Leesburg delays accepting bid on public works facility

LEESBURG, Ga. — Leesburg City Council members have delayed accepting a bid to construct a new Public Works Department building until its June 17 meeting.

Council members were informed of four bids Tuesday night during their regular monthly meeting, but opted to not take any action until the bids are reviewed and further information is obtained on the cost of site preparation.

Four area construction companies entered bids on the project. The apparent low bidder was W.J. Kirksey Construction Co. of Albany with a price of $337,900. LRA Constructors entered a bid of $353,180.

Other bids were submitted by Taylor Construction Co. of Thomasville at $359,719 and C.A. Brown Construction Co. of Albany for $361,846.

Kirksey is expected to receive the contract unless irregularities are found in the bid document.

Public Works Director William Clark said the new facility is much needed.

“We’ve just outgrown our existing facility,” Clark said.

He said the 12,600-square-foot building will have a 60-by-210-foot section for open, covered storage. A 60-by-30-foot section will be enclosed storage. Another 60-by-30-foot section will be used for office space.

That office space includes rooms for public works offices, a break room and locker room space.

“We’re hoping to have it done as soon as possible,” Clark added.

Clark will be moving his department from the former jail stockade on Old Leslie Highway. The existing building does not have enough covered storage for the city’s equipment, resulting in some equipment being left uncovered.

The city was originally going to handle the site preparation work for the new building, but Clark asked council members to consider seeking bids for the site work.

Clark said he expects the city to be able to complete the building and the site work, plus the needed infrastructure improvements to the land, for about $450,000 — less than the earlier $500,000 estimate.

The city also has to decide how to finance the project. City Attorney Bert Gregory says the council has two primary options, since financing is needed.

First, Gregory said, the city could activate its development authority, transfer the property to that authority, which has borrowing power, and then regain ownership when the debt is paid.

Secondly, Gregory said, the Georgia Municipal Association has programs in which it serves as conduits for the money. GMA would loan the money and maintain ownership of the facility until the debt is paid.

No decision has been made on which financing route the council will take.

Meanwhile, the City Council plans to meet at 6 p.m. Thursday to discuss the budget for the coming fiscal year.