The Oconee County Board of Commissioners, in a called meeting on Friday, approved a $2.1 million contract for construction of a new fire station on Virgil Langford Road just south of SR 316.
The Board also approved a lease-purchase agreement with the Association County Commissioners of Georgia that will provide the county with $2.4 million in credit for construction of a replacement for the Barber Creek Fire Station #8 on the Oconee Connector.
The Board also approved the abandonment of just less than 0.3 acres on Daniells Bridge Road that had been highway right of way so that property can be added to the 1.9 acres on which the current fire station sits.
All of these actions are part of a complicated arrangement that involves a land swap so the county can construct a new fire station capable of handling a ladder truck to better serve the commercial area around the Oconee Connector and Epps Bridge Parkway.
The first item on the agenda for the Friday meeting was a public hearing on the abandonment of the right of way right of way that has been unused since Daniells Bridge Road was realigned nearly 20 years ago to intersect with Mars Hill Road and the Oconee Connector.
Only one citizen not employed by the county was present, and she did not speak at the quickly called and closed public hearing.
The Board approved the abandonment in a 3 to 0 vote. Commission William “Bubber” Wilkes missed the meeting because of family obligations.
The county plans to swap the land on which the existing Barber Creek Fire Station now exists–and the abandoned right of way–for the land on Virgil Langford Road on which the new fire station will be built.
The Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG), a nonprofit instrument of Georgia county governments based in Atlanta, will own the land on which the new fire station will be built.
ACCG will construct the fire station to Oconee County standards and then lease it back to the county.
The commissioners on Friday passed a resolution approving that lease-purchase agreement.
According to the Installment Sale Agreement released by the county, ACCG will be providing $2.4 million in a loan to the county.
County Attorney Daniel Haygood said at the meeting on Friday that the interest rate for the loan payment will be 2.853 percent, with the first interest payment due on Sept. 1.
Principal payments of $600,000 will start on Sept. 1, 2019, and continue every six months, Haygood said.
The contract will expire in March of 2022, according to Haygood, though the county may be able to pay back the loan sooner.
The payments are dependent on collection from the 2015 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.
Timing Of Funds
The county is entering into the lease-purchase agreement with ACCG to begin construction of the fire station before the needed money is collected from the 2015 SPLOST.
The county has $1.3 million available for the fire station from 2009 SPLOST and $3 million set aside in SPLOST 2015 for fire and rescue expenditures.
The county is using money already collected from SPLOST 2015 to build three multi-use sports fields at Oconee Veterans Park.
The lease-purchase agreement with ACCG provides the county with the money to move forward with construction of the fire station as well as construction of the ball fields.
The Board on Friday also approved a final contract for construction of the new fire station.
Kevin Price Construction, 2500 Daniells Bridge Road, provided a guaranteed maximum price of $2,098,799.
The station will sit on 3 acres on Virgil Langford Road near the intersection with Jimmy Daniell Road.
Haygood said Price is ready to begin construction of the new Fire Station #8, which the county expects to have operating by the end of the year.
I was unable to make it to the called meeting on Friday because another commitment ran longer than expected.
Penny Mills did attend and recorded the video below.
She was the only citizen not employed by the county present at the meeting.