Ridgeway council awards highest bid for foundation repair

RIDGEWAY – After a member of one of Ridgeway’s founding families announced his plans to gift an historical building to the Town for a museum, town council approved a bid during the Oct. 12 council meeting to repair the building’s foundation.

The winning bid, $38,655.53 from Southern Reflections Building & Remodeling, was more than five times greater than the other two bids submitted – Mount Valley Foundation bid $6,895.51 and RamJack bid $7,530.

Former Ridgeway Mayor Charlene Herring, who handled the bid process for the project, presented the bids to council last week and recommended that they approve the highest bid.

“Southern Reflections is the best way to go” based on their experience in dealing with historical buildings and the attention they paid to details of all the ramifications during their on-site inspection, Herring told council.

Without any discussion about the three bids, council voted 5-0 to accept Southern Reflections’ bid.

“The bid requests were delivered verbally to each bidder as they were each given separate walkthroughs of the building,” Mayor Heath Cookendorfer said. In addition, he said there was no formal bid opening.

The two smaller bids were both dated Sept. 27, 2023.  Southern Reflections’ bid was dated two weeks later on Oct. 10, 2023.

According to the Cookendorfer, the Town’s amended Purchasing Ordinance 4-1005, does not require the Town to issue or post a formal written RFP for bidders, but bids are required for purchases over $1,500. The ordinance calls for “ample opportunity for competitive bidding or request for proposal (RFP).”

Cookendorfer said the Town will be sending out three other bids for the interior finish work on the donated building and that those bids include floor refinishing, painting and electrical work. Those bids, he said, will be requested with a written RFP and that all bids will be opened at the same time at Town Hall.

The building is being donated to the Town by Lee Thomas to be used, specifically, as a museum for the Town.  It is located behind Laura’s Tea Room and facing Church Street.

Thomas said the building and property have been owned by his family for nearly 150 years. It was built in approximately 1875 and was established as a mercantile business. He said the building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Council is to apply for a grant with Fairfield County to help pay for the cost of the foundation repair, Cookendorfer said. Another possible source of funding for the project, he said, is money that was left over from the Town’s ARP award during COVID.

In preparation for the grant application, Herring reported on a personal survey she conducted of Town merchants that determined an average of 1,000 customers visit their stores on a weekly basis.

In Other Business

Unanimous approval was given to hire Sheldon, Hancock, & Godwin, LLP to process the Town of Ridgeway’s bi-weekly and quarterly payroll at an estimated cost of $175 per month or $2,100 annually. Payroll was previously handled in-house.

Council voted 5-0 to accept a proposal by Rykeesha Moore to organize a food truck festival for the Town with the proceeds going to a selected charity. Council did not approve a January, 2024 date for the festival but wants to set a date at a later time.

Without discussion, council voted to strike from the agenda a second and final reading of Ordinance 2023-9-14, An Ordinance to Re-establish a Police Department in Ridgeway until a public hearing can be held.

First reading was approved to amend Ordinance 2-1008 [An Ordinance Declaring Unsightly Height of Weeds and Grass a Nuisance in the Town of Ridgeway] to include a monetary fine of $300 if a property is found to be non-compliant within 14 days of a notice.

A presentation was made to acquaint the council with the Lexpol Program of Policy and Procedures for Law Enforcement. While impressed with the program, council members said they will keep the potential purchase in mind if the greater need arises.

Council approved the purchase and distribution of 100 holiday greeting cards by the Town of Ridgeway for 2023 at a cost of $188.85 for the cards.

The September Police Report was given by Councilman Rick Johnson to include a total of 49 tickets given and 55 cases adjudicated at the Municipal Court. Johnson said a grant had been approved for purchase of a body camera, costing $2,337, for Ridgeway’s police officer.

Cookendorfer said he thinks Ridgeway is quickly approaching the need for annexation discussions due to increasing development associated with Scout Motors EV in Blythewood. He expressed the need for Ridgeway “to get our piece of the pie,” through impact fees, taxes, and water and sewer services.

He said he still wants Ridgeway to be able to protect its historic district and historical appeal.

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]