Dougherty County Commission approves Holly Drive drainage project

Ongoing program will help alleviate localized flooding

ALBANY — Taking aim at a long-range project begun in 2009 after heavy rains inundated much of East Albany, the Dougherty County Commission kicked off the new year Monday by allocating $421,316 in special tax funding for work on a storm drainage project along Holly Drive.

The funding will help improve stormwater drainage at one of 48 areas identified by Public Works as part of a four-tiered plan to help alleviate localized flooding.

County Public Works Director Larry Cook said the Holly Drive project would be the 24th of the 48 listed during the initial development of the overall plan.

“We’ve completed 23 of the projects, and there are others that won’t be done, mostly because property owners have denied access to their land,” Cook said. “We’ve made good progress.”

County Administrator Richard Crowdis said around $600,000 in special-purpose local-option sales tax funding was initially allocated for the stormwater upgrades, and some $3 million more was earmarked in the most recent SPLOST referendum.

“Of the four tiers, we’ve completed about 90 percent of the Tier 1 projects,” Crowdis said.

Jim Boyd Construction of Albany was low bidder on the project, coming in some $129,000 below the expected budget.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the commission approved $885,000, including $305,000 in SPLOST reallocations to make up for a budget shortfall, to complete a multipurpose facility at Robert Cross Park. Some of the reallocated funding came from proposed storm drainage projects that were taken off the boards.

“This proposal comes with the full approval of the Recreation Committee,” Commissioner Clinton Johnson, that committee’s chairman, said.

Commissioners also OK’d a total of $28,740.68 on separate bids to supply EMS uniforms; $24,993.50 for a Kia Sedona minivan to be used by the district attorney’s Victims Witness Assistance program; $196,195 for a John Deere wheeled excavator, and approved a $714,200 bid to complete the proposed Robert Cross Park multipurpose room, a 400-person facility that will include a catering kitchen and restrooms in its 4,500 square feet of space.

Assistant County Administrator Mike McCoy said the process of bidding separate items for EMS uniforms had begun a couple of years ago and yielded lower costs for the county.

Commissioner Jack Stone, who was unable to attend Monday’s meeting for health reasons, was officially named to serve as vice chair for the year.