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Utility approves design contract
The Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission is one step closer to having a new home.

During the regularly scheduled meeting Thursday, the utility board approved the award of a contract for the architectural design and engineering of the new administration building in a 4-1 vote, with County Commissioner Bob Coleman casting the lone dissenting vote.

Coleman asked the utility board to delay the process until the new board - which soon will increase to seven from five members - is seated.

Voting for the contract were County Commissioner Clyde Taylor, who chairs the utility board; City Commissioners Cornell Harvey and James Brooks; and Georgia Power District Manager Tony Sammons.

The winning bid was awarded to Ussery-Rule Architects of St. Simons Island in the amount of $89,060. The new administrative offices will be constructed on the old Days Inn property at 2307 Gloucester St., which the utility board acquired and cleaned up at a cost of $850,000.

The utility board recently entertained the idea of occupying the former Coastal Bank building on the corner of Gloucester and Newcastle streets but abandoned the idea. Coleman suggested the three lowest bidders make presentations to the board so the utility board could hear ideas and plans from each individual firm before voting on one.

Keith Morgan, director of the utility board, spoke against it.

"In order to do that we would have to open up the process all over again," Morgan said, adding that it would only delay the process.

"We sent out the request for proposal, and they answered it to how we structured it, so that's fine," Commissioner Harvey said.

The next step, Morgan said, is for the firm to meet with the commission and discuss plans for the administrative building.

"You will see if you like what they have in mind and you can accept it, look at costs, et cetera," Morgan said. "If you approve it, we will go into that; if you don't, we can go back to the drawing board and bring back something different."

Morgan said the commissioners would have a great amount of input in the design process.

The joint commission and staff will continue to rent office space at the old Barnett Bank building at 700 Gloucester St. until its headquarters is built.

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