeds of the FEMA rental of AD Harris in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael

Harrison Avenue reconstruction segment 1 (streetscapes) – awarded to Royal American Construction Company, Inc.

Scope of the project: Reconstruction of Harrison Avenue from Government Street to Fourth Street and reconstruction of side streets to include Government Street, Beach Drive, Oak Avenue and Fourth Street. The main works include the replacement of the water and sewer infrastructure, the laying of paving stones, the widening of sidewalks and the installation of soil cells, landscaping, irrigation, lighting. and signage.

Cost: $ 7,269,014, funded by the Bay County Infrastructure Surtax and US bailout funding

McKenzie House Decrease in lead – awarded to Hull’s Environmental Services

Scope of Project: Remove lead paint from all elevations of historic McKenzie House and re-paint.

Cost: $ 129,420, financed by insurance.

Sudduth Park Improvements – awarded to Inland Construction and Engineering, Inc.

Scope of the project: Reconstruction of Sudduth Park which includes a new baseball field, parking lot, pavilion, fencing, lighting, landscaping and other associated amenities.

Cost: $ 1,347,067, funded by FEMA 428 project funds and proceeds from the sale of 1701 Tyndall Drive.

Lindenwood Drive Pavement Improvement – awarded to American Sand and Asphalt

Scope of Project: Reconstruction of existing road, drainage infrastructure, and water and sewer utilities for Lindenwood Drive, approximately 2,250 linear feet. In general, the roadway and all public service infrastructure will be replaced in the same location as the existing one. The infrastructure of the storm drains will be replaced and upgraded, connecting to the existing systems at the right-of-way.

Cost: $ 4,400,000, funded by the Bay County Infrastructure Surcharge and a repayable grant from the Florida Department of Transportation in the amount of $ 500,000.

Emergency repairs at East Avenue – awarded to Roberts and Roberts, Inc.

Scope of the project: Repair East Avenue from Nelson Street to Fifth Street before the opening of the Panama City Port Authority’s new facility, as well as prevent further damage and more expensive repairs to the pavement with increased traffic to and since the new installation

Cost: $ 568,992.25, funded by a contribution of $ 250,000 from the Panama City Port Authority. The city will pay the remaining $ 318,992.25 with Bay County infrastructure surcharge funds.


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