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April 13, 2020
MURPHY (April 13, 2020) Amid the widespread inactivity related to the fight to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of contractors working on capital improvement projects financed by the City of Murphy’s most recent bond election continue to operate, albeit under strict health and safety measures.
“Many of our contractor/partners that are still actively working on bond projects are fully cognizant of the City’s stance on preventing the spread of the coronavirus,” says Public Services Director Tim Rogers, whose department oversees the worksite activities. “We’ve impressed on them that social distancing, proper personal protective equipment, frequent hand washing, and disinfecting their handheld tools area all critically important.”
Not all of the projects in the 2018 and 2020 bond programs are at the construction stage. Some are still in the planning stage, others are awaiting bidding, and some are in various states of execution. Several have been completed, and while most project contracts have specific work delivery dates and milestones, the current circumstances may play into whether the projects meet those deadlines.
“We obviously are fully aware of the obstacles that some of these contractors are facing,” says City Manager Mike Castro. “The City’s bond projects committee meets regularly to review every aspect of the bond program, from finances, to contractor performance, to project progress. Our findings are ultimately presented to the City Council for any action. Our priority, of course, is to ensure that those contractors who continue to work do so safely and in line with local, county, state and federal guidelines.”
Should work continue at the current level, some highly-visible bond projects will either be completed or will be initiated over the next 30 days. A major street reconstruction and drainage project in the Travis Estates area is nearing completion, and the North Maxwell Creek Road reconstruction is set to break ground within the month.
“Unfortunately, there’s still some uncertainty in how and when we get beyond the current situation,” said Castro. “Much of our progress is very much dependent on a somewhat cloudy outlook.”
City Hall remains closed to walk-in traffic while the majority of employees work remotely. Still reporting to their usual workstations are Police, Fire, EMS, and dispatch personnel, as well as some administrative personnel.