By Nick Nunn
staff writer
During a special called meeting of the Downtown Development Authority of Madison (DDA) that took place on Friday, Dec. 6, the DDA voted to approve to give a committee of DDA members the authority to accept the lowest qualified bid – up to $100,000 – on a paving project that would include reconstructive paving on North Bull Street and new paving for a parking lot on the depot property.

An initial round of inquiry for the separate paving projects elicited quotes of approximately $44,000 for the paving of North Bull Street and approximately $34,000 for the depot parking lot from All About Asphalt, Inc., but the other bidder’s quotes were so disparate that DDA Member Everett Royal thought that it would be best to create a committee to reconcile the quotes from both bidders to make sure that they were getting the lowest bids.

After proposing that caps for the individual projects be set for $60,000 for the paving of North Bull Street and $40,000 for the parking lot, the DDA simply approved the committee to accept the lowest bid for both projects up to $100,000. The DDA also approved the purchase of a replacement building for Norfolk Southern, who donated the Central of Georgia Depot to the DDA, for an amount not to exceed $45,000. Busher Franklin Construction Company bid $55,000 on the DDA’s original plan for a replacement building, which included a storage space in the building, but the DDA changed the building plan to eliminate the storage space, which reduced the bid to $42,500.

To make up for the loss of the storage space in the building itself, a separate storage container will be purchased subsequently, costing approximately $2,700.  There was some concern during the meeting that Norfolk Southern had not approved of the change to the building plans, which would create the need for external storage, so Royal stated his intent to draft a letter informing Norfolk Southern of the changes.

The DDA approved $1,750 for the seeding and stabilizations for four of the DDA’s parcels of land. Madison Planning Director Monica Callahan informed the DDA that a $900 per year insurance policy for on-site liability for the McDowell Redevelopment, LLC had been purchased prior to the meeting and that the site has been added to the city’s insurance policy.