New building nearly finished for street department


HUNTINGBURG — The Huntingburg Street Department’s new home is just about ready.

Work on the new location, the former Fox Metal and Truss building on West 19th Street, will be finished next week and under budget, City Planning Director Paul Lake said.

“It’s pretty impressive,” he said. “It doesn’t look anything like it used to inside; walls have been moved and office space has been built out.”

When the building walk-through is completed in the first week of April, the street department will start moving into the new building from its current location on East First Street. That process will not be quick.

“The street department has a lot of equipment to move, so it won’t be fast,” Lake said. “It may be a 30-day process. They (the work crews) still have to get their day-to-day work done.”

Moving the department, which is currently in the floodplain, is one of the city’s Stellar Community projects. The project became more urgent after torrential rains in April 2017 flooded the department.

Lindsey Construction of Ferdinand was hired for the construction at the West 19th Street building for $1,037,000. The work is scheduled to be completed by March 30, and the walk-through will be done after that.

Once the walk-through is done, the street department’s computer, server and phone systems will be moved. Lake said it will take a couple of days to get those set up and running. But the public will still be able to contact the department through City Hall. Once that is done, the rest of the department’s equipment, materials and supplies will be moved.

Currently, the project is $25,000 to $35,000 under budget, Lake said. That money will be used to install the security controls on the new site, he said.

Along with the street department, the city’s public safety department will be located in the building. And the Dubois County Emergency Management Agency will have space to store its three trailers. City and county officials looked into the idea of moving the county EMA office to the building, but the county determined that the cost for such a move would be too expensive.

The city was originally looking to place an emergency shelter at the site, but that plan is on hold for now. “We didn’t get needed funding through FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency),” Lake said. “After we got that notice, the street department flooded again.”

The city’s priority became moving the department out of the floodplain.

Officials still want to have an emergency shelter in the city.

“There is still a desire to develop some kind of emergency shelter,” Lake said, “whether that is at a later date at this site or somewhere else.”

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