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County accepts bid to renovate old Health Dept.

Agencies to share space at former health department

Posted: February 12, 2012 - 12:11am  |  Updated: February 12, 2012 - 4:57am

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Columbia County commissioners approved a nearly $200,000 bid Tuesday to renovate the former Evans Health Department building.

Once complete, possibly by June, the building off Ronald Reagan Drive likely will become the shared office for Columbia County’s Chamber of Commerce, Development Authority, and Convention and Visitors Bureau.

County Administrator Scott Johnson said after the Tuesday meeting that each organization already has signed a letter of intent to lease space in the building for $16 per square foot. However, Johnson said lease agreements have not yet been executed.

Augusta-based RCN Contracting won the more than $195,000 bid to renovate the building that once housed the Health Department, which also had offices in Appling and Grovetown.

County Construction and Maintenance Services Director Matt Schlachter said the renovation work includes altering bathrooms, changing the lobby area, adding a conference room and replacing some of the ventilation ducts.

In July, the Health Department opened a centralized location on William Few Parkway. The 22,000-square-foot building was part of a $6.3 million Health Department and Animal Services complex.

Also at the meeting, commissioners allocated $115,000 in 2006-10 1-percent sales tax interest for the renovation project.



• It might soon cost more for Columbia County residents to surrender multiple pets to Animal Services.

Currently, pet owners are charged $25 for the first pet and $5 for each subsequent pet given over to Animal Services.

Once county commissioners approve a second reading of an ordinance change, likely on Feb. 21, it will cost $30 for the initial pet surrendered and $10 for subsequent pets.

Also, retrieving deceased pets from veterinary offices now costs $40 per animal. Before Tuesday, it cost $10 per animal, said Animal Services Manager Linda Glasscock.

Another change likely to be approved for Animal Services is that it no longer will accept pets from anyone living in other counties.

• Commissioners extended a moratorium initially approved in November on R-2, R-3 and R-3A zonings, which have minimum lot sizes of 7,500 to 10,000 square feet.

• A $3 million change order for the second phase of installation of fiber optic lines was approved to pay for the added expense of installing lines where the company hit rock. Administrator Scott Johnson said much of that money will be offset by scaling back construction in phase five.

Issues with the state Department of Transportation, permitting problems and planned road construction also will force the county to spend about $18,500 to complete some fiber installation for the Broadband Utility.

• Nearly $83,000 from the county’s contingency fund was transferred to a more than $9.5 million contract with Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue to give firefighters a 2.5 percent raise.

• An ordinance was changed to give businesses increased options for using temporary signs. The ordinance lets businesses use larger temporary signs and banners to hang on storefronts and gives them more opportunities during the year to use those signs, such as grand openings and special events.

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