A facility for the mentally disabled in Brunswick that recently closed will reopen next spring as a 24-unit apartment complex.
City commissioners on Wednesday approved a conditional-use permit that will enable the new owners of the old Brunswick hospital on Norwich Street to convert the three-story building into an apartment complex.
The renovations will be mostly in the interior, with the opening planned for May 2020.
“We’re pleased you are doing this,” commissioner Johnny Cason said. “It turned out to be a positive conclusion here.”
The building was the subject of controversy several months ago when a nonprofit, Hand in Hand of Glynn, Inc., announced plans to purchase the old Harpers Joy complex and convert it into a home for the homeless.
The plans were met with strong opposition by the Neighborhood Planning Association and the nonprofit quickly withdrew its plans. Mayor Cornell Harvey asked if the planning association was aware of the new plans, and he said they gave the new owners a standing ovation when they presented plans for the building.
In other business, city commissioners agreed to draft a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to express concerns about a plan to take “no further action” at the LCP Chemicals Superfund Site. The Glynn County Commission will also be asked to write a similar letter, or a joint letter, questioning whether EPA considered the additional removal of soil contamination, containment of residual soil contamination under engineered barriers, or any other possible alternatives to prevent potential risks to human health and the environment.
Cason expressed doubts about whether the city and county should accept the EPA’s plans.
“To let them off the hook is not the way to go,” he said.
Commissioners also dealt with another environmental concern: the T Street Landfill closure.
Local EPD officials have recommended additional work at the landfill site that was not recommended by the state including erosion control near wetlands and a plan to remove steel and concrete debris from the wetlands at the site. Georgia Power and Hercules have already signed off on agreeing to each pay one-third of the estimated $70,000, leaving the city to pay the remaining third. Commissioners unanimously approved the request.
City officials also approved a request to accept $300,000 to start a disaster recovery construction program to help city residents impacted by Hurricane Irma.
The city is eligible to receive about $15 million to help residents repair, rebuild or raze homes damaged by the storm. Funds will also be available to help residents make improvements that will make their homes less vulnerable to storm damage in the future.
The office and staff should be on the job sometime in early January.
Commissions also unanimously approved to amend and replace the city’s procurement ordinance and adopt unsolicited proposal guidelines.