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City looks at authority for building new city hall, parking
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The City of Conyers may already have a Public Facilities Authority capable of issuing construction bonds. Even if it does, it may not be needed yet.

But it's a "tool in the toolbox" that City Council wants to have for possible funding of potential municipal projects such as a new City Hall or a parking lot off S. Main Street in Olde Town. On March 4, the council approved the filing of state legislation to create a Public Facilities Authority to cover its bases.

"We may not even have to use it," said City Manager Tony Lucas, explaining that the filing is being done out of an "abundance of caution."

A Public Facilities Authority already exists on paper. It was founded in 1979, and its membership automatically includes the mayor and the councilmen. The last project funded through its bonding ability, Lucas said, is the city public safety building where the council currently holds its meetings, which was built decades ago.

Assistant City Attorney Carrie Bootcheck said that old authority may still be legally alive. She is consulting with attorneys at the General Assembly, which approves such local authorities.

But meantime, with the current Gold Dome session moving quickly, the city will seek legislation to create a new authority in case it needs to. The new version would have five members, who probably would be the mayor and four of the five councilmen. A local state legislator would be asked to file it on the city's behalf.

Either way, the authority is just one of several possible funding mechanisms for such projects as the new City Hall, which is in a design stage even though no site or construction date has been chosen.

In other council business:

-The council approved a beer and wine consumption on premise license for Olde Town Bistro & Grill (applicant Eleanor Johnson) at 914 Commercial St.

-Darrell Holmes and Councilman Vince Evans were reappointed to seats on the Conyers Convention and Visitors Bureau Board.

-Caleb Delong was appointed to the Conyers Main Street Board. Delong is a resident who spoke at a February council meeting about his proposal for an Olde Town farmers market, which was well-received.

-Josue DeJesus was recognized for 10 years of service as an employee of the city's Stormwater Services department.