Friday April 26th, 2019 10:02AM

Lula City Council listens to update on depot renovation project

By Rob Moore Reporter
  Contact Editor

LULA — The City of Lula is inching closer to putting the upcoming depot renovation out for bids.

City Manager Dennis Bergin hopes to have bid documents ready to advertise, then hopes the city council can act on those bid submissions at its May 21 meeting, which will be relocated to the depot due to election setup at city hall.

“We gave them three conceptual designs for the interior and exterior and the council approved that,” Bergin said. “Now, we’re actually creating bid documents that will enhance and assure everybody the construction and how that might take place, and we hope to have that completed in the next week or two so we can put that out on bid and the council will have a chance to take that under consideration for approval next month.”

During a February work session to consider potential funding sources, Appalachian Regional Commission funding was discussed. That funding, however, is not guaranteed.

“ARC is a great funding source,” Bergin said. “It’s administered by the Department of Community Affairs. A lot of communities have been able to take advantage of that, but you have to align yourself with their goals as you would imagine. So for the first phase, for the building enhancements that we’re talking about, we would not appear to qualify, but It looks like the second and third phase, which deals with the grounds, the stage area and the venue itself, would allow us to incorporate future job development, public/private, advancement of entrepreneurs and their investments for the whole downtown area, so we see that as a possibility based on our conversations with ARC. We’ll throw out hat in the ring and see how well that moves forward.”

The city council has budgeted $160,000 this budget year, and another $160,000 for next year on the depot renovation project, but officials say the project could extend beyond those two years.

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