The Grantville city council voted to draw money from three of the city's 2019-2024 SPLOST funds to continue the interior renovation of the city's passenger depot.
According to City Manager Al Grieshaber, $61,000 is needed in addition to the original $100,000 budget.
On the recommendation of Kyle Campbell, of Preservation South, Scott Construction bid $144,827 to continue the renovation.
Grieshaber suggested pulling the necessary money to complete the project evenly from the city's historic preservation, downtown revitalization and recreation and culture funds.
The council was split with councilmembers Jim Sells and Alan Wacaser voting in opposition, and councilmembers Ruby Hines and Mark King voting for the bid.
"I'm aghast that we are considering spending $144,000 of the people's money to renovate the interior of the passenger depot. We don't have a plan; this was thrown at us," Sells said. "You want to take an extra $65,000, and we're just gonna spend it all here on the inside of a building when we got absolute crap for sidewalks downtown."
Sells said the additional money should be taken entirely from the historic preservation trust, which contains $69,000, according to Grieshaber.
Wacaser was in agreement with Sells.
"I would like to see the biggest percentage of it come out of historic preservation," he said. "We're preserving a building."
Hines voiced her support for the continued construction and said she felt it would attract business to the city.
"The citizens have already spoken on how we should use this money, and we're following what they already said," she said. "It's part of history. I think it would be most appropriate if we establish that businesses are welcome in Grantville."
After the council vetoed a grant for historic preservation at a previous meeting, Wacaser said he was frustrated that the council would not use most of the historic preservation funds for the passenger depot renovation.
"If you look back, we had some opportunities to get some grants to do this and there were some people that do to do this their way and not create any jobs," he said. "We ended up on meeting the requirements for a grant, which is what we tend to do in Grantville."
Mayor Doug Jewell broke the tied vote to continue with the project and to take money from the three SPLOST funds evenly.
Also at the meeting:
- The council approved a resolution that requires citizens to wear face masks or coverings in property owned or leased by the city to slow the spread of COVID-19. Masks will be available to citizens at no charge if they come in without one.
- Ron Hutchens and Billy Hand were appointed as trustees of the Cemetery Trust Fund.