CONYERS — Rockdale County is preparing to purchase another Olde Town Conyers building for use as a government office. On the agenda for the Board of Commissioners meeting on Aug. 13 is the purchase of the former BB&T Bank building at 940 Main Street for $775,000.
The building will be used for Rockdale Water Resources’ customer service department, which is now located at 958 Milstead Ave. in the county administration building.
The “flying saucer” shaped building was constructed in 1963 by DeKalb County Federal Savings and Loan. Main Street Savings Bank purchased and updated the building in 1990. Main Street merged with BB&T in 2006 and it was BB&T’s South Main bank branch until they closed the branch earlier this year.
The building was put up for sale by BB&T’s Real Estate Owned division on March 1 of this year with an asking price of $950,000.
Rockdale County Finance Director Roselyn Miller told The Citizen that the money for purchase will come from encumbered funds in Rockdale Water Resources’s capital projects budget. The 2019 capital projects budget totals $47.9 million and includes revenue from customers for water and sewage treatment improvements, funds from bonds taken out in 1999 and 2005, special purpose local option sales tax funding from the 2011 and 2017 SPLOSTs, and $27 million in a GEFA loan for the construction of the Snapping Shoals Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Miller said there is not a line item in the capital projects budget for the purchase of the building because they did not know until after the 2019 budget was approved in December 2018 that the building would become available.
The BB&T building will be the second Olde Town structure purchased by Rockdale County in the last two years. In 2018 the county bought the Clay Building at 874 Main Street, directly across from the entrance to the county courthouse, for $345,000. The county included in its 2018 budget $700,000 for the purchase and renovation of the historic building built in 1900.
The plan was to renovate the two-story building and move the Magistrate and Probate courts into it to give them more room. Magistrate Court is now held at 945 Court St., while Probate Court is at 922 Court St.
But the renovation was put on hold while the county attempted to get a $140 bond referendum passed which would have built a new judicial complex adjacent to the current courthouse, and moved county administrative offices into the current courthouse. That referendum was defeated by almost a 2-1 margin by county voters in May 2018.
The county is now going back to their original proposal for the Clay Building. A Request For Proposal was sent out in May of this year for renovation of the building for the Magistrate and Probate courts. Recreation and Maintenance Director Sue Sanders said the renovations are “pending bid negotiations with a potential vendor.”