Hogansville council rejects bids for renovations

Published 7:20 pm Tuesday, December 5, 2017

HOGANSVILLE — The Hogansville City Council voted unanimously to reject all bids for renovations to the amphitheater and Lake Jimmy Jackson after all 10 came back well over budget.

The project is divided into three phases, with phase one coming in at an estimated cost of $559,431. The lowest bid returned was $984,500, while the highest bid was $1,395,469.26.

“Let’s get clear direction on what you want at Lake Jimmy Jackson and also the ampthitheater, refine the bid documents … and put it back out for bid and bring it back up to the council early next year,” said City Manager David Milliron during Monday night’s city council meeting.

The plan for phase one of the project is set to include restrooms, concession stands, a boat dock and kayak dock, a swimming/beach area and parking and access drives at Lake Jimmy Jackson, Milliron said.

Milliron was not part of the original planning for this project as he just started in his position as city manager in September 2017.

A possible addition to the Tower Trail was also factored into bids. The lowest bid for that project was $45,000 and the highest was $90,000.

“When you budget about half a million and the bids are coming in closer to a million, you’re more than a football field apart,” Milliron said.

The bathrooms and concession stand, which included several pieces of expensive equipment, were the biggest costs of phase one.

Milliron told the council that was money he didn’t think the city would ever recoup.

“You would never recover that kind of investment, so when you are looking carefully at where you want to put your recreational SPLOST dollars, I’m just not sure the council thinks $60,000 worth of equipment [is worth it] where they could track down a food truck, or a lot of vendors just roll up and set up camp. Caterers do the same thing,” he said.

The estimated cost of the total project — including all three phases — was over $1.6 million, but that estimate was created in 2016.  The cost is likely to have increased now.

“We aren’t changing the vision of the project,” Milliron said.  “We aren’t slowing down the project. What we are going to do is redesign, most likely the restrooms, and I think in doing so we will get much better bids that are narrower in scope and more in line with our overall budget.”