Wise Co. contract signed
The contract is signed, and work will commence on construction of the new Wise Co. industrial building within the next few days.
The Rector City Council authorized Mayor Ron Kemp to sign a contract with Big M Construction of Jonesboro during a special meeting Monday afternoon.
The company was the low bidder during the bid opening on Thursday, March 13, and the council took the contract under advisement during a special meeting Wednesday, March 19.
During the meeting, adjustments were made during talks with architect Ken Stacks, Big M owner Jim McDaniel, Wise president Jimmy Freudenberg and Wise executive vice president Mike Yon. Fifteen items were eliminated, reducing the contract by approximately $78,212 for a final total of $2,198,988.
Kemp announced Monday the city will be receiving an additional $100,000 from the Arkansas Department of Economic Development (ADED), which was presented to him and Industrial Committee member Richard Simmons Friday in Little Rock.
The funding is based on on Wise's guaranteeto increase the number of jobs at the Rector plant.
"Wise Co. has committed to 25 more jobs in addition to what was in the original agreement," the mayor said.
It will increase the number of employment positions at the facility to 140.
To date, ADED has granted Rector a total of $900,000 toward construction of the new industrial building.
The council approved a resolution to place the city's lease fees from Wise Co. into an industrial development fund to be used for future economic projects in Rector.
A notice to proceed was issued, and Stacks said Big M now has 10 days to begin on-site work. He said he hopes the contractor can begin as soon as next Monday.
Stacks said the contract stipulates work be completed in 210 days unless there are "legitimate reasons" for extensions and should be completed on or before Oct. 30.
"Once he gets the building up and the walls enclosed and the lights on," a significant portion of the work is done, Stacks said, and some industrial equipment can be set up.
Also present at Monday's meeting were Basil Julian of ADED; Janet Lee, grant administrator with the East Arkansas Planning and Development District; and representatives from the project's subcontractors.
They were also present for a pre-construction meeting held following the council meeting, where general guidelines were discussed.
Kemp thanked Julian for his assistance in the project.
The original Wise Co. building on Highway 49 was destroyed by fire in early September 2002. The company has temporarily relocated to an industrial building in Kennett.
A groundbreaking for the new facility will be held in approximately two weeks.