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      Are residents on board for a new transportation site?

      The debate over where to place the new Albany Multimodal Transportation Site continued on Tuesday during a public hearing that gave residents the chance to speak their minds on the issue.

      In 2009 the city received $9 million in federal funds for the new facility, but the city commission has not been able to agree on a location since.

      For months, the process of placing the new facility, which is currently located on Oglethorpe Boulevard, looked like it was going to begin being built on Roosevelt and Flint Avenue. After disagreements, the commission decided to look at other locations.

      In September, commissioners agreed to pay another $150,000 to fund a study that would find a more suitable spot for the site whose findings were given during the public hearing.

      The company, Wendel, performed the study which named four locations as the best possible locations for the new transpiration center. Those locations include 1121 Gillionville Road, 732 West Oglethorpe, 300 West Oglethorpe, and 301 East Oglethorpe Boulevard.

      The locations include a spot in close proximity to Albany State University, the old Carmike Theatre, the old Heritage House, and the current transportation center.

      Before city commissioners take a vote on which spot will become the new center, commissioners wanted to give the public a chance to voice their opinions on where the site should be put, if moved at all.

      Some residents like Victor Edwards say they can't understand why the city is putting so much money into a new facility when it would be less costly to renovate the old building instead. Edwards adds that when the city buys the new building, contractors will possibly lose their jobs when all new contracts have to be written up and bid on.

      Other residents like Judith Corbett support a possible move if it benefits the area but say they want to hear concrete numbers on how much each site will cost before they can decide on which is best.

      During the hearing, many residents expressed their desire to keep the station as close to downtown as possible so the area can be easily accessed for those who need to go to do things like pay their water bill at the Water, Gas & Light building on Pine Avenue.

      The city commission will take all of these issues into consideration before the full presentation of each site, including costs, is given on Tuesday during their regularly scheduled meeting.

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