The city of Greenwood plans to buy a local veterans organization’s building to house public works offices and store vehicles and equipment.
The city’s current 26,000-square-foot public works building sits on a 9-acre property along South Washington Street. The building has nearly 4,000 square feet of office space and another 22,000 square feet of maintenance and storage room and a 4,000-square-foot building for salt storage.
With the Greenwood VFW Post 5864 owning about 2 acres of land directly north of the public works building — a property the organization has outgrown and has been looking to move out of — it made sense to look into purchasing it, Greenwood Deputy Mayor Terry McLaughlin said. The VFW is considering purchasing a 5-acre property along Emerson Avenue and constructing a new building and has started fundraising for the project.
Last year, the Greenwood City Council authorized a nearly 50 percent increase to the fees residents pay for sewer services in order to fund nearly $80 million in projects, including $7.5 million for a new public works building.
Since then, the city has been looking into the best location for that building, and decided to expand or rebuild at the site of the current public works building, McLaughlin said.
The city got two appraisals of the VFW property, which came out to an average of $500,000, and the city council unanimously approved giving the the board of public works and safety permission to purchase the VFW property.
Now, city staff are meeting with architecture firms to select a plan for the project, McLaughlin said.
Whether the project will be a renovation and expansion of the current public works building or a full rebuild has yet to be determined, he said. A timeline for construction also has not been decided, he said.
The new building would house the sanitation and street departments, maintenance for the parks and stormwater departments, as well as vehicles and pieces of equipment. The current building is running out of space and officials want the new site to serve as the central storage and maintenance location for all of the city’s 69 vehicles 117 pieces of equipment, McLaughlin said.
Much of the equipment is being stored outdoors now, making it prone to deteriorate faster. The project would also consolidate all of the equipment at one location, making repairs and maintenance more efficient, McLaughlin said.