American Rescue Plan $18M to fight blight, food desert, homelessness

Macon-Bibb mayor says $37 Million in COVID-19 recovery plan money has been allotted to the county so far

Mayor+Lester+Miller+said+it%27s+an+insult+to+say+the+Brookdale+homeless+center+is+only+a+%22bandaid%22+on+the+problem.+He+proposed+spending+%244+million+for+a+United+Way+subsidiary+to+manage+the+operation+for+five+years.++

Mayor Lester Miller said it’s an insult to say the Brookdale homeless center is only a “bandaid” on the problem. He proposed spending $4 million for a United Way subsidiary to manage the operation for five years.

Macon-Bibb County designated nearly half of its American Rescue Plan money to address housing, blight, food deserts, homelessness and boost tourism.

Mayor Lester Miller said $37 million has been allotted so far, but the county could receive twice that. Macon-Bibb did not receive all that it had anticipated from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act last year, so he wants to be cautious earmarking anything beyond what is in hand.

Miller proposed $18.1 million be used to combat issues plaguing the community and to compensate the tourism industry for losses due to COVID-19 and budget cuts.

During Tuesday’s committee meeting, commissioners learned more about how NewTown Macon and Historic Macon will be working in pockets of poverty to improve housing access and maintenance across the community.

Civic Journalism Senior Fellow Liz Fabian shares more details in this compilation of live Tweets during the meeting at City Hall.