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County tables bid for new 911 center
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Effingham County commissioners got a bid for the proposed 911 center well under projections, but they still have concerns over the building’s design.

Commissioners tabled accepting a bid from Brunson Construction of Camden, S.C., for the 911 center. Estimates from Lott and Barber architects of Savannah put the price tag at close to $2.3 million, but Brunson’s bid was $275,000 under that, county administrative assistant Adam Kobek said.

Commissioners reiterated their desire for the design of the roof.

“We did say we didn’t want a flat roof, based on the experience we had before,” Chairwoman Myra Lewis said.

Kobek said the roof is pitched and interim County Administrator David Crawley said there was an issue with having a pitched roof and the wind load standards for the building. The 9,500 square foot building is being designed to withstand three-second bursts of 155 mph and will be used as an emergency operations center in the event of a disaster.

Commissioners, citing their experiences with leaking roofs at the county jail and the Department of Family and Children Services, asked if the builder could be held accountable for damage inside the building resulting from roof leaks.

“Any damages caused by a roof leak should be part of that warranty,” Commissioner Hubert Sapp.

Kobek told commissioners his discussions with architect Forrest Lott revealed such warranties are not typically granted. The roof planned for the 911 center carries a 15-year warranty.

“Forrest Lott said he has never seen a roof warranty that covers consequential damages,” Kobek said.

The company that put in the roof at the jail has come down three times to repair the jail, twice at no cost to the county, Kobek said.

Sapp also took issue with the type of roof to be used.

“I don’t like those membrane roofs,” he said. “They are nothing but problems. It tells you they have a problem when there is a 15-year warranty.

The track record on membrane roofs is not very good.”

Sapp pointed to failures in the roof of the DFCS building before its 12-year warranty expired and the resulting leaks that led to replacing walls and carpet. Lewis also worried about continued maintenance costs.

“The cost of maintenance never goes away,” she said. “Our budget is stressed more and more because of maintenance.”