POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Commission has awarded the bid for interior renovations to the old Point Pleasant Hardware building.
Upon the recommendation of the project’s engineering firm, Chapman Technical Group, the commission unanimously voted to accept the bid of $1,360,900 from Lombardi Development Company of Follensbee at its regular meeting on Thursday. The Lombardi bid was the lowest of seven bids received.
Joe Bird, of Chapman Technical Group, said work on the building will begin May 7 with asbestos abatement. The entire renovation should take nine months to complete. Work will include installing a new elevator shaft at the back of the building, demolition and removal work on the inside followed by the finish work. When all is said and done, the first floor of the building will be the home of the new sheriff’s department with the second floor being used for county storage. The third floor also has considerable storage space as well as an apartment which the county is looking into possibly renting for additional income.
A few years ago, the Village of Pomeroy in Pomeroy, Ohio, purchased a property for the new municipal building with village offices on one side of the building and an auto parts business on the other side of the building. The tenant allowed the village to make the monthly payment on the new building. However, it currently remains undecided if renting the apartment will be a go for the commission.
In terms of financing this remodel, County Administrator John Gerlach said he is looking into possibly issuing a bond or getting a loan. In terms of a loan and line of credit, he is consulting with local banks for the lowest bid on a 20-year loan. It may be around six to 10 weeks before financing options are finalized and until then the county will pay for expenses up front as needed.
Commissioner Rick Handley stressed to Lombardi personnel that the commission wanted them to use local labor and local vendors when at all possible. Commissioner Tracy Doolittle said she and Gerlach had met with Lombardi personnel before the meeting and provided them a list of local vendors and what they offered. Lombardi personnel will also be meeting with the commissioners every second and fourth Thursday of the month through the duration of the project to provide updates and information.
Depending on the weather, the new sheriff’s department should be moved by next March.