MOA paves way to next phase for Heritage Park

Published 8:18 am Friday, April 21, 2023

The City of Andalusia will proceed with an agreement that should set the stage for the construction of the proposed Heritage Park.

The city council on Tuesday voted unanimously to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Alabama State Historic Preservation Office that calls for the city to erect some form of marker bringing attention to the historical businesses that were once located in the area where the new park will be constructed.

The council’s vote allows for the mayor to execute the MOA. Once filed, there is a period of 30 days provided to the State Historic Office to respond. At that time, the city would be in position to receive permitting for the project.

Once confirmed, the city would have one year to place the historic marker, which could be done in various forms, including a traditional historic marker or even a mural.

Heritage Park will be constructed at the intersection of S. Cotton Street and Tisdale Street near the old depot. The city partnered with New Orleans-based architectural firm Concordia for the park’s development and CDG Engineering in Andalusia will provide the engineering plan. Early plans for the park have featured a plaza entryway with a fountain, an amphitheater, walking and biking paths, a pond, picnic pavilion, fitness stops, and a carousel.

The park’s design is based on community feedback received from surveys and town hall meetings organized by Concordia.

In other action:

  • the council agreed to enter into a lease agreement with Andalusia Distributing Company for the lease of the former Covington Casket building. The lease was described as a temporary agreement to provide ADC storage space. The lease can be canceled by either party with a 30-day notice.
  • the council agreed to the purchase of two trucks used for limb and debris pickup. The trucks to be purchased were previously on lease, but officials recommended to move forward with buying the trucks outright, stating they were still in good condition. The city will pay $152,442 with a 14-month finance agreement through CCB Bank. The payments will be equal to the amount the city was paying through the previous lease agreement.
  • an abatement for reimbursement on the removal of a dilapidated building was approved. The council seeks reimbursement from the property owner of $3,135 for the expenses incurred.
  • the council approved a bid from Walker Electric to replace the HVAC unit at the Andalusia Public Library. Cost for the project is $10,950. According to officials, the current HVAC system at the library is over 20 years old.
  • Mayor Earl Johnson announced that a dedication ceremony will be held at new batting facilities in Johnson Park on Friday, April 28, at 1 p.m. The facilities will be dedicated in honor of former Councilman Ralph Wells who stepped down from the council earlier this year.

The next council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 2. 6 p.m., at city hall. A work session precedes the meeting at 5:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.