Council selects Shanahan of Augusta, Ga., as county manager

jzou@heraldonline.comAugust 20, 2013 

— The York County Council late Monday announced its unanimous selection of Bill Shanahan as county manager.

The announcement came after more than three hours of closed-door meetings with the county’s two finalists for the position.

“There were two extremely strong candidates,” said County Council Chairman Britt Blackwell. “We could have done well with either one.”

Shanahan is the deputy administrator for the city of Augusta, Ga. The council will begin negotiating a contract immediately. If Shanahan accepts the offer, Blackwell expects the next county manager to be in place by the end of September.

“Some of the council members felt he just glowed, talking from the heart,” Blackwell said of Shanahan.

Shanahan was selected over Steve Layson, the chief administrative officer of Bibb County, Ga.

The search for county manager has been ongoing since January when Jim Baker left his post for a similar position in Virginia.

Last week, the council conducted a first round of interviews that lasted more than six hours with five finalists. Council members weren’t able to make a final decision as planned, but narrowed the field to two finalists.

Costs rise for courthouse asbestos removal

The price of removing asbestos from the York County courthouse will cost an additional $122,000, after demolition crews discovered more building materials that will need to be removed.

The council Monday evening voted to approve the additional funds, which will go directly toward abatement efforts at the courthouse.

With the newly approved funds, the total cost of abatement for the courthouse exceeds $565,000, according to documents submitted to the council.

The new courthouse abatement costs include $76,000 to remove additional asbestos-containing material by NCM Demolition and Remediation, and $46,750 to extend the county’s contract with ECS Carolinas, a firm that monitors the process with air testing and other services.

Air testing is necessary because asbestos fibers can stay suspended in the air for long periods of time and pose a health threat.

Abatement, which is a process to remove asbestos and other hazardous materials such as fungus and lead paint, began at the courthouse in late July and is the first step in a large renovation project for the building.

A large red trailer labeled “asbestos” sits in the parking lot adjacent to the courthouse.

According to a county notice, the demolition crew removed cabinets from the courthouse’s basement and discovered some wall material they hadn’t tested before.

Removing just those materials alone will cost $36,000 – but the county expects more materials to crop up.

“Because work has just started on the building and is anticipated to last until December 2013, it is likely that more materials may be identified during the course of the project,” the notice states.

The additional funds include a “contingency allowance” of $40,000 to cover any additional “unforeseen materials.”

Councilman Joe Cox criticized the fact that the materials went unnoticed and unaccounted for by the demolition crew when the contract was first devised in June.

“That still gives me pause,” Cox said. He expressed concern that the crews were finding new asbestos-containing materials this late into the project.

Council chairman Blackwell was dissatisfied by the news as well. “Nothing’s gone right,” he said of the courthouse renovation project.

Since abatement efforts started at the courthouse, a number of offices stationed there have been temporarily relocated across the county.

Jie Jenny Zou •  803-329-4062

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