News12 First at 5 / Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Where you pay your water bill is about to change.
The Augusta Utilities Department is moving into the old library on Green Street.
Major improvements are planned for the building before they can move in. Commissioners will be looking over bids to find a company to manage the renovations.
This is the second time the Utilities Department has tried to move into the old library. The first was denied and commissioners recently approved the moved. It's going to take lots of work before they're able to move in.
Before any one moves, commissioners need to decide on a company to manage the renovation of a building that hasn't been used in years.
"I think it's best to have someone who has the expertise," said Director Tom Wiedmeier.
Weidmeier recommended Heery International should get the contract. Heery has been a big part of recent city projects, but commissioners could look to go a different directions.
It's taxpayers money. You can't give it to one company because they're already doing business with the city. This is taxpayers money and anything over $5,000 is supposed to be put out for bid anyways," said Commissioner Marion Williams.
"I don't think we ought to just hand somebody a job," said Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle.
Right now, the Utilities Department is split between two locations, it's costing to taxpayers of $14,000. "I think it's a more permanent solution for us than leasing the space. I think it will be a benefit for our customers as well," said Director Tom Weidmeier.
The move to the library would not only put the entire department in one location, it could include a drive thru bill payment center. Some say it all boils down to better access for Richmond County Citizens.