By Nick Nunn staff writer
The Bostwick City Council discussed a potential plan for funding the remaining renovations necessary for the completion of the Susie Agnes Hotel project. The remaining costs would be approximately $32,000, only half of which could be paid from existing funds in the city’s hotel fund.
Bostwick Mayor John Bostwick said that, to finish out the project would require from $31,000 to $32,000 worth of improvements to the upstairs portion of the historic building, and that the hotel fund currently includes somewhere between $18,000 and $20,000.
Bostwick Council Member Angie Howard said that she would like to make sure at least $5,000 remains in the hotel fund for operating expenses during this year’s Cotton Gin Festival in November.
Council Member Lee Nunn argued that the overall cost of completing the restoration would be less if the city could pay for it all at one time and asked Bostwick if money from other funds could be transferred into the hotel fund to create the balance required.
Bostwick said that there is currently around $160,000 in the water fund but stated that he does not know the regulations regarding the transfer of city funds from one account to another. He said that he would look into whether or not such a transfer would be possible.
Nunn conditioned his proposal to pay off the entire construction cost by adding that he wouldn’t want to place the water fund in jeopardy by removing money that will be necessary for the upkeep of the city’s water system.
Howard pointed out that the purpose of the Cotton Gin Festival since its inception has been the renovation of the Susie Agnes Hotel. She asked the board for advice concerning the next project for the city after the hotel is complete.
Bostwick said that a general purpose for the beautification of the city may suffice, adding, “We can come up with a project list for sure.”
Howard recommended that the city come up with a five-year plan, listing the projects that the city would seek to undertake. She also stated that public input could be useful in order to make sure that the city’s projects benefit all of Bostwick’s residents and not just a few.
Nunn suggested that the city could consider investing in a playground site at the town’s park, saying that a well-built playset would “last our lifetime.” Bostwick informed the council that the Georgia Department of Transportation acknowledged their intent to alter their Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) to do paving work on Fambrough Lane in Bostwick instead of on Church Street, which was the original intention of the grant.
Bostwick said that the paving on Fambrough Lane would cost $27,000 in total and that the city would be responsible for approximately $10,000, which it will pay from its SPLOST account. He estimated that the work on the road would begin sometime during the summer.