Council approves contract for lighting plan, study on public safety building

Published 3:47 pm Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Selma City Council approved two contracts during last week’s meeting.

One was to move forward with working with Alabama Power Company to design a lighting plan for the city and upgrade street lights to LEDs, while the other will allow a Montgomery engineering firm to study the feasibility of the city building a new public safety building.

Both contracts were talked about during the March 23work session and approved as part of the consent agenda without additional discussion.

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Maurice Raynaud, Alabama Power lighting services manager, and Aubrey Carter, Selma business office manager, spoke to the council about the lighting plan.

Raynaud said the LEDs would make an improvement in how well streets are lit.

“They are a game changer in the lighting industry. They provide great light, even light down the street,” Raynaud said.

The council also approved a contract with JMR+H Architecture for the public safety building study.

The firm has designed correctional facilities and other municipal buildings across the South, including the Clarke County Jail, a Montgomery police and fire substation at a former mall, the Tuscaloosa County 911 operations center and the Prattville Public Safety building.

The idea for a public safety building has been in the works for a few years and was something former Mayor George Evans supported.

The city currently contracts with the county to house its inmates for $200,000 a year. That contract will be up for renewal and renegotiation in 2019.

The study would include a cost estimate and other suggestions from the firm, according to Jeff Cahill with JMR+H. The study will cost between $12,000 and $15,000, but that fee would be credited back to the city should the city decide to use JMR+H Architecture for the project. The city of Selma refinanced 2011 bonds totaling $11 million at a lower interest rate last fall and included the $600,000 the city would have paid to Dallas County over the next three years for jail space.