The Lee County Commission is moving forward with plans to build a new highway department complex that will sit on 21 acres of property at the corner of Society Hill Road and Williamson Avenue In Opelika.
The total cost for the project will come to $15,055,832.00. The commission voted to move forward with the project at Monday’s meeting.
All told, all of the buildings in the complex will cover around 83,000 square feet once construction is completed. The complex will feature a new office building, a shop building, an equipment parking shed, a fuel station, a kennel building, and a multi-use storage building.
According to the county commission, each of the buildings will be metal, pre-engineered, single story and slab-on-grade.
The commission also voted to move forward with using $663,100 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to help pay for construction.
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The commission said it would still be $3.5 million shy of the cost of the project but was confident they would be able to make up the difference in the price before construction was finished. The project is expected to take close to two years to complete.
“I would like to see us move forward with this project,” commissioner Doug Cannon said Monday night. “Prices aren’t going to get any cheaper and we got a lot of money to start with and I think over the next year or so we can work on our budget and hopefully be able to pay for it and not finance it. So that would be a goal we can strive for.”
County Administrator Holly Leverette also indicated the county was looking at options to cover the balance of the cost of the project.
“We have been looking at financing for the project itself,” Leverette said. “We’ve still got time to gain the remainder of the financing that we’ll need in order to complete it. To date, we’re close. We’re short about $3.5 million. But there’s no need to feel like we need to rush to borrow that money. We’ve still got time to see where potential savings and money can be moved to.”
Construction is expected to begin soon on the project.