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Three firms in hunt for sales tax projects
Presentations set for next month
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Forsyth County News

Three firms will be interviewed next month for the job of project manager for the construction of Forsyth County’s new courthouse and expanded jail.

The selection committee narrowed the list of five submitting firms down to three on Tuesday.

Jacobs and JLL+CPS, both of Atlanta, and Carter Goble Lee of Alpharetta will return July 9 to discuss their proposals to manage the courthouse and jail projects.

Voters approved the facilities through a 1-cent sales tax extension in the fall.

The next round of the special purpose local option sales tax, also known as SPLOST VII, includes an estimated $100 million for the two facilities, to be built across from each other on East Maple Street in downtown Cumming.

Officials have said current estimates project the new round of sales tax will bring in about $203 million through July 2019.

In addition, voters approved the bonding of up to about $89 million for the projects’ initial start before sales tax revenues are collected beginning in July 2013, though advance financing has not yet been approved by commissioners.

The selection committee hopes to make its recommendation on July 9 following the interviews, so the full nine-member SPLOST VII Jail/Courthouse Project Team can discuss the selection and forward its opinion to the county commission for approval.

Like the committee selecting an animal shelter design firm, the courthouse and jail selection committee discussed the sealed proposals in a closed executive session before announcing the short list.

Forsyth County Procurement Director Donna Kukarola explained that the committee is subject to the Georgia Open Meetings Act, which requires selection groups to hold public meetings.

“There is no reasonable way for the county to consider the [sealed] proposals without disclosing the contents,” Kukarola said.

The group narrowed the list after about 30 minutes.

Members of the selecting group include Capt. Chuck Smith of the sheriff’s office; Steve Rhoades of Forsyth County Public Facilities; Tim Merritt, deputy county manager; Scott Morgan, city of Cumming Planning Department, and Dawn Childress, court administrator.