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San Jacinto News Times - Local News

Copyright 2017 - Polk County Publishing Company


Building of community shelter makes progress


By Lark Jarvis
San Jacinto News-Times reporter

On Tuesday, May 2, San Jacinto County Commissioners' Court held a special workshop on its long overdue community shelter project. "There's no question that we have enough money to complete the project. I don't want that to be a concern," said David Waxman, David Waxman, Inc. land planner. The project was funded by grants administered by the state of Texas, and as such, explained County Engineer Paul Bass, the county's choice of contractors was limited. Mega Prime Construction of Fort Worth began the project, but has been replaced. Multiple cities, including Arlington, have sued Mega Prime. In addition, multiple subcontractors who worked with Mega Prime are now also suing them for non-payment and breaches of contract. According to Waxman, Mega Prime violated the Davis- Bacon Act, a federal law relating to fair payment of workers, and "every (construction- related law) there was." "That's been cleaned up," Waxman said, "and we did it day after day after day — we, and the Department of Labor worked on it." Waxman cited numerous examples of Mega Prime construction not following specs. The county has replaced Mega Prime with Rusk-based Barry and Clay Construction, which has experience finishing projects that have been trouble- plagued. The county is now exploring bids for concrete and asphalt to finish the building's parking lot. "I want to make the public aware that engineers are on site, and we're hashing this out," said Mark Nettuno, Precinct 4 Commissioner. The shelter is intended to serve as both a community center and a shelter that can be used during disasters, such as hurricanes. It can shelter up to 200 people. In order to feed that many people, the shelter will need a commercial stove, and the commissioner's court is making sure that one is installed before the building is complete. Much of the workshop consisted of commissioners trying to answer the question, "Who signed off on improperly done work?" It was agreed that the responsibility for signing off on completed work is the responsibility of the architectural firm. Lufkin-based architectural firm Goodwin Lasiter Strong continues as the project's architect. "The job of the architect or engineer is to see that we have gone through proper procurement— accountable for plans and specifications as drawn, and inspect to see that we are getting what we asked for," Waxman said. It is estimated that the project could be completed in six weeks. Waxman stressed that the state must see that the building has been completed before it will consider funding projects related to access roads around the project.


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