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Albany may conduct new study on transit center site

— The Albany City Commission in a preliminary decision voted 4-2 this morning to fund a new site selection study to determine where a new transit center should be located.

Commissioners Bob Langstaff and Ivey Hines voted against the motion. Mayor Dorothy Hubbard reserved her vote until the business meeting when an official decision can be made.

Earlier this year, the commission voted to not fund attempts to put the center behind the Dougherty County Courthouse on Roosevelt Avenue.

The study, which will be done in two phases, is expected to cost $275,000.

City Manager James Taylor says that the study is a requirement if the city wants to use any funding from the Federal Transit Administration.

Some on the commission want to save the money to do the study and instead look at purchasing or renovating the current privately-owned bus station on West Oglethorpe Boulevard.

Ward V Commissioner Bob Langstaff called the study a gamble. Ward II Commissioner Ivey Hines said the city was "throwing money away. "

On the other hand, Ward VI Commissioner Tommie Postell said the city walked away from the previous site after spending hundreds of thousands of federal dollars in studies and research -- which included consideration of the current Oglethorpe site.

The City currently pays rent for the current site, but is reimbursed by the FTA. Taylor believes that reimbursement will stop if some kind of decision isn't made soon.

Commissioner Roger Marietta said that he was swayed by Postell's comments.

"We need to spend this money to move this forward and have it done the way we want it done, then I think it's worth it," Marietta said.

Langstaff suggested that the city approach the current bus station owners and see what they're willing to offer for either purchase or a long-term lease.

Comments

Sister_Ruby 1 year, 8 months ago

Serious question: What exactly is BROKE about the existing transit center that needs FIXING? Serious question.

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jglass 1 year, 8 months ago

So the city continues to spend monies to gain a little funding for a bus station. This really sounds stupid. In the long run Albany will have spent TOO MANY millions of dollars on this project. Yeah, what is wrong with the current center? REMODEL and MAKE DO.

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dingleberry 1 year, 8 months ago

No mention of the amount of rent we pay now--it may be cheaper just to keep renting with no changes even if FTA cuts off funding. What are the shortcomings of the present facility? Remember, if we buy the facility to do as you suggest, the seller will be Destiny Travel who also operates the area Medicaid bus system and owes mega bucks to Capitol City Bank. So, it won't be cheap, just like with any renovations.

Has anyone ever told us how much it costs to operate the transit system, how many passengers use each route, and where the money comes from for operations. Local taxes subsidize but to what extent?

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KaosinAlbany 1 year, 8 months ago

I have to agree with Hines on this one. The city is literally throwing money out the window and they have the nerve to raise our taxes. Some on the Commission do not understand money and we desperately need a commissioner with a financial background. Any CPA's willing to run for a Commission seat?

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KaosinAlbany 1 year, 8 months ago

I am absolutely disgusted at how they run the city financially and something has got to give or there will be NO tax base left and they will have to solely depend on the Federal Government, but I think that is what some want on the Commission anyway. Be careful what you wish for because you might just get it, Commissioners.

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waltspecht 1 year, 8 months ago

Hay, someone's Brother in-law or Cousin needs the work. Plus they may show their gratitude next time they sell that used two year old Mercedes.

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