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Dresden board approves exterior design for Municipal Complex

Story by Shannon Taylor Senior Investigative Reporter

The Dresden board of mayor and alderman met Thursday, March 9 to discuss the plans and designs for the Dresden Municipal Complex. After 40 minutes of discussion regarding the project, the board voted to move forward with the project minus a few suggestions they wanted the engineers to look at and get back to them with costs.

One of the suggestions made was a different brick color to make the building look more historical and match the overall look of the Court Square area. Alderman Curtis Doran and Alderman Dale Hutcherson both expressed issues regarding the appearance of the building regarding the color. Doran said, “It’s going to stick out.” Hutcherson said that after talking to people in the community that everyone seemed to be happy with the look of the fire department renderings, but that the historical aspect was very important to the people of Dresden and the look of the front of the Municipal Complex did not reflect the values of the what the people of Dresden want to see. “The front side needs to reflect the historical aspect that people would like.” Many people stated that the front of the building looked like the high school. As far as the look of the downtown area, Hutcherson said, “We believe it’s unique, especially coming from a rural small-town community state-of-mind which I’d very much advocate for.” Brick costs would be estimated and calculated at a later date to see how much the price difference would be.

Another suggestion was made regarding the grass in the courtyard. Alderman Gwin Anderson said that it would have to be mowed and it would get muddy. A representative from A2H Construction stated that they were looking at that for proper drainage. Anderson said that what he liked about the outdoor space was “it gives a space at the Municipal Building that would host functions and this, I think, takes away from it.” A2H said gravel could be used instead of grass for drainage and water flow.

Another suggestion was made regarding angle braces and adding them for aesthetic reason because A2H Construction said that structurally they were not needed. The cost for that would be about $12,000 and would affect signage changes.

Another suggestion was regarding the tube that people could use to drop off payments from outside the building to inside the building and the cost for that would be $38,000 and Anderson suggested that the city didn’t need it. “My concern is, we’ve never had one. You’re trying to service people that for whatever reason don’t want to get out of their car because they’re handicapped and certainly, we’re going to add handicapped parking places and have a building that’s handicapped accessible. They don’t have to sit in their car-they can get out of their car. If they can’t get out of their car, I don’t know if we have it, but every other municipality has it where you can go online with your phone and pay your bill. That’s a heck of a lot easier than putting in a tube for $38,000.” Anderson said since they lost the Winstead property that it was also creating difficulties in the back of the building to make it flow and the tube would become a maintenance hazard for breaking down.

5 voted for moving forward and Alderman Moore passed his vote.

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