Macon-Bibb Commissioners finalize SPLOST project list

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Macon-Bibb Commissioners have a project list for the upcoming penny sales tax vote.

$280 million is the cutoff.

“Because they’re consolidated, they had the ability to issue general obligation debt which then could open the door to a fixed amount of money, not a fixed period of time,” explained Dave Wills with Advancing Georgia’s Counties.

Within that budget are projects most commissioners consider necessary, like closing the landfill and renovating the courthouse.

“There’s a need for repair of our roads and to work on our antiquated storm drainage system. Especially when you have the rain, folks’ homes flood,” explained Macon-Bibb Commissioner Elaine Lucas.

Economic development, blight remediation, debt retirement and roads/bridges are categories on the SPLOST project list, but the one that took up the most time during Tuesday’s discussion was recreation.

“Our phase two projects. Taking care of our traditional facilities like Frank Johnson, Memorial. One of the good things I’m happy about, we were able to get Booker T. Washington some much needed upgrades included onto the list,” said Macon-Bibb Commissioner Virgil Watkins.

When commissioners started listing all the recreation projects they wanted to fund, there wasn’t enough money allotted.

Commissioners reduced the blight remediation budget by $12 million.

Half went to recreation projects, $5 million went to public safety, another $5 million went to storm drain repairs and the rest went to debt retirement.

“We only had a certain amount of dollars so we had to make tough decisions and as a group we were able to do that,” said Watkins.

Even though the list is complete, commissioners’ work isn’t over.

“We’ve got to show citizens why these are priorities. We’ve got to convince them that these are things that they need to support so the ball is in our court,” said Lucas.

Commissioners will meet with their bond counsel and the county attorney to make sure all of the language in the referendum is appropriate then it will be sent to the board of elections to be put on the November ballot.

Categories: Bibb County, Local News

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