Arnold’s Public Works and Parks and Recreation departments should have new buildings by the end of the year.

On Monday, Public Works Director Judy Wagner said the demolition of two existing buildings at 2900 Arnold Tenbrook Road was completed July 24, and construction is scheduled to start the week of Aug. 3 to replace the buildings for the Public Works’ Street Department and the Parks and Recreation Department.

Wagner said the project is expected to be finished by the end of the year.

“We are very excited to get this underway,” Wagner said. “It will provide a safer, larger and more organized facility for our employees to work in, and it will also help us store things inside in a controlled climate to make our equipment and products last longer.”

Arnold City Council members voted 7-0 May 7 to pay Franklin County Construction of New Haven $1,202,600 to construct the two buildings. Ward 1 Councilman EJ Fleischmann was absent from the meeting, which was held by teleconference. The company submitted the lowest of eight bids for the project.

Also on May 7, the council voted 7-0 to ratify a payment of $19,600 to AA Quick Plumbing and Sewer Service Inc. of Dittmer to extend a water main needed to allow for the construction of the new buildings. The city received two bids for the water main project, and City Administrator Bryan Richison approved hiring the Dittmer company to handle the water main work. However on June 4, council members had to hire a new company to handle the work to extend the water main line because AA Quick Plumbing informed the city it made an error when submitting its bid and could not do the work at that price, according to city documents.

Because of the need to have the work completed before construction on the two buildings could start, Richison approved a $25,575 contract with Cocos Complete Plumbing Service of St. Louis to do the work, and the council voted 7-0 June 4 to ratify the deal with Cocos Complete. Fleischmann was absent from that teleconference meeting as well.

“It is very unusual,” Richison said of a company not being able to perform work for the price it quoted the city. “I don’t know what went wrong on their end, but apparently, they didn’t figure something in. They told us they weren’t able to honor it. Given the situation where we are trying to move quick and we had another quote, it wasn’t worth it to have any kind of a conflict with them. We just moved on.”

The new buildings will replace a three-sided structure where Public Works had parked its trucks and stored equipment and a small brick house that was used by Public Works employees as a break area and locker room, Richison said.

Public Works will use the new 4,420-square-foot building to store its trucks and equipment. The parks department will use the new 1,910-square-foot building for office space and a workshop, which will allow the department to store all of its equipment under one roof.

“Overall, it will help our operations, and be a nicer facility for our employees to work out of,” Richison said. “Both buildings will be a nice upgrade, and they are definitely needed. It had been quite a while since we invested in that property. You could tell the buildings that we are replacing are starting to look a little worn down.”