Vidalia awaits funding for municipal complex

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 3, 2010

VIDALIA — If everything goes as hoped, the Vidalia Board of Aldermen could let the new municipal complex project out for bids at its next meeting.

But that depends on if the funding agency for the project, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, turns around the city’s combination loan-grant application.

“Our application is in Washington, D.C.,” Mayor Hyram Copeland said. “Once the USDA state office sends the application to the Washington, D.C., office, it takes about 10 days to turn it around.”

If that’s the case, the city should receive notification about the funding by the end of next week, Copeland said.

The projected funds for the project were included in the 2010-2011 fiscal year budget that the board of aldermen adopted earlier this week, and the city has already gotten approval from the state bond commission to complete the project.

The wait to begin the project has been for the USDA to process and determine how much of the funding will be considered loan — which will have to be paid back — and how much will be considered grant that will not have to be paid back.

The project specs have already been prepared for bid and the board only has to let it for bid once they get the word, and Copeland said that if it cannot be done at the next regular meeting the board will have a special meeting to let the bids.

“Within 30 days of letting bids, we will sit down and go over those bids and hopefully accept the low bidder,” he said.

The mayor said he would like to see the project start in the late summer months.

“We would like to get the slab poured and the road fixed before we get into the winter months, because once you get that done you are in an excellent position, but when you get into the rainy season you will have a number of days you lose due to weather,” he said.

The new municipal complex will be located near the site of the new Recreation District No. 3 complex on U.S. 84.