New Florala city hall coming

Published 12:44 am Wednesday, November 25, 2009

After months of planning, Florala’s new city hall is going to become a reality.

Council members voted Monday to award a more-than-$96,000 work contract to Cajun Contractors to renovate the old bank building, which was donated to the city by the Florala Utilities Board in June.

It has taken members months to whittle down the scope of the work to a more manageable project cost. Initial plans called for a complete renovation — both inside and out — of the building; however, the cost for that plan was considerably higher than $100,000.

Council members were also split on whether or not to relocate city hall to the Florala City Middle School building, which is set to revert back to the city’s ownership at the end of this academic year.

Both of those sides of debate were put to rest with Monday’s bid award.

“We had to cut back on what we originally wanted to do with the building to get the price where we needed it to be,” said councilwoman Gloria Cassady. “I guess you could say we scaled back. There will not be any awning on the outside windows, which is one of the things we really wanted. But in light of needing to cut down the cost, it made sense to cut that item. It was the most expensive portion.

“In the end, though, I think the residents are going to be very pleased with what the building looks like inside and out,” she said.

Inside, there will be a newly constructed council chamber and offices for the mayor and city clerk. Other offices in the back will be “freshened up” with new paint.

However, the biggest difference will be the exterior of the building.

“It’s going to look like a totally new place,” Cassady said. “They are going to pressure wash, paint and put a sealant on the brick building. It’s going to be a wonderful addition to the downtown.”

Work is expected to start within the next two weeks and contractors have 90 days to complete the project.