Macon-Bibb commissioners look to budget for alternative summer programs

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Macon-Bibb commissioners are ironing out budget details before they take a final vote in June.

Now, commissioners are trying to find funding for summer camp alternatives. This comes after the mayor announced canceling summer camps, major funding cuts, and furloughs.

Commissioners are looking for ways to keep kids engaged this summer, after camps were canceled last week due to COVID-19 concerns.

“I just think we’re adding to a petri dish situation where we’re providing an opportunity for the spread,” Commissioner Elaine Lucas said.

“Even the employees were concerned about not being around the kids,” Macon-Bibb County manager Keith Moffett said.

Commissioner Virgil Watkins is asking the commissioners to help find room in the budget for alternative summer programs, like an online reading club.

“I’ve moved well passed the summer camp with 200 people inside. I’m asking y’all to come up with something different,” Watkins said.

Otherwise, he says the cost could be more than financial.

“Our homicides are up this year,” Watkins said. “We’re already about to clip the highest rate and we know these things are connected. And to just not try scares me.”

Commissioners proposed to push the furloughs to the second half of fiscal year 2021.

Also, Mayor Robert Reichert announced that the county originally estimated a $900,000 loss in sales tax revenue for April, stemming from the shutdown. The numbers show the county lost $420,000 — less than projected.

Commissioners meet again Friday at 10 a.m. to continue budget talks.

Categories: Bibb County, Featured, Local News

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