City nixes repair work
BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Friday, May 10, 2019
A construction contractor linked to a Nash County official will not rebid on a Rocky Mount fire station repair job after the city pulled it off the table following criticism by a city councilman.
Jason Davis, CEO of Turn-Key Contractors and son of Nash County board Chairman Robbie Davis, said he learned a long time ago from his father not to work for someone who does not want you to do the job.
Turn-Key, which has completed more than 60 jobs for the city over the years, recently was the lowest bidder on a job to refurbish two stations. Accepting the bid would have saved the city $200,000.
The renovations job received three bids in March with Turn-Key being lowest. Berry Builder Group bid $1.22 million, Calvin Davenport bid $1.21 million and Turn-Key bid $1.02 million.
Turn-Key was the only bidder the first time around and came in as the lowest bidder in the required second round.
Councilman Andre Knight learned from Robbie Davis at the last City Council meeting that Turn-Key was in line to receive the job.
Knight expressed his concern in a Telegram article over Turn-Key’s involvement given Robbie Davis’ role in an attempt to split Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools along county lines and the county’s withdrawal from the Carolinas Gateway Partnership.
Within a few days, the city pulled the repair work off the table.
In evaluating the needs of both Stations 4 and 5, as well as the needs of all other stations, the city is taking a different approach and conducting an assessment of all stations, determining the priority for projects, said Tameka Kenan-Norman, the city’s chief communications officer.
Day-to-day maintenance will be addressed in the adopted budget while city staff assesses needed work at all the stations, Kenan-Norman said.
“If the budget is allocated and once all assessments are completed, the department will then determine a final course of action,” Kenan-Norman said.
Work at Station 4 would include an additional bathroom now that female firefighters operate out of the station. Station 5 is in need of a bay expansion so large trucks can fit inside.
Jason Davis, a volunteer firefighter for 15 years, said Turn-Key will not bid again for the job so work is not stalled again for political reasons.
“I don’t want to hold up the firefighters from what they need,” he said.
Work needed at Fire Station 4 includes reworking toilets to create two single unisex bathrooms; installing a new sprinkler system; repairing and repainting all ceilings; repainting walls and trim; replacing overhead door motors; replacing all existing light fixtures; providing connections for a new extractor and dryer; replacing the kitchen hood; resurfacing the engine room floor with an epoxy and acrylic type; adding exhaust and light to the showers; reworking the exhaust system in the toilets; repairing hose bibs in the engine room; repairing the ceiling in the engine room; replacing the ladder to the mezzanine; replacing the rear door and frame; repainting all exterior frames; relocating the compressor to the mezzanine; repairing concrete at the rear of the engine bays; replacing HVAC systems throughout the building; and spraying foam in the attic, according to a list provided by city staff.
Robbie Davis said the job mostly involved installation of a sprinkler system, which required most of the other work.
Turn-Key Contractors built Fire Station 4 on Fenner Road. Fire Station 5 is on Springfield Road.