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East-end annex coming together
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Liberty County’s east-end annex is taking shape as the architect talked design and demolition with commissioners last week. But Midway is going to have to decide what it does with its city hall.
“We’re looking at over ground and below ground demolition,” David Holton of Buckley & Associates said.
Much of the site will be lawns, when this work is done, he said.
Most recently used as the old Liberty Elementary School, the east-end annex will become the Midway-Riceboro Branch Library, recreation rooms for after-school activities and various rooms for county offices and community meetings.
There is enough SPLOST money to start demolition, but money from the sales tax still needs to accumulate for phase two of the project, which includes asbestos removal and renovations.
About $3.3 million was thought to be needed for east-end annex.
Requests for bids will go out in about a month.
Ripping out the “spider web” of underground utilities will give most of the site a clean slate for building.
“Lets go ahead and rake the site and get it all out, so you don’t have to go through [this process] again,” Holton said.
But before the walls come down, Commissioner Eddie Walden wanted to know when the current tenant was moving out.
If Midway keeps its city hall there during clearing, it could be without lights or water since no one knows exactly what wiring is where.
Midway needs to get a plan together quick, according to Commissioner Pat Bowen, if the city doesn’t want to be caught blind-sided.
“The county doesn’t pay for anyone else’s city hall,” Bowen said. “Our plans are not to provide a place for the city of Midway.”
Chairman John McIver said the board will vote on the issue next month.
In a different construction decision, commissioners approved repaving about 1,000 square yards of Barrington Ferry Road at Highway 119, but with the understanding Riceboro would be asked for some of the money.
The project’s lowest bid went to R.B. Baker at $11,872. Transfer trucks trying to turn are clipping the pavement at the intersection, causing heavy scoring and deterioration on the high-traffic highway, explained county engineer Trent Long.
Considering the delays and price overruns on work to Islands Highway, Commissioner Marion Stevens wanted to make sure the bid was locked in.
“It’s a unit price,” Long said. “We’ve got definite parameters that we’re going by…
we’re keeping it to this price.”
Prices haven’t increased, but work has “mushroomed really big.”
“This project has gone from looking at radius to a whole new intersection,” Long said.
With everybody “crying ‘poor’ right now,” Long said the county can’t expect grants from the state.
“I think very shortly we’re going have to go down and discuss who’s going to pay,” Long said of Riceboro. “That’s a very serious conversation we’re going to have to have very soon.”
“Whoever’s going to be impacting the road needs to pay for it,” Walden said, mentioning a user fee.
“Let’s be aware and very clear this was not exactly a board project,” McIver said. “It came from the city but if we can support it, we’re going to support it.”
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