ALBANY The owners of the existing bus transfer station downtown have joined with the owners of vacant property near the site of a planned multi-million multimodal transportation center in a lawsuit to block the project from moving forward, attorneys say.
Al Corriere, who said Tuesday afternoon that he is representing the interests of David and John Sherman and the Destiny Group, filed suit in federal court "challenging the propriety" of the federal government's determination that the proposed multimodal site has no significant impact on the environment and surrounding businesses.
Corriere said that there were "significant problems" with the federal government's analysis of the site.
"We've filed suit and forwarded copies to be served on the city and other entities and we're hoping that they (the commission) would choose to do what we think is the right thing and not attempt to re-invent the wheel and leave that bus transit facility where it is," Corriere said.
The city commission is set to vote tonight at 8 p.m. whether to allow up to $590,000 to be spent on a federally-mandated archeological study of the proposed site, which is located in a parking lot behind the Dougherty County Courthouse.
Since the project is funded chiefly by federal stimulus dollars, the city and state are working under a tight deadline to get the funds spent. City officials have said if the funds aren't spent on the project by September 2013, they'll lose the stimulus funding.
Earlier Tuesday, before the suit had been filed, City Manager James Taylor said that the state and federal authorities had taken a second look at their analysis of the site and "stood behind their decision."
How Tuesday's vote will shake out remains to be seen.
Commissioner Christopher Pike has publicly expressed concern with the project and its lack of public support and voted against it in the work session earlier this month. He was joined by Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard who also expressed reservations about the entire project.
Ward V Commissioner Bob Langstaff told the Herald Monday that he will be out-of-town on a family matter and will miss the meeting, meaning that five commissioners and the mayor will decide the center's fate.