DDA considers options on replacing depot building

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By Nick Nunn, Staff Writer

During the Nov. 21 meeting of the Downtown Development Authority of Madison (DDA), members discussed possibilities for the construction of a building for Norfolk Southern, who donated the Central of Georgia Depot to the DDA in exchange for the construction of a replacement building on the former location of the depot.

The DDA had plans drawn up for a replacement building to be constructed for Norfolk Southern.

Those plans had been approved by Norfolk Southern as a suitable replacement building, and the DDA began to take bids for the construction of the building that had been designed for them.

The lowest bid for the construction of the replacement building came in at $55,000 – $30,000 more than what was initially budgeted for the replacement building.

DDA members discussed several options for bringing down the cost of replacing the depot. One of the plans was to keep the original plans for the building but remove the sections that would be used for storage and provide a shipping container for storage.

That plan would cut the cost down to approximately $47,000. Other options would utilize sea shipping containers, which had been fitted with office amenities, as the replacement office building along with another container for storage.

A two-container office with an additional container for storage would cost approximately $40,000, while a single-container office and container for storage would be around $35,000.

Madison Planning Director Monica Callahan stated that Butch Crook had volunteered to act as a superintendent on the construction job, asking only a flat fee for his services instead of a percentage of the cost.

Callahan suggested that such an arrangement could reduce the cost of the originally-planned replacement building enough to make it more feasible for the DDA.

DDA members expressed interest in exploring that option, and Callahan stated that she would look into it further.

The DDA approved a motion to authorize the paving of a parking lot to be located at the Depot for a price not to exceed $15,000. The paving of the parking lot will take place at the same time of the paving of the road that will connect to the depot.

There will have to be curb and gutter work done to accommodate two “T” intersections. The parking lot will also eventually aid stormwater drainage on the property.

DDA Member Everett Royal gave an update on the McDowell warehouse redevelopment, saying that grading on the property is almost complete but that new plans for dealing with stormwater on the property will be necessary.

Royal proposed the removal of the roof system, which has fallen down into the building, be the next step that the DDA takes. Royal estimated that the cost of cleaning out the roof material would be around $15,000.

Callahan stated that she would be able to seek grants for the project but that the DDA should wait until an initial project assessment is make on the project before making any expenditures.

Callahan also informed the DDA that the Anchorage Development Agreement with Sandy Sanford is ready to be signed by the Madison City Council and should be on the agenda during their December meeting.

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