Contractor Approved For Gordon Shelter Project

By Betsy Finklea
The Dillon County Council approved a contractor for the Gordon Park shelter project at their meeting on Wednesday.
Troika Group of the Carolinas, Inc., owned by Jonathan McLeod, secured the bid.
County Administrator Tim Harper said that the project was bid out. There were four contractors at the pre-bid conference, but at the end of the process, only one bid came in from the Troika Group of the Carolinas. Their bid was $373,000.
The project will be funded with $300,000 that Senator Kent Williams secured for the project and the rest of the money will come from some money that Rep. Jackie Hayes got. Councilman Jamal Campbell told The Herald that due to the length of time it took to get the project approved that the cost of the building materials went up, but Rep. Jackie Hayes was able to get another $75,000 to complete the project.
Harper recommended to council to go ahead and accept that bid. He said he would meet with McLeod to make sure that he had all of the necessary bonds, etc. before signing the paperwork. Upon a motion by Councilman Campbell, the council voted 5-1-1 to approve the contractor. Campbell, Councilman Robbie Coward, Councilman Buzzy Finklea, Councilman Dennis Townsend, and Vice-Chairwoman Detrice McCollum Dawkins, all voted in favor. Chairman Stevie Grice was the opposing vote. Grice stated that he was not opposed to the project, but he thought they needed more bids. Councilman Kenny Cook did not vote. Cook told The Herald he did not vote because he thought they need ed more options on contractors.
The building will include 30 ft. 7 in. by 30 ft. shelter and a 22.5 ft. x 17 ft. kitchen, storage space, and men’s and women’s restrooms.
The project has been a long time coming.
When Councilman Randy Goings represented District One, Gordon Park became the property of the county. Thanks to a donation from The Schafer Foundation, the park playground equipment was purchased. A nice brick sign was also constructed. The park was dedicated on May 14, 2016. Jamal Campbell was at this ceremony. Senator Kent Williams was on the program at this dedication and said at that time that it would be nice to have a picnic shelter at that spot for the community to enjoy. Williams said that the state may possibly be able to help with this, and the public should hold him to it. “You have not because you ask not,” he said. Williams stated that he was looking forward to hearing from someone about this. Years passed, and the leadership in the district changed and then changed again with Jamal Campbell taking over the seat in January 2021. Having been at that ceremony and recording Williams’ comments on his phone, Campbell went to work to make this request for his district from Senator Williams. Campbell got his information together in January and presented it to Williams while the state was working on the budget. The money was allocated in 2021. In a 4-3 vote in the summer of 2021, the council voted to purchase the lot beside Gordon Park for parking as part of the overall improvement project at the park.
Difficulty in determining and agreeing on what type of structure to put at the park and other issues led to the delays in bidding out the project and construction.
The project is expected to get underway in the next couple of weeks.

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