County likely to foot bill for building repair

ALBANY -- County Administrator Richard Crowdis told the Dougherty County Commission Monday that attempts to reach the developer of the county's central services building had failed and that it was important to move forward with the estimated $150,000-$190,000 in repairs on the building.

Built in 2002, the building was constructed without proper sealing, which has caused water damage throughout the structure, county officials say.

Last September, the commission directed Crowdis to try to reach the developer of the property to find alternatives to the county footing the bill, which is estimated to cost as much as $190,000, in hopes of determining if the building was still under some type of warranty.

On Monday, Crowdis told the commission that attempts to reach the company he identified as Albany Redevelopment Partners had failed and that he felt it was important to move forward with repairing the problems.

"We continue to get complaints about the water issues there and I feel its important that we move forward with repairs to the facility," Crowdis said.

A project of the now-shuttered Albany Tomorrow Inc., the $15.3 million project was competed in October 2002 and provides office space to both city and county government departments. It sits adjacent to the Albany-Dougherty Government Center.

Crowdis told the commission that his office had received another complaint from city tenants about the issues associated with water leaks throughout the building.

In September, commissioners bemoaned expensive repairs to a building constructed less than a decade ago.

"That's a lot of money to have to fix something that shouldn't be in the state it is now," Commissioner Lamar Hudgins said.

A full external rehabilitation of the facility will likely be needed, county officials said, which would require work on the facade, brickwork, windows and other exterior areas.