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Despite concerns, renovation contract OK'd

February 08, 1998

Despite concerns, renovation contract OK'd

Hagerstown City Council members approved a renovation contract Tuesday for a firm about which Councilwoman Susan Saum-Wicklein had expressed concerns.

The council voted 4-0 to approve a contract with low bidder Morin-Rocco Contractors Inc., of 49 Summit Ave.

The firm bid $94,947 to rehabilitate 125 and 127 N. Locust St. for the city's homeownership program.

Through the program, the city buys, renovates and sells houses to low-income people to improve the city's homeownership rate.

Saum-Wicklein was absent when the vote was taken, but arrived later during the council meeting.

Council members did not comment on the issue before voting.

Two weeks earlier, Saum-Wicklein asked staff to review the quality of Morin-Rocco's work.

Saum-Wicklein's real estate partnership has a $17,536 judgment against MRI Construction Inc., which is owned by the same people as Morin-Rocco.

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A memo from George Andreve, manager of the Department of Community Development, summarized the firm's past work and recommended the city hire Morin-Rocco.

Andreve's memo said staff would closely monitor the work and schedule.

Morin-Rocco's previous projects included rebuilding the House of Kobe restaurant after fire damage and expansion of a South Potomac Street office for Ferris-Baker & Watts.

Both business owners said the firm did a good job, according to the memo.

- Julie E. Greene

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