Construction Manager Could be Hard Sell - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

CITY COUNCIL SPLIT ON PROPOSAL

Construction Manager Could be Hard Sell

Council member Eric Dickey says he's not convinced the city needs a construction manager. Dickey says the position creates a middle man, and instead, the contractor should be held accountable for work he does for the city.

"I think one of the things we require is that the contractor have a bond. We have absolute all necessary powers to go after the bonding company or at least force the bonding company to make sure the contractors do their job," Dickey said.

Ward five council member Mike Fitzpatrick says the city's road work is under public works director Jerry Morgan's authority, and that's where it should stay.

"It looks like it's one of two things. Number one, the city administration is totally incompetent and incapable of overseeing the projects, or number two, Jerry Morgan needs help in his department, and we've been trying to or I've been trying for at least four years to get Jerry to hire some more engineers," Fitzpatrick said.

The expense is another reason Fitzpatrick is against the proposal. But Mayor A.J. Holloway says a construction manager could mediate any problems, and keep the city informed of the progress on each project's progress. Council member Tom Wall is also in favor of the proposal, saying a construction manager will give the city purchasing flexibility.

"Buying material and not having to pay the sales tax on it like we do now cause our contract manager can buy these materials, store them for us and we use them as we need them, so a lot of good things about this," Wall said.

Wall says the council should at least try the idea of a construction manager.

By Marcia Hill

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