Despite strong objections raised by Exmore Supervisor Robert Duer, Northampton County has green lit County Engineer Chris Thomas to oversee the construction of a new EMS Building.
A somewhat lengthy discussion took place, in which Duer voiced his concern over spending tax payer dollars without having adequate information.
“I am dead against it, I will be voting no. We need better numbers before we make this decision,” explained Duer.
Duer was concerned he hadn’t seen a report on where EMS calls in the County originate from, as well as written plans for the project.
County Administrator Charles Kolakowski also wanted the Board to be aware of possible issues that could arise from allowing Thomas to act as the general contractor and tying up the County’s resources and personnel with the project.
“When they are doing this, other work isn’t going to get done,” explained Kolakowski. “I am completely confident in Chris(Thomas), but we need to go into this with eyes open.”
Allowing Thomas to act as the general contractor would save the County approximately $200,000 for the construction of the new EMS building that would meet the needs of the county. Currently, several of the County’s ambulances and other emergency vehicles sit outside in the elements, which is feared might lower their usable life.
The County put out a bid for the construction of the building at the site on Route 13 in Machipongo, but only one was received with a $548,389 price tag. Board Chairman Spencer Murray also pointed out the funds were coming from bonds issued, which had to be used to fund infrastructure. The County is currently paying interest on the bond money which is sitting unused.
On a 4-1 vote, the Board approved to move forward allowing Thomas to oversee the construction with a $360,000 budget. Any amount over the budget would need to be brought back before the Board for consideration.