City officials discuss options for future of Columbus Government Center

City officials discuss options for future of Columbus Government Center

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Over the past few months, several updates have been given on the future of the Columbus Government Center.

During Tuesday’s city council meeting, officials discussed the results of the public forums and votes held earlier this year.

Four options for the future of the government center were presented to the public, as well as city employees, during three public forums earlier this year. More than half of the voters shared the same opinion.

“Yeah what I think we saw pretty clearly was in every one of the meetings, we held even with the employees is that their first option, their first choice would be option four which would be to relocate the judicial building and the general government building off its current site," said Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson.

Columbus Deputy City Manager Pam Hodge presented an update on the government center to the city council Tuesday. She shared that out of 150 votes at public meetings earlier this month, 77 voters favor demolishing the current structure and moving everything to a new site.

“I kind of favor option four if the money part works out, simply because it’s the only way we’re going to turn that spend into a turn on investment,” Henderson said. “I think there’s some potential sites we may be able to look at that it would really stimulate some economic development and generate some money coming back into the general fund.”

Hodge said the public was concerned about the overall cost when submitting their votes. However, no site has been chosen yet if they do move forward with relocating the government center. So, a true budget can’t be set yet.

“It seems to me that our first step would be to determine the location," said Councilwoman Charmaine Crabb. "We can’t do a design or anything until we know the location.”

“Yeah we need to get it moving,” Henderson said. "We’ve talked about it a lot. The building’s not getting any younger.”

The mayor is asking the Columbus City Council to come back with a recommendation within the next 30 days.

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