Progress made on utilities board’s future officeBy Emily Beckett Published 5:46pm Friday, January 10, 2014
Construction on the Maplesville Utilities Board’s new office is on pace for employees and customers to be able to use it in spring or summer of 2014.
Wood framing and air conditioning ducts were recently put in place, and the next step in the project will be installing electrical wiring and drywall.
The board’s new office is located to the left of the public library on Alabama Highway 22 in downtown Maplesville.
The board occupies a small office in Maplesville Town Hall and is moving not only because its employees need more office space, but also because the town needs the extra office space the board uses in town hall.
“It’s going to be nice for the ladies that work in here,” Maplesville Utilities Board chairman Clem Clapp said of the new office. “It will be something that will really be nice for us.”
The space measures about 1,500 square feet and connects to a warehouse on the back of the building, where the board maintains and stores its utility trucks.
Clapp said the storefront was revamped several years ago, along with the roof, floor and the addition of a sewer line hookup.
The new office will give employees direct access to utilities records stored in the warehouse; a closed office for the superintendent to conduct private meetings; a larger area for board meetings in case visitors attend; and a mudroom for workers to use if they need to clean up after repairing a water or gas line outside in messy conditions.
Other amenities include a kitchenette in the open meeting area, a large countertop workspace and shelving on the employees’ side of a payment window and enough space to display gas appliances someday if the board opts to do so.
“We don’t have enough employees to install and service gas appliances,” Clapp said. “We’re not quite to that point yet. It’s another layer of liability.”
The project is estimated to cost nearly $70,000, which includes central air and heat that will account for 8–10 percent of the cost.
The board purchased the space, formerly a hardware store, in the early to mid-2000s.
The town decided to utilize part of it to expand its library.
Clapp said the interior door connecting the library to the board’s new office would probably stay locked during business hours.