County discusses sewer tie in for new building, Dale Drive signs

Sep. 2—Lauderdale County supervisors are weighing changes to several ongoing projects ahead of their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, including adding a water and sewer tie in to the Road Department's new building and whether or not more signage is needed for a detour around Dale Drive.

In a work session Thursday, Road Manager Rush Mayatt said construction of the new Road Department building off of Windmill Drive is going along well, with the project on time and under budget. The county, however, needs to make a decision whether it wants to add connecting the building to the City of Meridian's water and sewer lines to the existing contract via a change order or pursue quotes from several contractors and award the project separately.

A change order, Mayatt said, would cost $40,092.45.

The new building, when complete, will be a centrally located maintenance facility containing areas for welding, vehicle maintenance, office space and more. The Board of Supervisors awarded the project to Collinsville-based J&J Contractors in February at a cost of $2.6 million.

The project has been hailed as a savings to the county in the long run as it is expected to increase efficiency by housing more resources under one roof, provide modern maintenance areas that better suit the Road Department's needs and allow the county to look at potentially turning some of its current facilities over to the private sector.

Mayatt said the water and sewer tie in was one of the items the county had removed from the original plan to help bring the cost of the project down, but it is his recommendation to do the change order and add the work back in. By using the change order, he said, one contractor will be overseeing the entire project, which reduces the chance for miscommunication and mistakes.

Supervisors are expected to revisit the issue and potentially take action on the proposed change order on Tuesday.

Dale Drive Signs

On another project, county supervisors are considering the need for additional signage for a bridge replacement project along Dale Drive. The $1.3 million project requires the closure of Dale Drive while the old bridge is demolished and the new structure is built.

On Thursday, Supervisor Wayman Newell, who represents Marion were the bridge project is underway, said he was approached by a local business owner about potentially adding more signs after customers mentioned they had trouble navigating around the construction.

Mayatt said there is some signage required under Department of Transportation standards that the contractor is responsible for putting out such as those marking the detour route and road closed signs. The county can also put out additional signage if it feels that is necessary.

Before piling on the signs, however, Mayatt encouraged supervisors to be patient and give it some time to see if additional signage really is needed. People are creatures of habit, he said, and road closures can be very disruptive.

For instance, Mayatt said, one of the engineers who was involved in designing the Dale Drive project, who knew when the road was going to be closed, why and for how long, still found themselves surprised when they could no longer pass through Marion on their way back from Macon last week.

Things usually settle down after the initial confusion wears off, he said, but if problems persist, then it might be wise to see where additional signs are needed.

Contact Thomas Howard at