Nick Nunn staff writer

During the Dec. 19 meeting of the Downtown Development Authority of Madison (DDA), the authority discussed the ongoing progress on their Depot replacement building and North Bull Street Reconstruction projects.

DDA Member Everett Royal stated that he received a bid from Busher Franklin Construction for $43,200 for the construction of the replacement building that the DDA is giving to Norfolk Southern in exchange for their donation of the Central of Georgia Depot.

“I came away satisfied,” said Royal about his dealings with Busher Franklin concerning the project. Royal stated that the deal is ready to be executed, but a dirt pad would need to be constructed to support the building and the sanitary sewer lines would need to be moved.

The DDA agreed to have Alan Ward of Cedar Hill, Inc., perform that work before Busher Franklin comes in to begin construction. According to Royal, a representative of Busher Franklin said that the construction project could take as long as six months, but Royal stated that it should only last from four to five weeks.

“We’ll just have to stay behind them,” said Royal about making sure that construction doesn’t end up being drawn out. City Attorney Lee Abney recommended including a hard start date in the contract with Busher Franklin if the DDA was worried about the company beginning in a reasonable amount of time after the execution of the contract.

Madison Planning Director Monica Callahan told the members of the DDA that there will be a contract drafted for them to look at before the next meeting. The DDA voted to purchase two 20-foot containers for storage purposes at the replacement building.

Callahan stated that the cost of buying them and having them delivered would be “right at” $3,500. Royal then presented paving contract bids for the North Bull Street reconstruction project, which also includes the paving of a parking lot at the current depot location.

The two lowest bids received were from All About Asphalt, Inc. for $50,935.50 and Cecil Key Paving, Inc./Key Curbing, Inc. for $54,488.55. Royal stated that the bids are not “lump sums.” The final price will be calculated based on the units of material used. While no definite action was taken on approving either contract, the DDA did authorize the urban renewal committee to approve the apparent low bidder.

Royal said that there were still some inquiries to be made concerning the bids before a decision should be made. Callahan told Royal that, if they decide not to choose the low bidder, then they should provide an explanation for their decision.

Callahan also gave the DDA members a budget update for the depot project, saying that they are on course to be $600 under budget, which she said is “not bad.” Royal gave a report on grading at the former depot location, saying that it is 95 percent done.

An expense in the amount of $1,750 was authorized to be paid to Alan Ward for grassing and stabilization of DDA properties. Callahan also gave a report on three Facade Grants that the DDA has recently issued.

Dana Kibbey, owner of Ricky D’s, received a grant of $1,525, a grant in the amount of $1,097.50 was issued for 292 Hancock Street, and the Madison Museum of Arts received a grant for a maximum amount of $1,550.