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Huntsville Receives Grant For New $4.1 Million Heavy Fleet Services Facility

City of Huntsville November 30, 2011 (Huntsville, AL) - Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle announced a $4.1 million expansion of the City's Heavy Fleet Services building, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Huntsville was the only City in Alabama to receive funds from the $928.5 million program, designed to "strengthen transit choices while improving safety and reliability," according to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The FTA grant will contribute $3,293,061 for the Heavy Fleet Services building, with the $800,000 balance provided by the City of Huntsville.

"Huntsville qualified for the grant because we are focused on doing everything possible to streamline our costs and improve our transit system," said Mayor Battle. "These funds will help us complete our facility master plan for fleet improvements, and at the end of the day, it will increase our efficiency and save the City a significant amount of money." The Huntsville Fleet Services Complex, 2739 Johnson Road, maintains all city owned vehicles. This includes police cars, fire trucks, busses, sanitation and dump trucks. Three years ago, when Mayor Battle asked department heads to look for cost savings opportunities, General Services and Transportation proposed a three phase plan to improve fleet maintenance operations.

"It sounded so simple, but we needed to replace the 1964 roof to improve energy costs, and we needed more room to service vehicles under cover," said General Services Director Jeff Easter. "Our interior is so limited that many repairs take place out of doors, and that means hauling equipment in and out every day if the weather cooperates."

Phase one of the master plan was funded by a 2010 federal stimulus grant and provided a new $800,000 roof. It has reduced overall energy costs by at least 35 percent and doubled light levels without adding new fixtures. The City funded phase two with a $2 million upgrade to the Light Duty Fleet facility, which included $200,000 in new software for maintenance operations. The 26,694 square foot Heavy Fleet expansion will complete phase three of the master plan. It will provide 14 heavy service bays, offices, computer and training room. "This is a state of art facility that will allow us to better service our busses," said Transportation Director Tommy Brown. "When a bus is down, we still have to go. We have to have dependable service, and this will help us with a faster turnaround."

The project is scheduled for bids in late spring 2012 with construction under way in early summer. Architect is Robert Van Puersem with SKT Architects.


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