Houston County leaders are asking voters to continue paying a penny tax for another six years. Houston County Commission Chairman Tommy Stalnaker announced the plan for the next county wide SPLOST if it passes in March 2012.
"There is no way that we could raise property taxes enough to keep up with these capital needs," says Chairman Stalnaker.
The commissioners and all three mayors voted unanimously in support of the six year plan for the next SPLOST.
"Encroachment is going to go off the table immediately," says Chairman Stalnaker.
Bibb County is about to bring in millions of dollars after an overwhelming amount of community support backed the SPLOST. Now, with the guaranteed funds dozens of projects throughout the county can be completed.
Department heads have already started meeting to prioritize the project list to create a time line to allocate funds.
Projects include a new 3 million dollar animal control shelter. Interim Director of Macon-Bibb Animal Control Van VanDeWalker says, "I hope that this is a victory for the animals because that is what this is all about."
Around $40 million will go to upgrade more than a dozen parks and recreation centers. It will also create a new"destination park." Parks and Recreation Director Dale Doughtery say the $6 million park will be an economic engine. "[It] would draw people from all over outside Bibb County," says Dougherty.
The chairman of Bibb County's Democratic Party is stepping aside. Daryl Morton made that announcement today. In a statement announcing his resignation, he encouraged Democrats to work together to move Macon forward.
He issued this statement to 41NBC News:
Since January, it has been my honor to serve as Chair of the Bibb County Democratic Party.
Through this volunteer role, I hoped to work with others to address the many challenges that face our community.
Yesterday, I was proud to have joined fellow citizens in re-electing Mayor Robert Reichert, a Democrat, and in showing commitment to the future of this community by passing the SPLOST.
During this election cycle, I have been repeatedly reminded that in this diverse community, we must be willing to put differences aside and work with fair-minded people of all parties if we truly wish to move Macon forward.
I am committed to doing what I can to achieve that goal and urge my fellow Democrats to share in that commitment.
Therefore, effective November 15, 2011, I will resign as Chair of the Bibb County Democratic Party in order to focus my energies on activities I believe offer the greatest hope for progress in our community and our state.
I wish the best for the local executive committee and am committed to working with the officers to ensure a smooth transition in leadership.
The president of the Macon Chamber of Commerce announced today he's resigning to take a similar position in Huntsville, Alabama.
Chip Cherry has served in that position for ten and a half years.
He said in an email to members, "Working in concert with the elected leaders of the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce, the Macon Economic Development Commission, and our public sector partners we have been able to move the economy of our community forward and have played a role in addressing key issues facing our community. The position in Huntsville is an excellent opportunity for me and my family. We have been blessed to be citizens of this wonderful community. We will take with us many wonderful memories and enduring friendships."
He starts his new position December 15th.
In the meantime, Mike Dyer, former Vice President & General Manager of Cox Communications will step in as acting president.
For all veterans interested in finding employment, there's a job fair going on today. Head to American Legion Post 594 located at 1523 Moody Road in Warner Robins. The career fair starts at 10am and ends at 2pm. It's open to civilan jobseekers as well as veterans.