Tonight, a public meeting in Fort Valley draws a crowd of nearly 50 residents concerned about the street scape project.
This plan has been in the works for more than six years now. It wasn't until 2010 when state funding was granted that this project began to take shape. Now that the plans are drawn, residents are speaking out.
"We are fully aware that tradition sometimes fades, but we would prefer to see it die a natural death, rather than an assisted one," says resident, Preston King. King's referring to the annual Fort Valley State University homecoming parade.
"We're here to talk about this island, which is not going to make or break State University Drive," says King.
The plan is to put islands, or medians, about every hundred yards down the middle of the road, add street lights, and put in pedestrian walkways. Residents like King, believe it should be done, but differently.
"I've been an alumna of FVSU. I am against the islands too, but I represent the people, and it's my job to see that we don't lose the money," says Councilwoman Barbara Williams, Fort Valley.
The state granted nearly $1.5 million to the city for the project, but the grant is site specific. The city could lose the money if they change the plans.
"To lose $1.5 million in federal funds from the state to improve a road in Fort Valley is irresponsible, and I'm not going to let that happen," says Mayor John Stumbo.
At tonight's meeting, it was noted that per the terms of the grant, the city is scheduled to break ground on the project on April 13th of this year. The city is working with the contractor to present a different design to the state that would not include islands in the middle of the street.