ALBANY — City Commissioners will discuss at their meeting Tuesday a proposal to set aside up to $590,000 to pay for an archeological dig required by the federal government at the planned site of a new multimillion-dollar bus terminal.
According to Assistant City Manager Wes Smith, the city received the estimate from a Tucker firm based on the maximum cost of excavating any Native American historical items from the site.
Smith said the company will dig a series of pits in and around the site and, depending on what is or isn’t discovered, will have to protect and move historically significant relics from the site.
“If they find anything, they’re going to have to deal with it. So the figure was calculated on the presumption that they’ll find many items in every pit they dig,” Smith said.
“It’s an ‘up-to amount’ cap that they wouldn’t be able to exceed, if approved by the commission.”
The cost for the entire project, including the $590,000 proposed contract, will be paid for chiefly by the federal and state government, with roughly 5 percent to be paid locally.
The dig was required after an environmental assessment of the area revealed that the area along the Flint River basin was a hotbed of Native American settlements.
Members of the Creek nation requested that a dig be done to ensure that the center wouldn’t be built on land that may have once been a settlement.
If the commission adopts the contract, work will begin quickly to dig the pits and to remove buried fuel tanks that are on the site as well, Smith said.
City and state officials hope to begin construction of the multimodal center later this year.
The center will include a two-tiered parking deck for government employees and patrons.