It hasn’t even been built yet, but Midway’s plans for a new city hall and multipurpose building have hit a snag in the form of increasing costs.
The validation of $1 million in bonds issued by the Liberty County Public Facilities Authority has been called off and officials are taking a new, closer look at what funds will be needed.
About $1 million for a new Midway city hall is one of the projects approved by voters countywide as part of the special purpose local option sales tax levy.
Midway officials had decided to ask the facilities authority to issue bonds for the city hall construction and to use sales tax revenue to retire the bonds.
The authority agreed on March 9 to issue the $1 million in bonds, but before the required superior court validation, officials looking at projected costs began to question if the $1 million estimate was too low.
At the end of last year, Midway’s architect, Judson Bryant, said the city will be on a “very, very tight budget” to bring the project in under cost.
Midway Mayor Dr. Clemontine Washington has said the city hopes to complete the city hall during 2017.
At present, Midway rents office space in Midway Mall and holds official meetings in the courtroom of the police department at 10490 E. Oglethorpe Highway.
A new city hall has been a top priority for Midway since 2011.
Preliminary city hall drawings show a double-winged building with the two major city functions, city council and municipal court, “front and center.” A large room intended for council meetings and municipal court is right off the entrance lobby, as are accessible offices for the mayor and council members.
Space for municipal court operations and staff are on the right, and administrative offices for the finance director and water department are on the left.
The police department and a sallyport are at the end of the court office wing and the water department’s bill-paying area is at the end of the administrative wing.
Site work is well under way on city-owned land near the intersection of Islands Highway and Charlie Butler Road.
In other business at the Monday meeting, Midway council members voted to hire Ursula Lee as the city’s first utilities supervisor. Lee is a retired Richmond Hill city clerk.
She is expected to supervise operations connected with Midway’s water and sewer services furnished to customers inside the city limits and some that are outside Midway.