Commissioners moving forward with new south Macon senior citizen center

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Despite several residents’ complaints, Macon-Bibb leaders are moving forward with plans to build a new senior citizen center in south Macon. 

“It’s not central,” Pastor Sam Johnson told a full Macon-Bibb County commission. 

Johnson isn’t happy with the county’s decision to take the Bloomfield Recreation Center off Rocky Creek Road and turn it into a senior citizen center. 

“If you want to really make it a community senior citizen center, you’ve got to be central,” Johnson said. 

He and several other residents say the new center is out of the way and in a crime ridden neighborhood. 

“I think you can sell it to them much easier than you can going to over into Bloomfield, because all of the negatives that have already surfaced,” Johnson said. 

Commissioner Scotty Shepherd says there isn’t as much crime as residents think. 

 “I keep up pretty well with what’s going on in the community so far as crime rates are concerned and as such I didn’t recognize any problems in that particular area,” Shepherd said. 

A graph from the sheriff’s office shows only a handful of crimes in the area in the past year. 

“It’s very safe to walk up and down through there. You don’t see groups of drug dealers or gang members roaming that area,” Shepherd said. 

The county has set aside $2 million to build a new center. Shepherd says building or renovating a larger area could become costly. 

 “Our $2 million will go a long way here, where as other facilities that have been suggested…it wouldn’t even get us in the door,” Shepherd said. 

He adds if anyone has an alternative, he wants to hear it.

“I have yet to hear a location that they want. I’m haven’t heard any of these groups say we want it here,” Shepherd said. 

Until someone does, he says the commission has no choice but to move forward with the project. 

Leaders say the current senior citizen center near Mercer Village is small and outdated and the government center doesn’t own the land. Shepherd says the county has made a deal with Mercer University for $700,000 about the property. 

The money will go toward the new center. 

Categories: Bibb County, Local News

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