Marshall: Minorities need fairness

Marshall: Minorities need fairness
December 22
09:00 2016



As Forsyth County moved forward on its first allocation of voter-approved bond funds, Commissioner Walter Marshall said he wants minority contractors to get their share of the work.

Marshall made his remarks as the commissioners approved measures to implement the first $107.5 million from the bond referendums approved by voters in November.

He said that minority subcontractor participation in past bonds has been low and he wants to see that change.

“This time around, I’m going to make sure if they don’t get it, it’s because they don’t qualify,” Marshall said about minority contractors.

The county follows state goals on the amount of minority and women business enterprise (MWBE) participation that a bidder must have among its subcontractors. The highest bidder that doesn’t meet these goals is often excepted if it meets the standards for “good faith efforts” to recruit minorities.

Commissioner Everette Witherspoon felt the county’s standards were low compared to the city and other local governments.

Both commissioners were pleased with the minority participation in the extensive renovation of the Central Library by Frank L. Blum Construction Co., which Marshall said he worked with to make sure minority contractors were included. The library construction is part of a bond referendum approved by voters in 2014.

This year’s bond referendums were $350 million for public schools, $65 million for Forsyth Technical Community College and $15 million for county parks.

Also during the Monday, Dec. 19, meeting:

*The county agreed to a one-year lease for the top floor of the Forsyth County Public Safety Center, where the Sheriff’s Office is located, to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The vacant floor has 45,407 square feet of office space that is being rented for $136,221. The hospital will use the space to test renovations on its adult emergency department by creating cardboard mock ups of the department.

*The county also agreed to a three-year lease of 1,320 square feet and six parking spaces in the Forsyth County Public Safety Center for $20,790 to the N.C. Department of Public Safety for probation and parole offices for the 21st judicial district.

*The county agreed to a two-year lease of 2,813 square feet at the Forsyth County Agricultural Building for $23,232 to the U.S. Division of Farm Service Agency.

*The county executed the documents to receive $1 million from the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources for the new location of the merged Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem and SciWorks. Half the funds will go to construction and the other half will go to exhibits at the new museum, which will be built on the location of the old Sheriff’s Office.  The county has already approved more $17 million for the project.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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