Carteret County News-Times

Morehead City Prepares to Award Construction Bids for Neighborhood Revitalization Project

Elise Clouser

May 6, 2021

MOREHEAD CITY — The bids are in for the city’s neighborhood revitalization project that will rehabilitate or rebuild at least five homes damaged by Hurricane Florence in September 2018.

Morehead City was awarded a $750,000 Community Development Block Grant from the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division to help low- to moderate-income families repair or rebuild their homes. The program is administered through the NCDC’s Neighborhood Revitalization Program and the participating homes were identified when city officials applied for the grant in 2019.

The Morehead City Council is expected to award construction bids for the projects during its regular monthly meeting scheduled for Tuesday. Chris Hilbert, project manager with Insight Planning & Development, the city’s consultant on the project, shared an update with the council during its workshop meeting Tuesday.

Two companies bid on the project — B&B Construction of Chocowinity and Paul Woolard Construction Inc. of Bath. B&B was the low bidder on four of the five homes and Paul Woolard was the low bidder on the fifth.

“Both of the contractors that bid have familiarity with our program and what our expectations are, we’ve worked with them for years,” Mr. Hilbert said. “We were hoping to get maybe a few more local contractors but I think a lot of them are busy right now, so at least it’s good that we have some people that are experienced.”

Mr. Hilbert said one of the bids came in about $7,000 under the estimate and the others came in slightly above the estimates. Overall, he said the project is tracking close to the estimated budget.

Seven homes were originally involved in the neighborhood revitalization project, but Mr. Hilbert shared Tuesday one the homeowners is no longer eligible because they moved into a nursing home, and another homeowner has not supplied all the required information to program administrators. He said if both homes drop out of the program, there will be about a $150,000 surplus that could possibly go toward rehabilitation of one or two additional units.

“We may be looking at an amendment where we may add a unit or two depending on the treatment,” Mr. Hilbert said. “…We may be able to do two rehabilitations or one reconstruction with that surplus.”

Two of the homes involve total rebuilds, including demolition and new construction, and the others involve varying degrees of repairs. Mr. Hilbert said the program helps with temporary relocation costs, if needed, while the repairs or reconstruction are ongoing.