30 in 30 surpasses goal; Mayor Miller says more blight demolitions to come
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Mayor Lester Miller’s 30 in 30 campaign to eliminate blight surpassed its goal Wednesday morning as the 29th, 30th, and 31st houses were taken down.
Mayor Miller says the next goal for his administration is to eliminate or rehabilitate 50 more blighted structures.
“Today we’re going to celebrate this demolition but it’s about rebuilding this community,” Mayor Miller said.
Three houses were demolished on Pursley Street in Pleasant Hill Wednesday. Once the land is cleared, it will serve as the gateway for the historic Linwood Cemetery. Mayor Miller hopes it will drive tourism to the area.
“Our hope is that because of the historical significance of this cemetery that people are going to come from all across the United States to see our area, to visit our museums and spend money in Macon-Bibb County,” he said.
Yolanda Lattimore, the president of the Macon Preservation Corporation, which owns Linwood Cemetery, says one of the main reasons the street is improving is because the Ocmulgee Trail will come through the area.
“I know eliminating the blight will help with the preservation and the tourism of historic Linwood Cemetery,” Lattimore said.
Lattimore says many people buried in the cemetery have historical significance to the Black community. They include:
- Jefferson Long, the first Black Congressman
- Sgt. Rodney Davis, U.S. Medal of Honor recipient
- L.H. Williams
- Mattie Hubbard
- And many others
They hope revitalizing the area will help young people learn about the historical Black figures buried there. She says prior to the non-profit starting, grave sites were not taken care of.
“That’s why we started the non-profit, to come in and just try to preserve the history and the sacred grounds,” Lattimore said.
Mayor Miller says they will announce the next 50 blighted structures to be demolished next week. Although there isn’t a timeline like the 30 in 30 initiative, he says they’re going to continue working to eliminate all the blighted structures.
“We still have a lot of work to do, you know we’re not going to stop here and pat ourselves on the back for the good job that we’ve done for the 30 in 30,” Mayor Miller said. “We’re going to keep on until we reach every community in Macon-Bibb County and let them know we care about them as well. There’s always hope for their community if they just work together with us.”
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