ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — Robertsdale Mayor Charles Murphy said the city is on schedule with construction of its new public works complex after the council voted to solicit bids additional construction at its regular meeting on Monday, July 20.
Construction is well underway for the complex, which will be located on property the city owns on Chicago Street north of the police station.
In December, Murphy assured council members that the city would have no problem making up for the cost of the public works complex after bids for the 23,000 square-foot administration office which pushed the total cost the project from an estimated $3.8 million to around $4.7 million.
The July 20 vote will result in separate bid openings for above-ground fuel tanks and pumps, which will have to be bid separately, 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, Murphy said.
“We’re hoping to be able to utilize local companies for the installation of pre-fabricated metal buildings,” Murphy said. “That should save us money on the total project.”
The project is Phase 2 of an improvement project surrounding Honeybee Park. Phase 1 improvements to the park were dedicated in July of last year. Murphy said in January he hopes to have Phase 2 of the project completed by the end of this year.
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 2020.
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.
In other business, plans were announced for the Baldwin County Health Department to begin drive-in COVID-19 testing clinics July 20 at the PZK Hall after Robertsdale’s police chief reported a surge in new coronavirus cases over the last two weeks.
At its July 6 meeting Robertsdale Police Chief Brad Kendrick reported that the Alabama Department of Public Health reported a total of five cases in the Robertsdale Police Jurisdiction in the month of June, with four additional cases reported between July 1-6. An additional seven cases were reported between July 6 and 13.
As of July 20, the number of cases reported in June and July jumped to a total of 54, Kendrick said.
“We are working with the Baldwin County Commission and Baldwin County Health Department to provide additional testing,” Murphy said, “and are doing everything we possibly can to ensure the safety of Robertsdale’s citizens.”
According to a release by the Baldwin County Health Department on July 20, testing clinics at the PZK Hall, located at 17933 Alabama 104 in Robertsdale, will be conducted from 8:30 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday.
Requirements for testing include those with symptoms, healthcare facility workers, workers in congregate living settings and first responders with symptoms; those without symptoms who have underlying medical conditions or a disability placing them at higher risk of complications or screening of other asymptomatic individuals based on a case-by-case review and approval by the state health department or local health jurisdiction.
Symptoms of COVID-19 consist of either cough or shortness of breath (difficulty breathing) or at least two of the following: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, fatigue, congestion or runny nose, and new loss of taste or smell.
Appointments are not required, but those tested must meet ADPH testing criteria.
For more information, visit alabamapublichealth.gov or call the Baldwin County Health Department at 251-947-1910.
As a result, the Robertsdale Elementary School library’s “Science Fun for Everyone” and “Fun Crafts for Summer” camps, which were scheduled for the PZK Hall, were moved to the fire station. The RHS Cheerleading Camp, which was scheduled for the fire station, was moved to city hall.
The only other event that would be affected, Murphy said, will be the municipal election, which is scheduled for Aug. 25. Testing was temporarily set up at the First Baptist Church in Robertsdale to accommodate for runoff election voting at the PZK Hall on July 14.
Also on July 20, the council:
•Approved the annual Hub City Classic 10K, 5K and 1-mile Fun Run to be held Feb. 13 at Garrett Park in Robertsdale. The event is a benefit for the Jace Waters Foundation.
•Purchased a quarter-page ad in Gulf Coast Media’s Back to School magazine at a cost of $225.
•Approved a request by the Public Works department to surplus a 1998 Fork Altec Bucket Truck.
•Denied a request to rezone property on Chicago Street from R-2 to B-2 as recommended by the city’s Planning Commission.