The bills are starting to come in for the development of Greensboro-Randolph Megasite.

It was announced in December that Toyota would be building a vehicle battery manufacturing facility on the megasite.

Although the megasite lies entirely in Randolph County, it is the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite largely because Greensboro agreed to provide water and sewer service to the site even though it is far outside the Greensboro water and sewer service area.

At the Tuesday, April 18, hybrid Greensboro City Council meeting, city staff is recommending that the City Council approve about $24.1 million in contracts to provide water and sewer service to the site.

It would be unusual if there was not considerable discussion about the three contracts because of the Minority/Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) percentages.  Two of the contracts had no MWBE goals set, but the Greensboro MWBE office did encourage the contractor to contact MWBE sub-contractors and recommended approval of the contracts.

Councilmember Sharon Hightower often complains about contracts that do not fall under the MWBE statute and therefore have no set MWBE goals.  But then Hightower complains when contractors do meet the MWBE goals because she says that the percentages could have been higher.

In this case the largest contract for $21.5 million with Jimmy R. Lynch & Sons to construct 32,400 linear feet of dual 16-inch water mains and 15,900 feet of 16-inch sewer force main did not meet the MWBE goals but was recommended for approval by the MWBE office because of the good faith effort made by the company.

Although it is an MWBE program, Hightower and the City Council usually only discuss and express concerns about the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) goals being met and have expressed little concern over the Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) goals.  In this case the MBE goal for the project was 15.3 percent and the contract recommended for approval has 0.16 percent MBE participation.

It is unlikely that Hightower will be able to convince four of her fellow councilmembers to delay the megasite project over a contractor not meeting the MBE goals.  It is also unlikely that Hightower won’t spend a lot of time attempting to do so.

The other megasite contracts on the agenda total $2.6 million for the design and preconstruction work for an elevated water tank.  Neither contract had MWBE goals set.

The preconstruction contract with Landmark Strucuress I L.P. and Black and Veatch for $1.8 million had 6.7 percent MBE and 0.95 percent WBE participation.

The design phase with HDR Engineering Inc. for $860,000 had no MBE participation.

The agenda also includes the budget ordinance amendments to pay these contracts.