EDA, extension office moves to armory

Published 6:52 pm Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The armory housed in Linden will soon become home for the Marengo County Economic Development Authority (MCEDA) and the Alabama Cooperative Extension Services (ACES) as the result of a partnership with the Marengo County Commission.

The commission planned to purchase the armory after the facility recently closed for the amount of $125,000.

The building will now serve several purposes in addition to housing these two offices.

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“We will use the building as a small business incubator,” Brenda Tuck, executive director of the EDA said.

In one wing, the MCEDA and ACES will have their offices. In the other wing, there are several offices that will be rented out to small businesses that need the space.

The armory is also equipped with a large room, which will be rented out to be used for different functions throughout the year, county commission chairman John Crawford said.

Another possibly of the armory would be for local police departments to make use of the firing range housed in the facility.

In addition to the offices, there is a full service kitchen in the armory which can be used as well during events.

Tuck said she is very excited about being able to use the facility. She has previous experience managing a small business incubator for 12 years in Dallas County.

Those involved are also working to apply for a small business incubator grant that will assist with purchase costs and renovation for the facility.

As of right now, there are no set deadlines for the renovations or the move to take place.

As the MCEDA plans to move to the armory, questions may arise of what will become of their current facility on North Main Street.

The county commission approved for the 911 office to move into that facility as soon as it becomes available.

EMA/911 Director Kevin McKinney also addressed the county commission at the meeting Tuesday to make them aware of the upcoming technology changes that need to be made in the 911 center.

Alabama Next Generation (ANGEN) is calling for all 911 centers to convert their incoming telephone lines to use Voice Over Internet Protocol, which would use the internet to receive 911 calls.

Though they would have some time to make the switch, McKinney said it would be better to relocate to a county building.

The 911 center is currently in the Civic Center in Demopolis and will move to the now EDA building in Linden once it becomes available.

The move and the change over to Voice Over Internet Protocol has an anticipated cost of about $350,000.