Opp seeks bids on historic Depot project

Published 12:15 am Thursday, February 18, 2016


More than two years after being awarded a grant to rehabilitate the historic depot in Opp, the city is finally able to advertise for bids.

In September 2013, the city was awarded a $500,000 grant through the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP).

Opp Mayor John Bartholomew said the grant requires a 20 percent match from the city and funds will be used to also install a new roof.

The plans also include a bathroom and kitchenette.

“The plan is for this facility to be a welcome center for our city, that will hopefully house the Chamber of Commerce as well,” he said. “It’s going to be a focal point, once it’s completed.”

Opp City Planner Jason Bryan said Wednesday that contractors interested in bidding on the depot project have until March 15 to submit bids.

“We will open them that day,” he said. “We will have to negotiate the contract.”

Bryan said they have given contractors a six-month timeframe to complete the project.

“We hope that construction will begin at the end of April or beginning of May,” he said. “We are advertising statewide.”

The delay in the project has come due to getting plans approved by multiple entitles including the building commission DOT and more.

Additionally, plans had to be sent to Washington, D.C., for approval as well.

“After months of working with architects and state engineers, the plans have been approved and we will soon bid out the project,” he said. “It will become a centerpiece of activity in our city. It will house office space, but also a civic room with kitchen facilities that can be used for receptions and meetings.”

Bartholomew said previously the project could mean big things for the city.

“Once it is finished, we could use the property for outdoor events,” he said. “We could add a stage in the back for outdoor band events. Pave the parking lot.”

TAP provides funding for projects defined as transportation alternatives, including on-and-off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities, infrastructure projects for improving non-drive access to public transportation and enhanced mobility, community improvement activities and environmental mitigation.