Dothan is moving ahead with a new $1.87 million operations center to be built in front of the current Dothan Utilities operating facility at 200 Kilgore Drive.
The city commission recently awarded the construction project to Saliba Construction Co., the lowest bidder for the project.
Dothan Utilities Director Billy Mayes said the new facility will have a variety of functions, including housing an emergency response team.
Representatives from many City of Dothan departments — including electric, water, wastewater collection, fire department, police departments, and information technology, among others — will locate to the new center to handle emergency management pertaining primarily to utility problems and storm damage.
Though the physical location will not be open to utility customers or the public, Mayes said an internal call center will be able to handle customer service.
“It’ll be the first time we have a hardened place where all the city can be at the operations center,” Mayes said. “It’s going to be a great improvement over our current facility. I think it will help us to strive to provide excellent customer service to Dothan utility customers and the citizens of Dothan.”
The current center is a metal building located behind the Dothan Fire Department, but Mayes said it is simply not as large or safe as it needs to be.
“A major storm could wipe out our complete operations. It’s not just for the safety of our employees, but for the safety of our equipment,” Mayes said.
IT facility equipment and software, including its supervisory control and data acquisition equipment and controls, automated metering infrastructure technology, and outage management system will move to the new facility.
Officials hope a better location will help streamline responses to emergency situations that involve city services not to replace 9-1-1.
Alabama Municipal Electric Authority revenues are funding the project.
Details outlined in the contract indicate the project should be completed within 210 days after the city specifies a “Notice to Proceed” in writing.