Project manager for new Montevallo firestation resigns

The city of Montevallo hit another snag in its work to construct a new fire station on Highway 119 near Moores Crossroads. The project manager abruptly resigned.

Montevallo city councilmember Bob Lightfoot announced at Monday’s meeting that local builder Bobby Hughes asked that he be removed as the project manager. Hughes had agreed at a meeting earlier this month to serve as manager at no cost to the city.

Lightfoot said Hughes hoped to serve as the project manager and also bid on construction on a part of the project. However, when city officials queried the Alabama Ethics Commission on the legality, they were told such an arrangement was not allowed.

Lightfoot said Hughes then asked to be removed as project manager so as to instead to be allowed to bid.

&uot;The state said Hughes could manage the project but he couldn’t do anything that would make him money on the construction,&uot; Lightfoot said. &uot;We expect he’ll bid now. We have a friendly relationship with him as we do with other builders in the city.&uot;

City officials announced last month their intentions to build the new fire station, at a cost of about $120,000, and have the work done in-house rather than bidding out the project, saving the city thousands of dollars. State law requires municipalities to bid out public works projects exceeding $50,000 and the city had to check the legality of their actions.

Since the project will be broken down into phases,

a state law allows the city to serve as its own general contractor. City officials said they may bid out some larger portions of the project.

Councilmember Bob Lightfoot asked at Monday’s meeting that city superintendent Raymond Cardwell be made project manager to replace Hughes. The council voted unanimously to grant Lightfoot’s request.

Last month, the city finalized the purchase of an acre near Moore’s Crossroads as the site of the new fire station, the second for Montevallo.

Developer Tom Bagley donated the property to the city in exchange for rebates on sewer and water tap fees totaling $19,000 for his Ammersee Lakes subdivision, a credit for $25,700 in future fees and recognition of a $60,000 gift to the city.

As part of the agreement, Bagley also will have input in the look of the future station, which will sit at the entrance of the 44-acre subdivision.

More recently Bagley has asked his architect to design the front of the new station at no cost to the city.

In a related matter, Lightfoot announced at Monday’s meeting that the city is taking bids for the house which sits on the acre where the station will be built. The winning bidder would be required to remove the house and clean up the site. Bids will be received until May 13.

Lightfoot said the house would be an ideal purchase for someone wanting to deconstruct the house for its large amount of valuable wood.

Lightfoot, who has been heading up the effort to build the new station, said the project is progressing after the setbacks.

&uot;I’m learning how frustrating things can be,&uot; Lightfoot said