SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - After nearly four weeks, the City of Savannah shared with WTOC how it plans to determine if the land in-question for a proposed homeless shelter is the site of the Weeping Time slave auction - the largest recorded sale of enslaved people in U.S. history.
Interim City Manager Michael Brown sent a memo to Savannah City Council on Monday, May 3. Brown says this assessment will take between 30-60 days. The clock on that started ticking Monday.
On April 8, city council approved the Salvation Army’s plan to build a homeless shelter off Augusta Avenue. But it came with a catch.
The city must do an archeological survey to definitively prove that the land was not part of the historic Weeping Time auction. City records say the sale happened just south.
There were three other big takeaways from this memo:
- The city has hired consulting firm Brockington & Associates to conduct the survey.
- The firm will look at multiple historic maps, including the ones referenced by Alderwoman Bernetta Lanier who is a vocal opponent of the shelter.
- Once this report is complete, it will be verified by the Georgia Historic Preservation Division.
City records show in February council agreed to a $200,000 contract with Brockington & Associates for these types of services.
WTOC asked the city multiple times how much this specific project would cost and have not yet received an answer.