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CORBIN - The renovation project in the works for Corbin’s Miller Park continues as the Corbin City Commission received an update from Deco Architects, the architectural firm responsible for the renovations, during the commission's monthly meeting Monday evening.

Derek Phillips with Deco Architects informed the board that after a round of high bidding, three suitable bids for the project had been received. The lowest of those three belonged to Corbin’s Stream Restoration Specialist for $2,400,000.

The next lowest bid belonged to OMNI Commercial, LLC out of Lexington, and while Phillips said comparing the two bids wasn’t “apples to apples,” he was able to compare them enough to illustrate that OMNI’s bid was roughly $155,000 more than Stream Restoration’s bid, coming in at $2,550,148. JAB LLC had the third lowest bid at $2,992,960.

Stream Restorations bid includes subcontracting work from Southeast Contracting of Corbin that would handle the project’s concrete. JMK Electric Co. out of Grayson would handle the project’s electrical work, while Stream Restorations would handle the earthwork portion of the project.

Phillips informed the commission that at the current moment, the cost of materials are high, but the cost of labor is low.

“Once we knew that information, we adjusted a bit, and tried to cut back on some of the expensive things,” said Phillips.

Some of the cuts to the project include the removal of lighting along the park’s walking trail. The walking trail itself had to be reduced from six-feet wide to five-feet wide, but Philips did confirm that there would be room to expand the walking trail’s length in the future. The project also saw raised flower beds, but Philips said those have now been lowered to ground level.

“That saved us about 25-30 percent off of our bids,” noted Phillips. “So a few simple adjustments, and we got it back down to what we feel is a very good number. We are very confident that we are delivering a tremendous value at this number.”

Phillips also said the basketball court included in the original design of the project was cut, but that he and other project officials were scheduled to meet with the bidder on Friday, and that he was confident that the inclusion of the court could be negotiated.

The council didn’t take any official action, but decided instead to wait until Phillips met with Stream Restorations later this week to finalize the contract and negotiate the inclusion of the basketball court. Once that is done, a special called meeting will be scheduled for the commission to approve the contract.

The council did approve a request from C. Gail Timperio of the Kentucky Department of Public Health to name the Arena as an alternate care-site facility for the Cumberland Valley Area Developmental District region in case of an emergency.

The memorandum of understanding would allow the Southeast Kentucky Healthcare Coalition to utilize the Corbin Arena in the event of a regional disaster, or catastrophic event that would necessitate the operation of a regional, alternate medical-care site.

“From what I understand, the reason they’re doing this is be because of COVID, to have an alternate care facility incase the hospitals in this region get overwhelmed with patients,” Mayor Suzie Razmus said. “I think it would be advantageous to our community to have it across the street from the hospital.”

The memorandum of understanding went into effect at the time of the council passing the motion, and continues in perpetuity, or until it is terminated by either side. It also sees the old Corbin Civic Center named as a second alternate care-facility if needed.

In other Corbin commission business:

- Mayor Razmus named Zack Horvath, the man who recently completed a personal ultramarathon running 102 miles around the Tri-County area, a Corbin Colonel.

- The commission approved a refund request from the Department for Environmental Protection, Division of Waste Management in the amount of $1,920 for unspent grant funds.

Corbin Recycling Center Director Roger Shelton explained that the funds were not used because of personnel shortages within his department, and that the money was to be used to add lettering and a logo to the back of one the department’s trucks. However, due to the pandemic, the company responsible for adding the lettering had not been open.

- The commission approved and authorized Mayor Razmus to sign a line of credit at Hometown Bank.

- The commission agreed with City Manager Marlon Sams’ recommendation to not follow the governor’s recommendation of waiving the upcoming yearly fees for bars and restaurants renewing their alcohol license.

“My recommendation is that we don’t do that. We have a budget set aside for that. We also gave restaurants a big break this past year,” explained Sams. “Some cities are doing it. I’ve talked with several city managers, most of them are not. I recommend we don’t do it,” he added.

“To me this feels like defunding the police because the alcohol money funds the police department,” noted Mayor Razmus. “So I’m not for it either.”

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