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Government center renovation costs fall
Total purchase, upgrade costs should be less than $2.9M
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Transforming a Browns Bridge Road building from “Liberty Mutual” to “Hall County Government Center” should cost a little less than $1.5 million — a number much lower than what county officials were quoted last year.

The board of commissioners is expected to discuss the official price at a work session today.

If the commissioners approve the plan, Carroll Daniel Construction will make the building ready to be the new government headquarters for Hall County by fall, according to Commissioner Scott Gibbs.

The cost won’t exceed $1.476 million, according to an agenda for today’s meeting.

The number doesn’t include renovations already made to accommodate the Hall County Elections Office, which moved in the building in early April, according to Gibbs.

Creating a new government headquarters for the county has been a plan for years. Voters OK’d the move as part of a specially purposed sales tax, earmarking some $17 million for courthouse renovations and the move of county administrative offices.

Commissioners voted to buy the building for $6.1 million in August 2010, using a credit line that they plan to repay using the tax revenues.

But last year, they started to reconsider the purchase after initial estimates for the renovations came in between $5 million and $8.5 million.

But today, that number is down significantly.

All in all, the building’s transformation should cost taxpayers less than $2.9 million, meaning taxpayers will pay less than $10 million for the purchase and renovation, Gibbs said.

What that means, according to Gibbs, is county officials have enough money left to build a rear driveway leading to the building as well as a traffic signal that helps motorists turn into the building from McEver Road “and still be within budget.”

Gibbs said construction should be complete and all county agencies should be moved in the building by November, if not earlier.

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