EHDA approves construction contract

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Several construction projects will start soon in the Elizabethton Housing and Development Agency communities after the EHDA Board of Directors approved a contract with a Virginia construction company to do the work.

The board unanimously approved the contract for $326,000 with Inland Construction Inc. to repair porches and roofing on apartments, resurface streets in the Rolling Hills community and resurface or repave playgrounds and basketball courts in South Hills Estates and Rolling Hills.

The EHDA will combine this year’s available funding of $168,000 with $157,000 left over from last year’s projects to help cover the cost of the needed projects.

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“We came in way under bid for last year’s projects,” EHDA Director Kelly Geagley said. “We knew we would probably need that this year, so we saved it and let it carry over. We are combining it with what we have this year because if we didn’t, then there wouldn’t be enough.”

Part of the construction cost will be used to repair the road surfaces which were damaged during utility line repairs. The board discussed this issue last month and felt the city of Elizabethton should be responsible for the street repairs since the city owns both the streets and the utilities.

The board agreed to have EHDA’s attorney Tom Banks to meet with city leaders to find a solution to the problem and the board received an update on the findings.

“The city did agree that the own the streets and the utilities,” Geagley said. “There is an ordinance that says if you dig up the street then it is your responsibility to fix it back. Their contention is since we dug up the street to repair the lines then we have to repair it. So, it looks like some of our capital project funds will be used for that.”

Another portion of the work is to extend a porch cover on apartment buildings in the Rolling Hills apartment community.

The current cover does not extend far enough and when there is rain or snow the moisture seeps along the edge of the building, Geagley said.

The final portion of the construction projects will be to repave or resurface playground areas in the Rolling Hills community and the basketball court in the South Hills community.

The board also approved the 2014 audit, which came back with no finding or recommendations.

A change to the rent collection policy was approved that now allows tenants up to six months to repay balances over $50. Extended time can be given if the tenant has made a payment agreement and is working to pay back the balance, Geagley said.

“This policy allows them more time to make the payments, and if they are trying it gives us the ability to work with them,” he said.