AUGUSTA, Ga. (WFXG) - A push to build a new Henry Brigham Center is on hold after the second round of bids for the project came in at more than $1.5 million over what the city had initially budgeted for. 

A measure that would have allocated additional funding from the city to the project failed after a heated discussion in Tuesday's Commission Meeting. Mayor Pro-Tem and District 5 Commissioner Bobby Williams has been advocating for additional funds for the Brigham Center. 

“It’s important to Augusta, it’s important to district five that we get the Henry Brigham center done, it’s a place that people look forward to each and every day,” Williams says. 

The project was originally budgeted for $6.7 million, but the lowest bid came in at $8.3 million. Leading Commissioner Williams and others to suggest the additional funding should come from the city's excess American Rescue Plan funds. 

Interim City Administrator Takiyah Douse recommended using ARP funds at Tuesday's meeting after Commissioners instructed her office to find additional funds outside of ARP at last Tuesday's Committee meetings. 

“Pricing holds are good through July 20, so we do not have enough time to solicit or utilize other funding in order for this project to be under contract,” Douse says. 

The vote on allocating the additional funds from ARP split the Commission, with a vote allowing the use of funds failing five to five.

Commissioner Sean Frantom raised questions about why the project was sent out for bids a second time. The second round of bids came in much higher than the first round. 

“Why did we rebid a project and there was no scope change, and it’s an additional million dollars,” Frantom says. 

City leaders tell FOX54 the reason the city sent the project our for a re-bid was that they expected prices to go down from the initial bid. This decision was made under former City Administrator Odie Donald's office who left the city earlier this year. 

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