Macon residents: ‘So what are you trying to do? Shut us down?’
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Macon-Bibb residents took their frustration to the Government Center Friday afternoon after learning about the 2019 budget.
The Operations and Finance committee held a special called meeting immediately following the interim budget approved Thursday afternoon.
The $149 million budget includes funding the Parks and Recreation and Public Works departments and Bowden Golf Course for 30 days, then eliminating all funding after those 30 days. It also eliminates all funding to 24 outside agencies, including county authorities, museums, libraries and nonprofits.
“This whole ordeal is extremely embarrassing,” said one Macon-Bibb County resident.
“Buses? So what are you trying to do? Shut us down? Macon already has a bad reputation. We don’t need it worse,” another resident told commissioners.
The Operations and Finance committee including Virgil Watkins, Larry Schlesinger, Mallory Jones and Elaine Lucas listened to some of the agencies’ leaders. They then approved to change the 2019 budget and fund Parks and Recreation, Public Works, Bowden Golf Course, Middle Georgia Regional Libraries, Macon Transit Authority, Navicent Health, and health departments.
The committee then agreed it would take a 3.6 millage rate increase to do so. That would then have to be approved in full commission Tuesday night. Then, if the millage rate is approved in commission, 3 public hearings would have to take place before a final vote in August.
Not all agencies were able to go before the committee since Schlesinger and Jones left early due to prior commitments.
The meeting will continue Tuesday at 3 PM.