FOLEY – The next phase in creating a new facility for the Foley Public Works Department is moving ahead following action by the City Council.

The council voted Monday, July 17, to approve the bid for the first portion of the new facility to be constructed at the intersection of Poplar Street and Section Avenue. Ammons and Blackmon Construction submitted the lowest of three bids with a proposal of about $3.65 million.

Mayor Ralph Hellmich said the current Public Works facilities are too small for current needs. He said the new campus will provide more space for the department that will be needed as Foley continues to grow.

“It’s pretty crowded over there and I’m really excited from the standpoint of our maintenance facilities and our fueling stations,” he said. “We’ll have a lot more capability to be more resilient with the expanded fuel Island. We’ve wanted that to occur after the hurricane. It got to be pretty close on some fuel when the refineries were down.”

He said the new location will also be more convenient. The mayor said the current Public Works campus will continue to be used by other city departments.

“It’s getting us off 59,” Hellmich said. “We’ll repurpose that facility over there. We have other things that would be an expansion for them. So we’re looking at all the possibilities and as we do this.”

City Administrator Mike Thompson said the new campus will provide more covered storage space for vehicles and other equipment.

“The amount of equipment that we have has grown dramatically as a city has,” Thompson said. “This is going to allow us to better protect investments that the council makes. I think that once we get this built, we’ll have everything under cover.”

Hellmich said the facility will be designed and built to meet the current and expected future needs of the city. 

“This was a comprehensive plan whereas with the previous facility we’ve added on and done things over the years,” Helmich said. 

The bid specifications call for the first phase of the project to be completed in 273 calendar days. 

Darrell Russell, public works director, said city officials plan to have the second phase,which will include additional construction, ready to go out for bid within six months.

Hellmich said dividing the project into two sections makes the work more practical and economical.

“By breaking it into these two portions, it made more sense and we were able to control costs,” Hellmich said.

The approved bid includes an additional option to include more asphalting at a cost of $994,812.

Bids received ranged from $3.65 million to about $5.75 million.

The estimated cost of the entire project is about $10.8 million.