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Work could begin next year on new visitors center
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Construction could begin July 2011 — a year later than expected — on a regional visitors center at Interstate 985’s Exit 16.

Stacey B. Dickson, president of the Lake Lanier Convention & Visitors Bureau, told the Oakwood City Council Monday night that she had hoped work would begin sooner, but “tax collections were not where we really liked them to be.”

The 1 cent special purpose local option sales tax approved by voters last year is expected to generate about $1.5 million for the center, which will sit off Mundy Mill Road.

The construction delay, however, “hopefully will give us some time to maybe identify some grant money or matching dollars to help us to make the building even better,” Dickson said.

Work is expected to be finished on the center in April 2012.

The CVB operates a visitor information center in a trailer off Interstate 985 at mile marker 14.

The council voted to approve an agreement with the CVB that involves exchanging a portion of hotel-motel taxes for promotion of South Hall. Flowery Branch and Lake Lanier Islands have approved similar contracts.

The Gainesville City Council voted in September to withdraw funding from the CVB and use the money to market the city on its own.

Regional events