Dougherty Co. leaders want more of a say in downtown development

Dougherty Co. leaders want more of a say in downtown development
Dougherty County Board of Commissioners. (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - There was a bit of a debate between some Dougherty County and Albany leaders Monday.

Albany’s Downtown Manager told Dougherty County Commissioners of a grant they could go 50/50 on.

They spend between $50 and $75,000 together, and if chosen, the state would match that money.

The grant would fund a comprehensive plan for downtown developments.

But county commissioners said they asked to be a part of downtown revitalization plans months ago.

Several also said they worry that they would simply give the city money, but wouldn’t be given a seat at the table to actually make plans.

“I can’t tell you how frustrating it’s been over the past two decades to see consultant after consultant after consultant come in and write a recommendation, a master plan, a vision of what this should look like," Commissioner Russell Gray said. "Whether it’s been collaborative city-county, or whether it’s just been city or specific to downtown. They walked away with our money and no action had been taken.”

Dougherty County Commissioner, Russell Gray.
Dougherty County Commissioner, Russell Gray. (Source: WALB)

Gray said he doesn’t want to keep spending money, because he feels there haven’t been enough changes in the past to warrant any more funding.

Downtown Manager Lequrica Gaskins responded by saying everyone from all departments and citizens could give their feedback.

Commissioners voted to approve the grant, as long as they have a letter from the city stating the county will have equal access to give creative input.

Gray was the only one to vote no.

More from Dougherty County Commission:

You’ll be able to start buying alcohol in Dougherty County right in time for any new year celebrations.

County residents voted in favor of alcohol sales on Sunday back in November.

On Monday, county commissioners approved two new ordinaces to finalize the sale requirements.

Alcohol sales will be legal on Sundays.
Alcohol sales will be legal on Sundays. (Source: WALB)

Package stores can sell malt beverages, wine and distilled spirits from 12:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Restaurants can sell alcoholic beverages from 11 a.m. to midnight.

The ordinances go into effect Jan. 1.

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