ALBANY 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.