Macon-Bibb FY2023 budget sees increases
Public safety is one of the man items, along with economic development.
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)— Macon-Bibb Mayor Lester Miller officially released his Fiscal Year 2023 budget. It’s no surprise public safety is one of the man items, along with economic development.
“If you’re going to look at fighting crime in Macon-Bibb county and lifting our kids out of poverty, we have to get them good jobs and give them hope to get good quality money,” said Mayor Miller.
The increase for public safety will increase more than $10,000,000. That will continue annual incentive pay, help with opening a new fire training center, and finish jail improvements.
“If you can put ten million dollars into public safety it’s going to make a difference. It’s going to be lagged, it takes a little time to see the works of that,” Mayor Miller explained.
The millage rate currently looks like it will stay the same at 19.901. Mayor Miller says with the OLOST now being a factor, they expect the millage rate to decrease by about 7 to 8 mills.
“We’re looking forward to 2023 for that but in the 2023 budget right now,” he said. “We’re looking at the numbers we collected last year. So the millage rate we think will decrease but we won’t know the amount of that for a few months now.”
Economic development will see a nearly $4,000,000 increase to help attract and retain businesses. It will also help with revitalizing previously abandoned areas, similar to the plans for the Macon Mall property.
“We have to grow existing businesses, we have to start small businesses,” Mayor Miller said. “But we also have to be very creative. I think there’s a lot of opportunities for taking these buildings that we had before and revitalizing them for other purposes.”
Code Enforcement will see a more than $1,000,000 increase to help fight blight.
Recreation will have a more than $1.3 million increase in funding. Mayor Miller says they’re hoping kids in the community can gain mentors through sports and music programs.
“There’s a variety of different recreations that we have there. But the most important thing is we had to shut a lot of that down during the pandemic,” he said. “And we want to come back stronger and better than ever so that’s why we put more money into it this time.”
For a breakdown of the budget, it’s available on the county website.
The next step in the budget process includes a public hearing on June 7. The county plans to vote on the budget on June 21.