By Nick Nunn staff writer

The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) of Madison heard updates for several ongoing projects, including the Central of Georgia depot, the depot replacement building, and the Gilmore House, during their April 17 regular meeting. Madison Planning Director Monica Callahan informed the DDA that work on the grading and paving on the North Bull Street reconstruction project has started, despite the fact that the final contract for the labor has not been completed and signed. She explained that the contractor had personnel to spare to begin the project and that they understand that they will not be able to get paid for the work that has been completed so far until the contract is final. Callahan also said that the construction of the depot replacement building is in its final stages, and that the contractor will be requesting final fire and code inspections soon.

She added that Norfolk Southern also recently approved a contract, which will allow the city of Madison to bore under the existing railroad tracks in order to get utilities to the replacement building. Callahan also said grading and seeding would take place at the replacement building site once construction is complete. DDA Chair Shandon Land said that construction on the Harvest of the Heart’s cannery in the Gilmore House is about to “hit the ground running” after facing difficulties in the permitting process. Land said that getting the cannery ready to open is the first priority for the DDA in terms of the Gilmore House. Callahan stated that dealing with mixed-use commercial properties such as the Gilmore House is difficult.

She said that subcontractors should begin work on preparing the cannery portion of the property on Monday, April 21. Callahan said that she has received feedback concerning the redevelopment fund grant intended for the Gilmore House corner store. She stated that more information, including the projected pay scale for the employees of the corner store and the furnishing list for the business, would be sent to supplement the application by the end of the month.