Macon Community News

The Macon Newsroom

Macon Community News

The Macon Newsroom

Macon Community News

The Macon Newsroom

Proposed national park, East Bank development ‘good for all of Macon’

Macon-Bibb County urges Congress to make Ocmulgee Mounds a national park, moves ahead with plans for major development at old Bibb Mill

Macon-Bibb County soon will be soliciting public input about the proposed $350-$400 million East Bank development on the site of the old Bibb Mill.

During Tuesday’s meetings, commissioners approved spending nearly $175,000 to hire Carter & Associates to do the pre-development planning on the project off Coliseum Drive.

Tax revenue from that development will be reinvested in the Bibb Mill Center Tax Allocation District that stretches from the county land adjacent to Interstate 16 up toward Emery Highway and Spring Street.

“I am certainly happy to see this on our agenda,” Commissioner Elaine Lucas said. “I just am thrilled to be able to vote for it because this starts what a lot of people, especially the east side residents have been looking forward to for a long time. A lot of people on the east side fell like it’s been neglected, right or wrong, people feel the way they feel.”

Lucas is looking forward to residents having input in the design.

Plans call for workforce housing, a hotel, offices, restaurants and retail on the old mill site, which will serve as a new gateway to the national park, if it is approved.

Mayor Lester Miller and commissioners unanimously endorsed a resolution urging Congress to pass the bipartisan bills establishing the Ocmulgee Mounds National Park and Preserve.

Commissioner Virgil Watkins asked if East Bank was intended for tourists or residents.

“Both,” Miller replied.

Commissioner Bill Howell said he appreciates the attention to affordable housing in the plans so that workers will have a place to live.

“This is good for all of Macon,” Howell said. “I don’t think people have any idea of the impact of 1.2 million new people coming into our town is going to have. And if we don’t get this right to start with, there’s no way to correct it once we’re there.”

Commissioners also doled out nearly $390,000 in Community Development Block Grants for housing, shelter, aid for new mothers and programs for youth.

Nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in SPLOST funds are earmarked for street repaving and repairs, including work on Mead Road.

Three of the county’s nine alcohol license applications on the agenda were rejected for a variety of reasons: the owner of the Citgo at 1904 Shurling Drive, Bhanu Partap, has a history of alcohol code violations, according to county attorneys; Fine Fair at 3741 Napier Ave. does not sell gasoline, as required; Busy Corner at 885 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. did not file the proper paperwork.

The county also accepted a Georgia Emergency Management Agency Homeland Security grant of more than $71,000 for protective gear for firefighters and set aside $196,300 in SPLOST funds for additional public safety equipment.

Commissioners got an update on the Macon Violence Prevention program that is about to enter its third phase of grants. The Community Foundation of Central Georgia has been coordinating the Macon-Bibb County effort to reduce gun violence and teach young people conflict resolution skills.

Here are highlights from all the agenda items that were captured in social media posts.

Civic Journalism Senior Fellow Liz Jarvis Fabian covers Macon-Bibb County government entities and can be reached at [email protected] or 478-301-2976.

More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Macon Newsroom Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *