Work on City Hall, sewer project are in store

Published 7:48 pm Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The proposed renovation of Bainbridge City Hall, the construction of a riverfront walkway downtown and ongoing work on the Lake Douglas East sewer project are some of the major projects the city’s government has in store for 2012.

Deputy City Manager Dustin Dowdy spoke before the Bainbridge City Council Tuesday evening, providing a recap of the city’s work in 2011 and its planned work for 2012.

The City Council was to have taken a final vote on the City Hall renovation—expected to cost between $3-4 million—at one of its January meetings. However, it’s taken longer to finalize plans in preparation for Childers Construction of Tallahassee, Fla., the project construction management firm, to put together a bid package including all the various pieces of the project. Dowdy said Childers’ final cost estimate is due in February, with final council approval of the project tentatively scheduled for its first meeting in March.

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If the council approves Childers’ bid package, the renovation would begin immediately thereafter and take approximately a year to complete, Dowdy said. Highlights of the new City Hall include a larger Council chambers that would be more accessible and useful for other meetings, a “one-stop shop” for payment of city bills, fees and fines and general improvements to the building’s safety.

The Lake Douglas East sewer project, which is the third phase in the overall master plan to extend sewer service throughout the city limits, began last fall but residents are just now starting to be affected, Dowdy said. As 2012 gets underway, contractors are working on Legette Drive, Woodridge Drive and Hughes Street, he said.

“As we start anticipating that more residents are going to become affected by the project, we’ll start sending out more frequent public notices of what will be going on,” Dowdy said.

Final completion of the Lake Douglas East sewer project is this November.

Another large project that will be realized this year is the planned River Walk near Cheney Griffin Park, Dowdy said. Bainbridge received a $100,00 grant to help pay for the estimated $400,000 cost of a river walk that would start at Cheney Griffin Park and continue into the Earle May Boat Basin. The river walk could be used by people walking, running or using a non-motorized vehicle such as a bicycle, Dowdy said previously. Benches, light fixtures and fishing piers would be placed along the trail.

City officials will also be busy working on a Streetscape project to improve West Street between Broughton and Shotwell Streets, which is expected to begin in the spring, as well as additional improvements at the College Street Park, Dowdy said.