Hinesville City Manager Billy Edwards reported on capital-improvement projects for fiscal year 2014 during the Sept. 19 city-council meeting.
Among these projects are renovations to and expansion of the city’s wastewater-treatment plant on Fort Stewart, the widening of Veterans Parkway and several smaller road improvements.
“We made the wastewater-treatment plant on Fort Stewart operational in 1985,” Edwards said. “It’s located on the base, but the city of Hinesville owns, operates and maintains it ... We will keep it running during the renovation and expansion.”
Edwards said the Fort Stewart plant is one of two owned by the city. The Stewart plant treats an average 4.7 million gallons of wastewater a day, he said.
Edwards added that instead of using chlorine to treat the wastewater, renovations includes a permit change that allows the city to use an ultraviolet system to disinfect wastewater. He said the other plant already is using the UV system.
Most of the funding for the nearly $24 million project will be provided by the Georgia Environmental Financial Authority, Edwards said. A new $400,000 generator will be included in the expansion project.
Edwards said the Veterans Parkway widening project is being divided into two phases. The first phase consists of widening Veterans Parkway from E.G. Miles Parkway to Fort Stewart’s gate 5. That phase began with the relocation of utilities that conflict with the project.
The second phase consists of widening the parkway from gate 5 to Fort Stewart’s Gulick Avenue. Edwards said actual road construction for phase one is due to begin in spring 2014 and phase two by fall 2014. Funding for the widening project will come from the Georgia Department of Transportation ($16.8 million), Georgia Environmental Financial Authority ($1 million) and the federal government ($1.4 million).
He noted that the current federal-government shutdown could affect funding for phase two if it continues into next year but will not affect phase one.
Several smaller capital-improvement projects slated for fiscal year 2014 include relocating utilities along Airport Road, which Edwards said is scheduled for widening in the future. Other projects include improvements to Melony Drive, a sidewalk that links Kroger Drive to South Main Street, new sidewalk modifications along Highway 196 that meet American with Disabilities Act standards and a realigning of Central Avenue to link with Welborn Street.
Edwards said funding for most of these projects is through county special-option sales-tax funds, but noted part of the funding for a planned realigning of Central Avenue includes some federal funding.
“The idea behind the sidewalk link to Kroger is to provide pedestrian access to the folks who live near there,” he said, noting that a lot of senior citizens live in that area. “The county is going to do this one as well as a couple of the others.”
Edwards said realigning Central Avenue will make room for construction of the new campus for Armstrong’s Liberty Center, which would border Central Avenue, Welborn Street and Memorial Drive. Currently, Central Avenue ends abruptly about 30 feet before it links with Welborn Street at Memorial Drive. The new alignment would turn Central Avenue toward Welborn Street about 100 yards beyond VIP Office Furniture and Supply.
If the government shutdown continues into next year, Edwards said it might affect part of the funding for the realigning of Central Avenue and delay the project.