ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — As preparations are being made to celebrate its centennial, the city of Robertsdale is working on several projects planned for 2021.
Public Works Complex
One of the largest projects on tap for completion in 2021 is the city’s nearly $5 million public works complex which has been in construction for the better part of 2020 on property the city owns on Chicago Street north of the police station.
In December 2019, the Robertsdale City Council approved bids for the 23,000 square-foot administration office, pushing the cost of the project from an estimated $3.8 million to around $4.7 million.
In July the council approved separate bid openings for above-ground fuel tanks and pumps, along with bids for outlying metal buildings and concrete foundation.
In addition to the administration building, the project includes two warehouses, a mechanic shop, equipment shed and maintenance shop. The project will also include coverings for the two fuel pump stations.
According to city engineer Greg Smith, the contract is approximately 75 percent complete with the administration building. The windows, brick veneer and roof are nearing completion.
“They are working to get the interior finished such as the ceiling and flooring,” smith said, “and are ready to install the exterior doors. We are planning on this building being finished by April of 2021. Our crews are working on site for this project.”
The project is Phase 2 of an improvement project surrounding Honeybee Park. Phase 1 improvements to the park were dedicated in July of 2019.
Phase 3 of the project, which will include an amphitheater, parking and restroom facilities, has also been scheduled as a $1 million cash capital expenditure project for fiscal year 2021.
While the project was scheduled for completion as part of the city’s Centennial Celebration in 2021, slight delays in the project will likely push the completion back to the end of the year, Murphy said.
Sewer and Drainage Improvements
Plans are also in the works for sewer and drainage improvements, funded by a Community Development Block Grant.
The city council voted in November to award a bid contract for sewer improvements to Suncoast Infrastructure Inc. of Florence, Mississippi, for just under $320,000.
The total grant project was estimated at $495,000 with a 10 percent match from the city (around $45,000, which will be an in-kind match with work being performed by city crews). Approximately $250,000 was budgeted for sewage system improvements, with the remaining budget to be spent on drainage improvements.
“We anticipate they will begin working around the first of the year,” Smith said. “We will advertise for bids on the drainage material and our crews will install the drainage improvements for this project.”
The city has also contracted to install an automated meter-reading system for city utilities, which should begin in the first quarter of 2021, Smith said.
In 2019, the city council approved an agreement for engineering services with Civil Southeast for application preparation, plan, specification and bid services for project materials and project management and critical phase construction engineering and observation, with a total cost for services of $47,100.
AMI Meter Project
The council also voted to accept a $1.5 million loan from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management for the installation of AMI meters for the city’s water system.
Advanced metering infrastructure systems measure, collect and analyze energy usage and communicate with metering devices such as electricity, gas, heat and water meters, either on request or on a schedule.
The project would include the installation of 3,600 AMI meters for the city’s water system. It will also put the infrastructure in place for the future installation of AMI electrical meters and gas meters, in total about 7,000 meters.
The project is being funded through a loan with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.
Sewer System Upgrades
Additional upgrades to the city’s sewer system are also in the early stages of development, Smith said.
“We are working with the consultant to get the loan/grant application submitted to USDA for consideration,” he said.
The project will include upgrades to the city’s wastewater treatment facility on Wilters Street, as well as improvements to the city’s sewer collection system.