Vision 2013

SPLOST to fund Newnan public safety complex

by John A. Winters

alt

Coweta voters approved the new county-wide one-percent SPLOST, last year. Without it, Newnan's police department and municipal court would have remained at the aging Municipal Building on Jefferson Street, which also houses the Wadsworth Auditorium.

Thanks to passage of a special one-cent sales tax extension, the city of Newnan will be getting a new public safety complex.

Voters approved the new county-wide one-percent tax, known as the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, last year. Without it, the city's police department and municipal court would have remained at the aging Municipal Building on Jefferson Street, which also houses the Wadsworth Auditorium.

It will be Newnan's biggest single construction project at $8.5 million. The other big project, renovating the old Newnan Hospital for a new University of West Georgia Newnan satellite campus, is estimated to cost about $15 million, but the city's share is under $6 million.

The city is "advanced funding" the project, meaning it will borrow against future SPLOST funds to pay for construction.

The city is expected to announce the location of the new public safety complex shortly. There were hopes the city's new fire station could be located next to the public safety complex to save money, but the fire station needs to be located further north.

"This is a cash project and we will not take on any debt," said Mayor Keith Brady. "It is a much needed project for our police and municipal court... and we appreciate the citizens voting for it."

"I was ready to be in there yesterday," joked city Police Chief Buster Meadows. "Right now we are spread out among four buildings, including rental property. Getting us back under one roof makes us a lot more efficient."

"And with the buildings we have now, we have no room for growth," he added. "Our courtroom is really bad. Attorneys have to meet outside in the hallways with their clients and family members aren't allowed in because there is no room."

"I just really want to thank the citizens for approving the sales tax for this much needed project," he said.

Clark Patterson Lee was named as the design architect for a fee of $399,797. The construction manager will be Conyers-based Potts Construction, which will be paid $409,879.

"We're getting the architects to meet with the police department and start working on a rough floor plan," said City Manager Cleatus Phillips.

Construction is expected to start later this summer with an anticipated opening at the end of 2014.

Once the police and courts move, some decision will have to be made about the existing Municipal Building.

The city and its Cultural Arts Commission have already solicited public comments about the best redevelopment uses for the building.

"It is envisioned that this redesigned facility could become a cultural arts destination and support the efforts to promote tourism and economic development in historic downtown Newnan," city officials said recently.



More Local

Plant Yates to shut down coal units by mid-April

Georgia Power Plant Yates will officially stop burning coal no later than April 15. Units 1-5 have already stopped being used for “nor ... Read More


Grey Matters dinner filled with insight, laughter

The Grey Matters dinner event, held at The Newnan Centre on Friday, brought a unique perspective to those in attendance. Cowetans were given ... Read More


major bills still in play

Legislative session almost over

The 2015 Georgia General Assembly session is almost over. There are two more “legislative days” in the session: Tuesday and Thur ... Read More


NTH Turns 150

Family of editor Cates visits first lady

Adolphus Boardman Cates, who published The Newnan Herald for six years in the late 1800s, was a man with many business interests. In additio ... Read More


Locals preview PBS cancer miniseries

Last week, board members of Lights for Linda Luminarias visited the Atlanta Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to preview a summar ... Read More

West Coweta home damaged by fire

No injuries were reported after authorities responded to a West Coweta house fire on Saturday evening. About 7:00 p.m., the Coweta County Fi ... Read More