The Russell County Commission received only one bid for renovation work on the new Russell County Government Center on Broad and Dillingham streets.
The two-story building that formerly served as the headquarters for Mead Coated Board Division was purchased by the county last spring for $5 million. The purchase price and the cost of renovating the building and the Russell County Courthouse is being covered by a $7.835 million bond issue.
"We expected more local participation," County Administrator LeAnn Horne said. "We really hoped this project would provide jobs for local contractors and construction workers and we're disappointed." The unnamed lone bidder is from Columbus, but the subcontractors on the project are from outside the Chattahoochee Valley.
Since there was only one bid on the project — estimated by architects to cost in the neighborhood of $500,000 — the county can negotiate with the lone bidder on a final contract. Horne said she will negotiate parts of the bid with the contractor.
The county is expecting to move into the former Mead building by late summer, once the renovations are complete. The county will then work on converting the county courthouse into a judicial center, with additional courtrooms and offices for justice system related functions.