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Planning Process Moving Forward for New Municipal Complex


PRELIMINARY PLANS – Dresden city officials, engineers, and contractors go over preliminary plans for the construction of a new municipal complex during a Sept. 15 meeting.


Dresden city officials, engineers, and construction contractors got together on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 15 to look over the latest set of preliminary plans for the construction of a new municipal complex to replace the former facility destroyed by the Dec. 10, 2021 tornado.

Representatives with the A2H engineering firm presented the plans, and reps with Henson Construction were also present to answer questions from city officials and citizens present at the meeting.

As Ryan McDaniel with A2H pointed out, the plan involves constructing a new facility at the site of the old city hall near the courthouse in downtown Dresden.

“This is a high-level plan that will require some refining,” said McDaniel.

According to the plan, the new facility will house city government offices, as well as the fire and police departments. It will also include a drive-thru window for customers to pay bills, a board meeting room, a space for city court, and storage areas.

Mayor Jeff Washburn said that he is still waiting on word from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as to whether or not government funding will be available for hardening an area inside the facility as a protected safe area that can be sealed off in case of natural disasters or other emergencies.

A2H rep. Travis Martin said they are hoping to acquire a 40’ x 120’ adjacent plot of land owned by Tony Winstead, which he said would be used for extra parking space, but he pointed out that the preliminary plans were drawn up on the assumption that they would not get that property.

“I’m hoping we can work out some agreement with Mr. Winstead on that corner,” said Washburn. “He has made an offer, but I don’t know if it’s an offer the board will approve.”

The mayor said that, if all else failed, it would be possible for the city to acquire that piece of property through eminent domain condemnation.

“But I would hate to do that and take someone’s property,” Washburn added.

Aldermen Kenneth Moore, Donnie Essary, Ralph Cobb, and Gwin Anderson were all present at the meeting, and all four of them generally agreed that A2H should move forward with more detailed construction plans at the downtown location.

“I feel like we’re getting close,” said Martin, who added that they would probably need to meet with city officials again in a couple of weeks, after which they can start working on more precise construction plans and start giving the city some preliminary estimates on how much the project will cost.

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