2017-03-22 / Front Page

City “Streetscape” project delayed

By Deborah Bennett
Millen News editor

The City of Millen’s “Streetscape” project for downtown Millen has been delayed. Millen City Council received the news during a recent meeting of the group.

City Manager Jeff Brantley explained that the project was delayed due to the need to secure all rights-of-way easements. He noted that acquisition of rights-of-way for five parcels remained and that the contract let date for the project was set for October, 2018, but could be moved up. The project had previously been set for bidding in 2016 with work to begin in 2017.

The project will be funded with a $1 million Transportation Enhancement (TE) Grant awarded the city in 2011 by the Georgia Department of Transportation. Under terms of the grant, the city is required to provide 20 percent in matching funds, which can be in-kind services and materials. The project area will be along Winthrope Avenue from Masonic Street to Gray Street and will also include several streets intersecting with Winthrope Avenue.

Mr. Brantley also presented financial information for Council’s review, noting that the City was in the “black” approximately $11,000 for the fiscal year to date, despite a decline is natural gas sales due to warm weather in December and January.

Council discussed and voted to apply for a Redevelopment Grant through the Department of Community Affairs, with a $9,000 grant-writing fee to Allen-Smith Consulting. The grant, if awarded, will be used to purchase and renovate “blighted” commercial buildings in the city. The buildings can then be sold or rented and those funds used for redevelopment of other buildings.

The City’s solar projects were discussed with it being noted that three of the four projects were on hold. The two water wells project and lift station project were placed on hold due to the need to recalculate the savings to the city and to determine if they were still feasible. The project at the Waste Water Treatment Plant is on schedule.

Plans to apply for a Community Development Block Grant in the amount of $1 million were discussed. If awarded, the funds will be used to finish work needed in the Old Waynesboro Road area to Winthrope Avenue and down- Atwell and Woods Lane to U.S. Hwy. 25. The City plans to incorporate more work into the areas of sewer, curbing, sidewalks, storm water and paving. The estimated costs were listed at $280,000 for drainage, $120,000 for paving, and $390,000 for sewer. This would leave approximately $300,000 for housing which can be used to demolish unoccupied blight properties within the target area. The City will need to contribute $100,000 toward the project.

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