Demopolis Civic Center to become official storm shelter with federal funds

Published 3:16 pm Tuesday, August 22, 2023

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During the Aug. 17 Demopolis City Council meeting, Mayor Woody Collins announced that the city has been awarded $2.7 million in federal funding to make the basement of the Demopolis Civic Center a FEMA-rated storm shelter.

The downstairs area has been used as a storm shelter for several years, but it is not a legitimate storm shelter. Collins said that one of the things he was committed to doing as Mayor was renovate the Civic Center.

“It is simply a safe house. We call it a storm shelter because a lot of people go there during severe weather,” said Collins.

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Collins said it was a recommendation from the Washington contingent that the city split the projects and renovate the basement into a FEMA-rated 1 storm shelter.

Demopolis has received assistance from Rep. Terri Sewell, Sen. Katie Britt, and Sen. Tommy Tuberville. Collins said Tuberville’s office is who entered the project into the federal budget. The city has also gotten help from the Industrial Development Board and the Water Department who are sharing a lobbyist in Washington.

“I am really excited about that because all of them have told me that once we get that first building block, we have a good shot of getting the upstairs area done too,” said Collins.

Collins expressed his appreciation for everyone who has stepped up to help make the project possible.

“We’ve had a lot of people helping on this one. I appreciate all of them,” said Collins.