County tackles blight, builds new fire station and sheriff’s precinct
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The county is tackling the issue of blight throughout multiple Macon neighborhoods. Commissioners say their goal is to tear down dozens of blighted properties, yearly.
In a continuous effort to reduce crime and clean up neighborhoods the city is demolishing multiple blight properties. For the first time in the Bellevue neighborhood, they’ll have a sense of security. The properties will now be home to a new fire station and sheriff’s precinct.
“We want to do something about this blight and we want to make this area with a fire station and sheriff district office as a magnet for people in the community, for them to be able to come here meet with our sheriff deputies and the fire folks,” Sheriff David Davis.
Sheriff Davis says you see blighted properties throughout Macon and it’s a safety hazard.
“A lot of bad people use these blighted structures, do bad things like do drugs, and do other things,” he said.
According to Bibb County Commissioner Al Tillman, when people abandon properties it’s a long process until the city can take it over.
“We have to go through the court process, cite them and eventually take the property,” Tillman said.
Off of Napier Avenue and Mercer Street they’re out with the old and in with the new.
“When you go in and start remediating this blight and building new things in these blighted areas, it gets people surrounding this [area] to start caring about their properties and spruce up their houses and their apartments,” Sheriff Davis said.
The county is demolishing three blighted properties, paid for with $160,000 from blight remediation program.
In its place, the new Bert Bivins Fire Station and sheriff’s precinct is being built, using over $2,200 of SPLOST funds.
“The deputies are going to be on one side of the building, the firemen on the other and a common area in the middle. So we can all meet in the middle and on the outs of the perimeters of the fire station is going to be a green space. We’re going to turn this into a community space,” Macon-Bibb Fire Chief Marvin Riggins said.
The Bert Bivins Fire Station and sheriff’s precinct will open within the next month. Chief Riggins didn’t have an exact date.
Firemen from the Forsyth Street station will transfer to this site. The city owns the Forsyth station and will decide what to do with the station when it becomes vacant.
If you notice blighted property in your neighborhood, Sheriff Davis says to report it to the sheriff’s department. He says to also report any suspicious activity surrounding the property.