Albany commissioners adjust sales tax wish list

ALBANY, Ga. -- Albany city commissioners have just wrapped up their meeting on city projects that would be paid for with a 1 percent special-purpose local-option sales tax that voters in Albany and Dougherty County will be asked to approve this fall.

The sales tax, which would be the sixth, would be expected to generate $62.7 million for the city over the five-year life of the tax, which must be ratified by voters to go into effect.

The biggest city project funded by the sales tax would be the replacement of the Broad Avenue bridge, which has been closed since the Department of Transportation determined it was unsafe for vehicles and pedestrians. That replacement carries a $7 million price tag.

Also, $5 million would be earmarked for sanitary sewer replacement, a figure far below the $10 million commissioners were earlier considering attaching to the project.

Projects for Albany State University -- $1.2 million for a pedestrian bridge over the Flint River linking the university to downtown -- and Albany Technical College -- $830,000 for a pedestrian bridge across Slappey Boulevard -- were added this morning, Commissioners had already planned to spend $1.1 million for an extension of Meadowlark Drive and sewer improvements at Darton College.

Funding for a proposed senior center was raised from the previously discussed $1.9 million to $3 million and Thronateeska Heritage Center saw its support for a new facility grow from a little over $1 million to $2 million.