County’s decision on mil increase leaves some agencies uncertain

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – County commissioners may have finally passed a millage rate increase and budget but it still leaves uncertainty for some agencies.

The only way the county would’ve been able to restore full funding to all agencies, would have been passing the initial 25% property tax rate increase that was voted down last week.

“I’m just so thankful that this is over with and we can get back up and be ready to go,” said Macon Transit Authority Chairman Craig Ross.

Thursday’s decision by commissioners to pass a 3 mill increase is now in MTA’s rear view.

“All the commissioners are for public transportation. This was a very vital part of the community–dialysis patients on para-transit, getting our customers to work everyday,” Ross said.

Though he is confident the transit authority will get its full $2.3 million dollars in funding, other agencies are not so sure.

“This big emergency would be whether we’d be able to stay open or whether you’d be able to keep the doors open or whether you’d have to cut back dramatically in terms of when you’re open and what you’re offering,” said Tubman Museum Executive Director Andy Ambrose.

The Tubman Museum got around 230 thousand dollars in funding from the county last year–most of which went toward education programs for kids.

“After school arts instruction at title 1 elementary schools, we do programs and workshops in partnership with Middle Georgia State University School of Education that work with 3rd and 5th grade students–kind of critical grades,” Ambrose told 41NBC.

Macon-Bibb United Boxing Club Coordinator Earnest Butts says kids with similar circumstances come into his gym almost every week.

“8 to 17 is a critical age group and we try to touch on that. Closing this kind of facility would have a big kind of impact on these kids going forward,” he said.

Butts says as of now, he doesn’t know whether Parks and Rec will get its full funding or whether the gym will have to cut back on services or days.

“We’re hoping that we’re one of the centers that are picked to stay in the city for these kids,” he added.

What he does know is he doesn’t want the kids who come into his gym to suffer.

Ambrose says they’re willing to work with commissioners to figure out a solution even if it means they aren’t fully funded. He also says they’re looking into trying to pull funding from the Hotel-Motel Tax since the museum brings so much traffic into town.

That way, funding wouldn’t come from the pockets of residents. Instead, it would come from visitors who come in town to see the museum and other attractions.

Categories: Bibb County, Local News

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