Liberty Countians looking for a place to perfect their serves and backhands will have a new venue for that in the coming months, as the Liberty County Board of Commissioners gave the green light Tuesday to $180,432 in recreation-parks work.
The bid covered construction of a new tennis complex at James Brown Park and improvements at Liberty Independent Troop Park, according to County Engineer Trent Long.
The two-court tennis complex — with a cost of $124,014.24 — will be constructed first, though Long didn’t pinpoint a timetable for completion.
Liberty Independent Troop Park and Long Bell Stadium will get improvements worth $56,418 to the basketball court, track field and track area.
The court will be pressure-washed, have its cracks filled and an acrylic resurfacer will be applied before it is repainted, Long said. Similar work will go into the track field and track area, but the work will be completed after track season ends and the tennis court complex is constructed.
Long said there were three bids on the work, and the low bidder was Sikes Brothers Inc. with $180,432.64. The highest bid was from Coastal Site Services with $230,450.01.
Commission Chairman John McIver asked if Sikes was a local company.
“Sikes is not local,” Long said. “They have done several things near here; they’re near Metter.”
He added that the other bidders — Coastal Site Services and Holland and Holland Inc. — are local.
Commissioner Connie Thrift asked for information from County Attorney Kelly Davis about whether they could select one of the local contractors.
“If you folks remember when we adopted your local preference policy, when it comes to matters that are governed by state law, such as this — this is over $100,000 and is governed by the Georgia Public Construction Law — then you don’t have too much flexibility and discretion, especially with bids,” Davis said.
The only time the BoC could grant local preference under that policy is in the case of a tie, Davis said. With future projects, Davis recommended the board use the proposal method, which allows it to factor local preference, rather than the bid method, which requires it to choose to lowest bid that satisfies project requirements.
The board also granted two conditional-use petitions and one special-exception petition presented by the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission.
One of the conditional-use requests was for Fort Morris Road residents to operate a personal-care home for six or fewer residents.
The other request was for Midway Family Dental to offer denture services at a South Coastal Highway facility currently zoned as agricultural-residential. The request was granted with the special condition that the aesthetic appeal of the property must continue to appear residential.
The special-exception petition was to allow a mobile home to be added to a North Coastal Highway property that currently is being used as a church. The petition was granted with the special condition that Environmental Health must approve the well and septic system. Another condition states that the exception is intended only for the applicant; if the property changes hands, the new owner will need to apply for another exception.