Commission gets update on building

ALBANY -- State employees who work at the Department of Human Services building on Oglethorpe Boulevard in downtown Albany may be able to return to their regular desks this week.

Dwayne Greene, facilities management director for Dougherty County, told Dougherty County Commissioners Monday that work crews continue to make repairs to the four-story building at 200 E. Oglethorpe Blvd.

The building was damaged last Wednesday when a single water sprinkler installed as part of the building's fire prevention system malfunctioned and dumped 750 gallons of water per minute into the structure for about 45 minutes -- more than 33,000 gallons.

The building is owned by Dougherty County and leased to state agencies.

State workers have not returned to their regular posts since the incident.

Greene said emergency responders were not able to immediately find the valve to stop the flow of water, which dropped to the lower floors and spread throughout much of the structure.

Greene noted that quick response in protecting the state office furniture and equipment has somewhat limited damages. He said workers with Serve-Pro were on the scene quickly and began the water removal process.

The Serve-Pro employees continue to de-humidify the building, Greene said. He added that the quick action has "saved" the carpet in the building. A complete estimate of damage has not been finalized.

State department heads are meeting today to determine when workers can return. Greene said there is a possibility of them returning to the first two floors this week.

The commission also acted on a handful of routine budget items during a mostly uneventful 25-minute session.

Commissioners approved an application for Robert Barkley Jr. to rezone almost 14 acres of land at 5375 Gillionville road from AG (agricultural district) to R-1 (single family residential district).

The Commission also:

Approved a $76,500 contract with MACTEC Engineering/Design Services for work on Phase II of the SPLOST Radium Springs Improvement project.

Reallocated $30,000 in SPLOST funds to finance the county's share of roof repairs on the Riverfront Resource Center building.

Purchased three 2011 Ford Crown Victoria Interceptor law enforcement vehicles for $21,832 each. Two will be used by the Dougherty Sheriff's Department and one will be used at the county jail.

Authorized the purchase of 45 handheld 800 megahertz radios, base units and accessories for the County Public Works Department. The cost is $74,491, and the Motorola provider is Albany Communications Inc.