Although Flowery Branch City Council members can see the benefits of unifying the public works department in a single location, they are having second thoughts about immediately funding the project.
The issue was discussed during Thursday's work session.
According to City Manager Bill Andrew, it would cost around $22,000 to move the entire department under one roof by utilizing an empty portable classroom unit being offered by the Hall County Schools System.
There would be no charge for the unit itself, but the city would have to pay to move the building and erect a fence around it for security purposes. The city would also have to pay to run utilities to the structure.
"Maybe we should take a look at this in January or February," said Councilman Joe Anglin.
"If we spend that money now and things start to backslide, we'd be thinking that we shouldn't have spent the money for this project. I definitely see the benefits of this, but maybe we should look at it again in early 2012 when we have a better idea of what our spending (for the year) will be."
Councilman Chris Fetterman agreed.
"We came up short some $60,000 on property tax (revenue) this year. Let's hope we don't have the problem again next year, but I agree we should wait and see," Fetterman said.
Although a specific funding source wasn't discussed, Andrew mentioned during the meeting that the city may have around $100,000 in unspent general funds at the end of this fiscal year.
The plan calls for the trailer to be placed on a portion of the 7-acre parcel of property off Gainesville and Main streets. The city purchased the property in October for $262,500.
Ultimately, city officials plan to create an entire municipal complex on the property.
It would house various entities, potentially including City Hall, the police department and the city courts.
With the council undecided about how to proceed, Andrew is expected to return to the next council meeting with additional information concerning the feasibility of being able to acquire the portable unit in 2012, versus moving forward this year with the project.
In other business, during the voting session, the council approved amending an existing ordinance concerning the limits of influent that can be pumped into the Flowery Branch Waste Water Treatment Plant.
According to Andrew, the changes correct erroneous figures in the original ordinance.
The ammonia limits for wastewater were raised from two to 25 milligrams per liter. While the limits for dissolved oxygen and phosphorus were eliminated.