Atlantic Beach hires firm for pre-construction services for municipal complex

A concept image depicts the proposed public safety and administration complex for which the Atlantic Beach council Monday hired Thomas Construction to provide pre-construction services. (Atlantic Beach graphic)

ATLANTIC BEACH — The town council has selected Thomas Construction to perform pre-construction services for the new municipal complex building.

The council met via Zoom Monday for its regular council meeting, during which the council unanimously approved Thomas Construction’s pre-construction service terms, which includes a fee of $52,500, to be paid from the town’s contingency fund. The services are for the council’s proposed public safety and administration complex, at the site of the existing town hall, fire station and former public works building to house the town’s administration staff, police and fire/EMS departments.

Town Manager David Walker said Tuesday in an email to the News-Times pre-construction services mean Thomas Construction will work with Hobgood Architects, the firm the council hired to design the complex, for 90 days and create specs to advertise and open for sealed bids on construction. They’ll also come up with a guaranteed maximum price.

“Then, we have the option of entering a contract to build at that price,” Mr. Walker said. “If it goes over, the contractor eats the overage. If it’s less, we both split the savings 50/50.”

The council also unanimously approved a resolution to use the construction manager at-risk method of construction administration, meaning the construction manager is hired at an agreed-upon, fixed price. Any additional costs over the project’s budget must be covered by the managing company at its expense.

“We think this method is well-suited for this project,” Mr. Walker said during the meeting. “The construction manager will be bonded and held to the final price.”

All the councilmen were on-board with the construction manager at-risk approach. Mayor Trace Cooper said the council thinks it will “result in a better value building for all.”

Councilman Harry Archer said the project is “the largest financial obligation any (Atlantic Beach) council has undertaken.”

“This (method) is one way to known everything is going to the project,” Mr. Archer said, and the project’s budget won’t include “padding” for the manager.

In other news at Monday’s meeting, the council received a status report on the fiscal year 2020-21 proposed budget. Mr. Walker said they’re working on the final draft of the proposed budget.

“This has been a challenging year in creation of the budget,” he said.

Among the challenges town staff has had include the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic on the economy, the county tax office’s recent property revaluation and reval appeals being filed due to storm damage from hurricanes Florence in 2018 and Dorian in 2019.

Mr. Walker said in his email Tuesday town staff proposes maintaining the current ad valorem property tax rate of 18 cents per $100 of assessed property value.

According to his report Monday, property values in Atlantic Beach during the current fiscal year, through March 9, came to $1,538,414,018. After the reval, the total property values rose to $1,762,797,816, an increase of 14.5%.

Based on a tax rate of 18 cents, property tax revenue could increase from $2,628,910 this fiscal year to $3,014,384 next fiscal year, an increase of $385,474.

Mayor Cooper said the council discussed budget items at their work session May 14 and agreed it needed to revisit its policy on necessary fund balances, which will be discussed at the next budget work session at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 9.  

During Monday’s meeting, the council also unanimously approved a resolution adopting the Pamlico Sound Regional Hazard Mitigation plan and the meeting’s consent agenda, which included minutes from the March 23 regular council meeting, a report of refunds to Atlantic Beach Music Festival sponsors due to cancellation, approval and awarding of the 2020-21 debris removal contract to primary contractors A and J Transport Inc. and secondary contractors TFR Enterprises Inc. and approval of a $75,396 contract with Primus Structures Inc. for constructing a public beach access on south Durham Avenue.


Contact Mike Shutak at 252-723-7353, email; or follow on Twitter at @mikesccnt.

(1) comment

Core Sounder

money grows on trees for our gov leaders or so it seems. Guess the idea of a little belt tightening just in case the overall economic situation does not recover as rapidly as some think it will never occurred to our leaders.

Welcome to the discussion.

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