Aldermen OK renovation for new train station

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Brookhaven aldermen Tuesday opted to proceed with restoration ofthe old power plant building for the city’s new transportationfacility.

With Mayor Bob Massengill absent because of illness, boardmembers briefly entertained the possibility of again delaying adecision on whether to tear down the power plant building on NorthRailroad Avenue and construct a new facility or to renovate theexisting historic structure. Ward One Alderman Dorsey Cameron saida decision needed to be made.

“We keep stalling and putting off,” Cameron said of the proposalthat has been in the works more than five years. “Now is the timeto do something.”

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Mayor Pro Tem Terry Bates voiced support for constructing a newfacility. He expressed concerns about starting a restorationproject and finding out that it would cost more thananticipated.

“We know a new building is going to cost ‘X’ amount of dollars,”Bates said.

Citing a letter from architect Michael Barranco and a structuralengineer saying the building is sound and would meet the city’sneeds, Cameron disagreed with Bates. He touted the building’shistoric value and a plan for a courtyard.

“I just think it’s a good idea,” Cameron said.

A new building, estimated at around $971,905, would provide2,400 square feet of space. Renovation would provide about 2,850square feet of space at an estimated cost of $978,222.

Aldermen voted unanimously, 6-0, in favor of renovation. Batesjokingly mentioned the possibility of a veto but then citedprogress.

“We’ve been working on this a long time,” he said. “We’refinally going to see something done.”

The city will use a $1 million federal appropriation forfacility activity, with the value of the land and buildingproviding the city’s 20 percent match. The city has been allocatedabout $3 million in federal money but would have to come up withcash or some other means to meet the 20 percent match.

In other transportation activity, aldermen voted to advertisefor bids for the installation of three new turn signals on BrookwayBoulevard.

The affected intersections are at Brookhaven Street, Magee Driveand Wal-Mart Supercenter. City officials said the protectedleft-turn signals will improve safety and traffic flow at the busyinterchanges.

“We’ve got a lot of traffic over there,” said Ward Five AldermanTom Smith, adding it would not improve with new businesses andindustries under development in the area.

A contractor’s estimate for the work is $15,650.