The Morristown City Council is moving forward deliberately with plans to build a community center south of the Merchants Greene development in West Morristown.
Councilmembers on Tuesday authorized the architectural firm Lose Design to go from plans that are 35 percent complete to the full monty. Lose Design is also tasked with preparing the bid documents. If all goes as expected, the bid documents will go out in late spring 2020, according to Joey Barnard, assistant city administrator.
Lose will be paid a fee equal to 5.75 percent of the construction cost. In other words, for a $30 million community center – something less than the latest estimate – the architectural firm will receive about $1.73 million. Councilmember Bob Garrett cast the lone dissenting vote
In another costly building-related development on Tuesday, councilmembers agreed to pay slightly more than $56,000 for designing a new roof for the Morrsitown City Center. The current one is leaking and one third-floor, water-related battle is being fought with a large trash can.
Morristown Mayor Gary Chesney was taken aback at the high preparatory cost, but it’s out of his hands. State law mandates that any construction project that exceeds $50,000 must have an engineer’s stamp of approval. Garrett says the law is a testament to the strength of the engineering and construction lobby in Nashville. The ballpark estimate for installing a new roof is $3 million.
Councilmembers voted unanimously to pay The Austin Peters Group $8,500, plus expenses, to conduct a class and compensation study for city employees. Councilmembers opted to fund the study after city government had difficulty hiring skilled mechanics, particularly in the public works department.
City officials also said it was hard to find part-time summer workers at the parks department for $10 an hour.
In other business on Tuesday, councilmembers appointed Carrie Boley to the Morristown-Hamblen Humane Society board. Boley will replace Maxine Craig, who was appointed to fill the unexpired three-year term of Dr. Ian O’Connor.
Charles Hurt, a charter member of the Morristown Regional Airport Commission, is stepping down this year. Amy Hemminger will replace Hurt. Airport commission members are appointed to five-year terms.