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Fulton Utility Board sees revised plans for new city warehouse

Fulton Director of Administration Bill Johnson looks at a mishmash of new and old wood beams and trusses in the city garage at its current warehouse complex. About 65 years of use and exposure have necessitated repairs to the aging structure every few years, Johnson said.

Fulton Director of Administration Bill Johnson looks at a mishmash of new and old wood beams and trusses in the city garage at its current warehouse complex. About 65 years of use and exposure have necessitated repairs to the aging structure every few years, Johnson said. Photo by Dean Asher.

After a number of revisions to the original plan, the Fulton Utility Board at its Monday meeting saw what should be nearing a final draft of the building plans for the new city public works campus.

A project that Director of Administration Bill Johnson called 15 years in the making is nearly ready to break ground, pending a few tweaks to the design. Johnson said the city hoped to bid the project in June and break ground this year.

The new facility will be built off of Brookside Drive on the property previously occupied by Harbison-Walker, and will include all utility administration offices, a larger, heated garage and warehouse space, shop areas to work on projects and an area for solid waste vehicles, as well as offer room to expand in the future.

The anticipated cost of the project is around $7 million. Johnson said the project would likely come in under budget, and would be financed in part through contributions from the utility fund and in part through a lease purchase agreement similar to how City Hall was constructed.

The current warehouse and garage facility is off Westminster Avenue, which was also originally part of Harbison-Walker and was used by a seed company for some time before the city purchased it in 1951. It was renovated to function as a city warehouse and utility office, but its age and design and the city’s need for more space have necessitated the move.

“This is a project that’s been on the city’s agenda for about 15 years now,” before timing on grants and building availability made projects such as the new fire and police stations higher in priority, Johnson said.

Designs for the complex are being drafted by the Architects Alliance, Inc. out of Jefferson City. City officials had previously reviewed designs over the past few months and had them re-drafted when the city found it was too close to Westminster Avenue, and again to make it easier to hook up the administrative building to existing sewer lines.

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