ATC, Thronateeska want more money - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

ATC, Thronateeska want more money

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

An Albany college and an Albany attraction want more sales tax revenue to complete two SPLOST-funded projects. Those projects are costing more than anticipated.

The price tag for one, a bridge at Albany Technical College, is increasing substantially. A pedestrian bridge, going over Slappey Blvd. and connecting two parts of Albany Tech's campus will cost twice as much than originally thought.

And city commissioners are leaning towards dishing out more SPLOST money to fund it.

"And our initial splost funding was approved, but the more we got into the development and planning for this bridge, we determined that it was going to cost more than was originally allocated," said Joe Najjar, special assistant to the president.

During Tuesday's commission meeting, Albany Tech's Joe Najjar asked for more than $800,000 in SPLOST funding- that's double the amount that was allocated for the project.

Commissioners voted to move forward with the project, but not without concern. "It's not that we don't support it, we just need to make sure that we have an understanding of exactly what they need before we put them on the SPLOST list, to make sure we have the right amount of money allocated for it," said Commissioner Chris Pike.

"I support Albany Tech in that aspect," said Mayor Dorothy Hubbard. "But I want to be sure that we're going to have enough money to do all the projects. And that's what I'm just not sure of right now. Where we are in terms of the money coming in and where we are in terms of the money for each of our SPLOSTS projects."

Tommy Gregors, the executive director of Thronateeska also asked commissioners for more SPLOST money for their new archive facility. They originally received two million dollars, but need $100,000 more.

"When we go through the SPLOST referendums very early on, we're dealing with just estimates and figures that aren't set yet. And so that's the challenge in being able to meet those. And we certainly appreciate the opportunity to request some additional funds and fulfill this very important project."

Commissioners also informally voted to provide the extra money. But commissioners say this has alerted them to be more careful when putting projects on the SPLOST referendum. Commissioners will take a final vote next Tuesday on whether to give additional money to the projects.

Mayor Hubbard asked city staffers to gather updated information on all SPLOST projects.

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