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REU readies for new offices

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By Cindy Simpson

Rockwood Electric Utility is moving forward with plans for a new building for its offices.

The board approved a contract with architects McCarty Holsaple McCarty for the site development of 33 acres the utility purchased a few years ago with the intent of building a new facility.

The property is off of Tedder Street in Rockwood, adjacent to the substation.

Manager Kendell Bear said the utility’s main building, built in 1949, is old and employees are scattered among three buildings.

“We want to look at consolidating more of our administrative, engineering and operations,” Bear said. “We don’t have a place to have our board meetings.”

He said REU also needs better training space.

“We have to have multiple sessions of the same training,” Bear said. He said he would like to see them break ground on something next year.

“We celebrate our 75th anniversary next August, August 2014. We would like to have something in the works by then that we can be proud of,” Bear said.

He said he didn’t have an estimate on the final cost, but he didn’t project a rate increase to fund the building. He had a better idea of the first phase costs, however.

“I’ll be meeting with them to finalize the actual scope of work in the next few days,” Bear said. “I suspect we’ll be in the neighborhood of $50,000.”