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The Bella Vista City Council approved contracts for construction management for upcoming capital projects -- which were approved by voters earlier this year and will be paid for with a municipal bond to be paid off with a 1 percent city sales tax -- during its Monday, May 18, work session.

Two of the contracts are with Clinard Construction for management services related to the planned fire training facility and rebuild of Fire Station 3, while a third is with Nabholz Construction Company for services related to the planned public safety facility, which will include the police department, dispatch center and court facility.

Mayor Peter Christie explained that city staff interviewed three potential companies for all three projects and selected these two based on their prior experience, including work in Bella Vista.

These firms will work on the city's behalf throughout the project, he said.

Christie said that while Clinard was selected for both fire projects, the contracts are separate and the two projects will be handled separately.

The firm previously worked as the city's construction manager during the construction of Fire Station 4, which concluded in 2016.

"He easily saved us an amount of money that was greater than his fees," he said.

A maximum price will be determined after construction drawings are complete, and the city can expect to see drawings and a final price for these services around the end of the year, he added.

Ideally, he said, construction management can save the city money and these projects can come in under budget. The city will be working to ensure the buildings are functional without superfluous components, he said.

These projects will have a wide array of timelines as they proceed through the various steps, but a completion date is nearly impossible to produce today. A lot can happen during the project to affect the overall timeline and the city needs to be flexible, he said.

The council also approved a resolution of intent regarding these capital improvements, under which the city may spend money for these projects now, to be reimbursed when the bond is finalized -- currently expected in September.

"This is very normal in a bond process," Christie said.

Staff attorney Jason Kelley said this resolution was prepared by the city's bond counsel.

"This allows you to go ahead and start spending some of the money toward the bond projects out of what you've got," he said. "It lets you get started on a bond project before the bond is issued."

Councilmember Steve Bourke said he was concerned this may put pressure on the city's reserves during a time when income could be reduced by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Peter Christie said he wasn't particularly concerned because the bills the city may be looking at are likely to be related to consulting and other relatively small parts of the projects' overall price tag.

"I'm not anticipating that we're going to have to hit the reserves very hard at all," he said. "The heavy costs are once you start building."

The council also examined an ordinance amending the city's dog licensing requirements and approved the rezoning of a parcel off Arkansas Highway 279 from RE residential estate to RO residential office, a new three-year lease for the city's court facility and appointments to the tree advisory board and advertising and promotion commission.

General News on 05/20/2020

Print Headline: Council approves construction management for major projects

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