City likely to re-bid for Sphar project

Published 10:08 am Tuesday, August 7, 2018

City officials may have to re-bid the Sphar building project after receiving only one incomplete bid for the project.

Winchester City Manager Matt Belcher said the city actually received two bids, but one was turned in after the 1 p.m. deadline and could not be considered.

The other bid, submitted by Churchill McGee from Lexington, listed only “to be determined” instead of amounts for the base bid and four alternates.

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On a separate sheet for CDBG funding, it listed a $2.11 million base bid and $1 million for each of the alternates.

“This is a big project,” Belcher said. “The condition of the building is certainly not that great. There are a lot of unknowns.”

Monday, Belcher said he would have to consult with state officials before making the next step. The city of Winchester received a $1 million Transportation Enhancement grant and Clark County was awarded a $500,000 community development block grant for the project. The Greater Clark Foundation also pledged $350,000 in matching funds.

“We’ve let the state folks know,” Belcher said. “More than likely, we’re looking at a re-bid situation. Hopefully we’re looking at a seven- to 21-(day window).”

The former seed warehouse on North Main Street has been vacant and in poor repair for a number of years.

The city purchased the building for $100,000 in 2014. Plans have been presented to the Winchester Board of Commissioners to use part of the space for a welcome center and offices for the tourism commission, chamber of commerce and industrial development authority, among others. There would also be space available for other uses.

In February 2017, architects for the project estimated it would cost nearly $2 million to stabilize the 27,000 square-foot building and open the city offices.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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