Madison to build new Public Works facility

MADISON, Ala. - The Madison City Council approved an architecture and construction management services for a new Public Works facility on Monday.

The facility will sit on a property on Palmer Road, and it will replace the current one on Celtic Drive.

"It's so cramped. We've outgrown it. The city has grown, again, in leaps and bounds. We have more vehicles, more equipment to work on, more employees, and we need a place to put them," said Kent Smith, Director of Madison Public Works.

Early designs show that the building would include a bunk area, conference room/safe space, and office area.

The bunk may seem like an odd choice, but leaders told the council it is necessary to help out during times the department is most active including severe weather events.

"We have incorporated in our plans on this one, a bunk room, if you will. A locker room. A place where when we work the guys in shifts, they can rest and shower without leaving the site and going into a hotel and costing us more money. It's going to be a savings in the long run," said Smith.

City leaders said the new facility will improve response time to events.

"That's why it will help our citizens in the long run," said Smith. "We are first responders as well. This opens us up where we aren't locked on one side of the railroad tracks. We can get in and out faster. Right now, we stage equipment on both sides of the tracks."

At Monday's meeting, the council approved the contract with 5Rdesign for $187,600 for architecture work.

Leaders expect to see the facility finished quickly, with 4 months for the design and 8 months to build.

"The goal is this time next year we are moving in!" said Smith.