The Macon Coliseum and City Auditorium are in line for $712,867 in renovations, under a resolution that passed the City Council Public Properties Committee 4-1 on Tuesday.
Architect Bill McLees said the auditorium will get all its outside windows and doors repainted, and some rotten wood replaced; have the original terrazzo and stone flooring lobby floor exposed and refinished; the main floor recarpeted; and a new stage floor installed.
The stage is in very poor condition, making it nearly dangerous for dancers, he said.
The coliseum would have some concrete-block walls near the entrance removed, safety features added, and have the vinyl tile in lobbies and corridors replaced with painted, polished concrete, McLees said.
But the biggest improvement there would be renovation of all eight restrooms, he said.
The work is to be paid for with money from the special purpose local option sales tax voters approved in 2011. Theres about $5 million in SPLOST money going into those facilities over two fiscal years, interim Chief Administrative Officer Dale Walker said. Another item, $374,000 to waterproof the auditorium, will soon come before the Appropriations Committee, he said.
If the full council approves the proposal March 19, the work will go to Chris R. Sheridan & Co. of Macon. The process of selecting that firm brought questions from Committee Chairman Rick Hutto and Councilwoman Elaine Lucas.
Purchasing Agent Greg Cline said Sheridan originally bid $694,400; the next-lowest was $720,958, from Stafford Builders of Macon. Since council requires greater efforts to include minority- and women-owned businesses in city contracts, all bidders were asked for a second proposal including more of those firms, Cline said. Sheridans new bid included two more expensive minority suppliers, but was still the lowest, he said.
Hutto and Lucas questioned whether anything in the city code permits that sort of renewed bidding, but Lucas was the only negative vote.
Trail to Milledgeville
The Central Georgia Rails to Trails Association got a good reception from council members. The nonprofit group wants help in getting the former CSX rail line between Macon and Milledgeville turned into a trail for walkers, bicyclists and nature lovers.
Doug Oetter, the groups president, said minimal investment from governments along the route could get federal matching funds. CSX is willing to sell the right-of-way, and the trail could go around those small portions already sold to private owners, Oetter has said. A 2007 feasibility study estimated the total cost at $17.5 million.
Councilman Frank Tompkins asked what commitments the group wanted from the city. At this point, just an endorsement, Oetter said. Group members are seeking to talk with officials from all the governments along the route, he said.
Councilman Ed DeFore said hell support a resolution to support the idea, offer in-kind work to match federal funds, and lobby for that funding. It could be a joint resolution among all affected governments, he said; and other committee members agreed.
I feel like we all can support what hes asking, Lucas said.
Hutto said he got a letter from the group and asked them to make a presentation to his committee, contrary to what was reported today.
The Telegraph reported on a letter from Oetter to DeFore, and DeFore said he suggested Oetter ask Council President James Timley for a spot on the council agenda.
Stormwater pipe repair
A large open ditch near the corner of Giles and Cedar streets, caused by collapsing stormwater pipes, is likely to see repairs soon. The Public Works & Engineering Committee of Macon City Council voted 4-0 Tuesday afternoon to make that repair a top priority. Councilman Tom Ellington was absent.
This is a very, very bad situation. Its actually just a great big hole in the ground, said Councilman Henry Ficklin, a resolution co-sponsor.
The resolution asks the Macon Water Authority to deal with the problem as soon as possible. The water authority oversees the stormwater work being done in the city with $7 million of special purpose local option sales tax money.
Bill Causey, from the Bibb County Engineering Department, said its already on the priority list but the scope of work is still being determined.
There are other problems in the general vicinity that need to be fixed as well, he said.
To contact writer Jim Gaines, call 744-4489.