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      Agreement in place for multimodal transit center

      Right now it's just a parking lot, but the city has big plans for this space on Roosevelt and Washington behind the county courthouse.

      That will be our new transit facility. We hope that one day it will have high speed rail, said David Hamilton, Transit Planner for the Albany Transit Service.To start, the planned multimodal facility would be the new home of the Albany Transit Service, operating buses, taxis, and bike facilities for pedestrians.

      But the proposed area where the center is to built has caught the attention of the Creek Indian Nation.

      They're concerned sensitive artifacts may be on the site. Tuesday the city had to decide what to do if anything is found during construction.

      The city commission voted to sign an agreement with the Federal Transit Authority and the Creek Indian Nation, dealing with the construction of the facility.

      This project is an environmental requirement and a comprehensive document, involving the state historical preservation officer, said City Attorney Nathan Davis.

      We'll have an archaeologist crew come out and do some ground penetrations and see if there are any Indian artifacts or any other fossils that may be on that particular site, said Hamilton.

      Transit officials are eager to move the process along. Right now they are leasing not owning, bus space at the transit building on Oglethorpe.

      Hopefully within the next quarter of next year, maybe around late march sometime we will enter into the construction phase of that project, said Hamilton.

      And the best part of it all for the city, a large chunk of the project would be funded by the federal government.

      The city will only have to come out of pocket for ten percent.

      It's approximately $9 million. If that number is still a valid number 10 percent of that is $900,000, said Davis.

      Officials say if everything stays on schedule they hope to have the center built by the end of next year.