City rejects Sphar project bid

The one bid for rebuilding the Sphar building was officially rejected Tuesday, clearing the way for th project to be rebid.

At the Winchester Board of Commissioners’ previous meeting, Winchester City Manager Matt Belcher recommended rejecting the bid for the project as it was incomplete. A second bid was submitted late and could not be considered.

Belcher said he hopes to readvertise the project next week and have bids by the end of September.

The city and county have been working for a couple years on a project to renovate and repurpose the 137year-old former warehouse on North Maple Street. The city purchased the building in 2014 for $100,000 after it had fallen into disrepair and was subject of several code violations.

So far, about $1.9 million has been secured for the project through grants and pledged funds. Architects said in February 2017 stabilizing the building and turning it into office space would cost about $2 million, with $730,000 in metal work and masonry.

Earlier this year, a section of the roof fell in and damaged part of the brick facade.

At this point, plans call for the building to house a welcome center and office space for the industrial development authority, tourism and the chamber of commerce. There would be space for other tenants as well.

In other action Tuesday, the commissioners:

— approved the second reading of an ordinance setting motor vehicle and water craft tax rates at 19.5 cents per $100 value. The rate has not changed in 34 years, Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner said.

— approved the first reading of an ordinance to rezone property at 300 E. Washington St. from residential R-1D to highway business B3.

— accepted a grant of $179.048 from the U.S. Office of Homeland Security for exhaust-capturing equipment at the city’s three fire stations. The city must provide a 5 percent match of $8,952.

— approved the road paving program for fiscal year 2019.

— approved the second reading of an ordinance to amended to job description for city treasurer.

— transferred Rebecca Power from parking enforcement to code enforcement within the Winchester Police Department.

— hired Chris Cantor, William Marrero, Sara Rucker, Robert Moyer and Shane Long as patient transfer specialists.

— hired Gary Newman as communications officer III.

— hired Robert Mott and Travis Thompson as police officer I.

— accepted the resignation of firefighter II/EMT Jeremiah Dunn.

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 fred.petke@bluegrassnewsmedia.com or call 859-759-0051.

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