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Public works building renovations, US 278 complete street project on Avondale work session agenda

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Public works building renovations, US 278 complete street project on Avondale work session agenda

US 278 in Avondale Estates. Source: Wikimedia Commons
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Avondale Estates, GA — The Avondale Estates City Commission will hold its regular work session on Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 5:30 p.m.

The meeting is open to the public and will be held via zoom. Here are the access instructions:

Connect via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83871975072

Or Telephone (Audio Only): 301.715.8592 Webinar ID: 838 7197 5072

To see the full agenda, click here.

Items of note on the Feb. 24 agenda include:

– A resolution to contract for an on-call storm water advisor.

“This contract with Brown and Caldwell is for support activities associated with engineering, developing, and contracting for services to support the implementation of stormwater infrastructure repairs,” the agenda says. “It was discussed at the Feb. 10 work session.”

There’s a separate contract with Brown and Caldwell under consideration for support activities and drafting the city’s annual MS4 report that’s required by the Environmental Protection Division. The company will train staff on best management practices for tracking and assessing stormwater infrastructure.

– A resolution to contract to buy right of way for the U.S. 278 complete street project.

“[The] contract will allow City to use grant funding to acquire rights of way necessary to complete the US278 project,” the agenda says.

The city has been working on the project since 2014. It aims to improve U.S. 278 and includes a “road diet” that will reduce the five-lane road to three lanes between Sam’s Crossing and Ashton Place.

– A resolution to sign a contract to renovate the city’s public works building.

“This contract has been discussed at several meetings, including the Feb. 10 work session,” the agenda says. “The agreement will be for an amount not to exceed $265,000.”

Renovating the public works building became a campaign issue in 2019.

Former city manager Brown accused Mayor Elmore of failing to improve the city’s public works building. Elmore, who ultimately won the election, said during a mayoral forum that while $600,000 was budgeted for improvements under Brown’s time as city manager, the actual project was estimated to cost $1.2 million, which was not feasible.

The City Commission previously approved up to $50,000 to fix problems at the building but ended up spending only $8,000.

City Manager Patrick Bryant previously said the current public works facility was purchased more than a decade ago and isn’t what the city needs. Before Brown resigned as city manager, he budgeted $600,000 to completely renovate the building. But a consultant estimated the cost would be $1.2 million and the city would’ve needed to borrow money to pay for that project.

“It was at that time the board was saying we don’t want to put $1.2 million in this facility because we don’t want to be in this facility because it’s in the heart of our downtown,” Bryant said, noting that Ken Turner was the interim city manager when this discussion took place.

The city commission asked Turner to look at other places for a public works facility and at one point was negotiating with the owner of a location, but those negotiations fell through.

The $50,000 budgeted for renovations was to make immediate repairs while the city worked on a longer-term solution, Bryant said. Most of that was supposed to cover a separate women’s restroom facility, but there wasn’t a need because there’s a private bathroom that can be used as a women’s restroom, he said. There also are no female employees currently working in the public works building.

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