Robertsdale hosts open house for new public works facility


ROBERTSDALE — The city of Robertsdale hosted an open house and dedication ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 5 for the new public works administration building located on Chicago Street, north of the police station.

Robertsdale Mayor Charles Murphy welcomed residents and special guests, including city employees, representatives from Adams Stewart and Harris Construction, County Commissioner Billie Jo Underwood, along with officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Allen Jackson, area director, and Nivory Gordon Jr., state director for Rural Development.

“This is a great facility for our citizens and employees here in Robertsdale and we’re proud to welcome everyone here,” Murphy said.

Work for the project began in 2007, Murphy said, when the council acquired the land with the purpose of building a new facility on the site.

In December 2019, the council approved bids for the construction of the new complex with an estimated total cost of construction at around $4.7 million. The project is being funded through a $3.8-million loan with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Department of Rural Development.

The dedication marks the completion of the main part of the complex, a $2.9 million administration building, Murphy said.

The 10,000-square-foot administration facility is rated as a hurricane shelter, and is self-contained, Murphy said, with a full kitchen facility, shower facilities in the restrooms and a laundry room.

“In an emergency situation, we can house up to 100 people,” Murphy said. “We will be able to bring in crews from outside the area and they will be able to stay here at this facility while they are working.”

Gordon said he is proud to be able to partner with the city and hopes this is just the beginning.

“This project illustrates the outstanding leadership we have in this area,” Gordon said, “and we hope to be able to work together with Robertsdale and other local leaders on other projects as this area continues to grow and prosper.”

Prayer of dedication was offered by the Rev. Michael Lynn, pastor of the Robertsdale First Assembly of God Church, followed by a ribbon cutting with the Central Baldwin Chamber of Commerce. Cake and refreshments were served by city officials and guests were invited to tour the facility.

Along with the administration building, the complex will include seven additional structures, two warehouses, a mechanic shop, equipment shed and maintenance shop. The project will also include coverings for the two fuel pump stations.

The project is Phase 2 of an improvement project surrounding Honeybee Park. Phase 1 improvements to the park were dedicated in July of 2019.

“I just want to take the opportunity to thank city employees and the citizens of Robertsdale for making this project possible,” Murphy said.

Construction on the facility began in early 2020, but there were delays in getting construction materials caused by COVID-19 concerns, Murphy said.

Phase 3 of the project will include an amphitheater, parking and restroom facilities, which has been scheduled as a $1 million cash capital expenditure project.

Plans for the amphitheater call for an approximately 5,000-square-foot metal roof structure with an additional 6,200 square feet of ground space and 2,700 square feet of restroom space.

The remainder of the funding, about $600,000, Murphy said, will be funded as a cash project, Murphy said.