Foley employees identify primary saferoom location

By Jessica Vaughn
Posted 6/15/21

FOLEY - After deliberation and examination of approximately 13 sites within the City of Foley, city employees have determined the desired primary site for the future first responders saferoom. The …

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Foley employees identify primary saferoom location

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FOLEY - After deliberation and examination of approximately 13 sites within the City of Foley, city employees have determined the desired primary site for the future first responders saferoom. The primary site is located along Berry Avenue, between North Poplar Street and North Juniper Street. City staff must also identify a secondary site location prior to submitting the application to FEMA. The application is due by mid-July.

The property is owned by the City of Foley and is being leased to Baldwin County.

“The idea is to split this property, which is currently under a long-term lease that expires in the 2060s, and the city take back use of one half of it while the county continues to use the other half,” said City Administrator Mike Thompson.

The proposal shows the City of Foley taking back use of the west half of the property and the county continuing to utilize the east half. Foley council voted unanimously in June to accept a proposal by Goodwyn Mills Cawood, LLC to obtain professional services to replat the tax parcel for $3,300. The plat will be taken before the Planning Commission for consideration to subdivide the property. Goodwyn Mills Cawood, LLC will also provide a topographic survey for $2,500. Once complete, the survey will allow city staff to provide inhouse designs on drainage and parking.

“We’re moving kind of quick on several fronts,” said Mayor Ralph Hellmich. “A large group of department heads looked at about 13 sites around the city, from topography, what services were available, access on the road after a disaster, and keep in mind this building is designed for a category five hurricane, so what Sally did may not be what the next storm could do … This site really works. Being close to City Hall and also to some of the communications towers and everything, it has good roads all around it, so this was identified as the primary site.”

Hellmich said along with other sites considered, purchasing property was also discussed. He said the council can expect to see an agreement between the city and the county concerning cross-parking at the location brought before them at a later date.

The saferoom is being built through a FEMA grant. Since the city owns the primary location property, it can be used as part of the city’s match on the grant.