The completion of the new $1.3 million Senoia police department and municipal court building across from the ball fields on Howard Road is being delayed a bit. It is not a matter of budget overruns or contractor delays. The culprit is the rainy weather that has plagued the area for months. At this point the facility is expected to open sometime in May.
Originally anticipated to be completed in mid-spring, Police Chief Jason Edens said Wednesday that date will likely be pushed back to May due to the continued inclement weather.
The complex will be situated on approximately three acres on Howard Road near the city’s ball fields. The land was purchased from Southern Mills in 2008 for $232,000. The project is being funded largely through the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).
Though originally planned at 7,325 square feet, including 5,373 square feet for the police department and 1,952 square feet for the municipal court, the courtroom had been enlarged to accommodate the need to seat 80 people. That adjustment brought the courtroom portion of the project to 1,500 square feet, for a total 2,933 square feet for the municipal court portion of the building and 8,310 for the entire facility.
A question arose at the April 2008 meeting over whether increasing the size of the municipal court portion of the building would compromise the expected cost of the project that had been previously estimated at $1.3 million. Mayor Robert Belisle said he believed the project could stay within budget, noting that the downturn in building activity due to the recession that has led to lower costs with many of the region’s building projects.
The city council in February 2008 adopted a resolution allowing the project to move forward with a funding mechanism through Georgia Municipal Association’s (GMA) Brick and Mortar Program. Through the program, GMA essentially purchases the property, constructs the building and leases it to the city. Once the building is paid off, GMA signs it back over to the city.