Downtown Albany's post office at 345 W. Broad Ave.
ALBANY, Ga. -- Dougherty County Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard and Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard are making one more direct pitch today to encourage U. S. Postal Service officials to consider allowing a local vendor to maintain a "village" post office concept at the downtown post office at 345 W. Broad Ave., which has already dodged one closure deadline.
Sinyard and Hubbard will have some powerful allies in their corner at the meeting, which is scheduled to be held today in U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop's office. Staff members from the offices of Republican U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson are scheduled to attend the meeting.
"It just makes sense to allow this kind of private enterprise," Sinyard said after Monday's commission meeting. "The property manager of the building (Frances Krack) has said there is a very qualified private entrepreneur willing and able to keep the facility open. We understand that the postal service is making necessary cuts, but there's no reason why we can't give this village concept a try.
"We're asking the 700 or so people who still have post office boxes at the downtown facility to stay put until we get a definitive answer (from the postal service). And we hope we'll be able to tell those who may have already left to come back."
Sinyard, Hubbard and City Manager James Taylor went to Washington two weeks ago and had a planned meeting with USPS officials cut short by inclement weather.
At Monday's meeting, the commission signed off on:
- The purchase of six new 2013 Dodge Police Interceptors from Akin Ford of Winder for $141,006;
- Approval of easements from the Department of the Navy for a stormwater retention pond at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany;
- Accepting a warranty deed for streets, easements, detention ponds and rights of way at the Pecan Grove Corporate Park;
- Accepting a 100 percent Department of Transportation safety grant in the amount of $117,857;
- Approving a quit claim deed from the state to take ownership of 2.1 acres of land at the former farmer's market on Oakridge Drive;
- An alcohol license for wholesale beer distribution for Better Brands of South Georgia and a one-day license for an April 12 fundraiser to benefit Girls Inc.
"Any time you see a grant that says 100 percent, you better jump on it," Commissioner jack Stone said of the DOT grant that will allow the county to upgrade signage.
The commission also OK'd $42,000 for a new animal control truck and $52,000 to upgrade radio equipment for the county police department, $62,000 for sheriff's office radio upgrades and $205,000 for a roof replacement ($140,000) and equipment upgrades ($65,000) on the Flint RiverQuarium. All of the funds were approved in the county's Special-Purpose Local-Option Sales Tax VI referendum.
Sheriff Kevin Sproul updated the commission on the state Legislature's failure to pass HB 1, which is a rewrite of state law dealing with forfeitures and seizures. Sproul said sheriffs across the state opposed the new bill for "not being as severe as it needs to be on drug dealers."
"If I can get $1 million or $2 million (in illegal drug sales) and then have to spend two or three years and jail but come out and have all that money, what's the big deal about serving two or three years?" Sproul said.
Asked by Sinyard who'd written the bill, Sproul said, "There were no sheriffs or DAs involved in the process. I believe a group of defense attorneys drew it up."