More historic courthouse upgrades OK’d

November 11 – VALDOSTA – Lowndes County approved more than $250,000 in funding as part of the $10 million renovation of the historic downtown courthouse.

Chad McLeod, director of the county’s engineering department, told commissioners that a furniture package for the rehabilitation and restoration of Lowndes County’s historic courthouse was designed to fit all of the courthouse’s rooms once construction is complete, and will include contemporary furniture and historic furniture includes.

Business Interiors, a Tallahassee, Florida based company, was the winner for this part of the project. — Base bid: $109,923.14. — Historical furniture bid: $164,560.29.

Total bid: $274,483.43.

The long-awaited renovation of the historic Lowndes County Courthouse, a $9.8 million redevelopment project approved by the County Commission this year, is being funded by SPLOST VIII funds.

The district contracted with Gladwin Vaughn Architecture and a joint venture comprised of Allstate Construction and Cauthan Construction.

The county has overseen the revitalization of the courthouse since August 2018, with plans to use the building as a regional visitor welcome center and travel center, and to house several public amenities such as Valdosta Main Street.

Other plans include retaining a floor, a courtroom, as a venue for weddings and perhaps other events.

Renovation works are in progress.

According to McLeod, the second floor of the Justice Complex’s administration building is being renovated to make room for the county inspection department, and improvements were needed before the space was moved into.

Renovations to this space include floors and additional improvements. The commission approved Kellerman Construction’s lowest bid.

This portion of the improvements included: — Renovation: $289,682. – Additional alternative: $23,600.

Total bid: $313,282.

At another store, Lowndes County 911 director Danny Weeks told commissioners that the department received reports of degraded radio functionality sometime during the summer.

An investigation found lightning damage to the Valdosta radio tower and Naylor tower sites, and the board authorized emergency repair work to correct the problem.

Repair costs include: — Repair at Valdosta Tower location: $23,893.30. – On-site repair at Naylor Tower: $62,614.55.

Approximate total repair cost: $86,507.85.

Lowndes County awarded $50,000 to continue local family empowerment program.

Funding is provided for at least two cohort benefits, an increment over the single cohort, with initial funding. Each cohort consists of a minimum of eight and a maximum of twelve young people and their families.

This grant program was originally funded in April to implement evidence-based programs and prevention strategies for youth who are first-time offenders, diverted from the juvenile justice system, or charged with a status offense and identified as vulnerable.

Since the training costs are reimbursed, there is no direct impact on the county budget.

Peaceway Counseling proposes providing two cohorts for $50,000 that include training for two additional staff members.

The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council has indicated that it may be able to offer the training to Lowndes County or the provider free of charge, which would reduce Peaceway’s proposal to $49,400.

The Board accepted Peaceway’s proposal. — Program cost: $50,000. — Juvenile Justice Grant: +$50,000. — Total county cost: $0.

The board authorized a public hearing for lighting districts for these subdivisions:

Improved decorative lighting district

Kinderlou Forest Subdivision, phases 8A (52 lots) and 9 (58 lots).

Basic decorative lighting quarter

The Landings Subdivision, Phase 2 (65 lots).

Quarterman Estates Subdivision, Phase 3D (21 Lots).

Walker Run Subdivision (48 Lots).

The deannexation of a Hahira property was added by Chairman Bill Slaughter at a request made during the meeting; The commissioners voted unanimously, saying they had “no objection”.

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