A contract for mowing interstate rights-of-way through Macon three times a year passed a City Council committee by a 4-0 vote Tuesday.
The contract says Green Side Inc. will be paid $76,665 for cutting and cleaning 40 miles of Interstates 16 and 75, and another $9,415 for litter removal along another 27 miles of those highways through the city, for a total of $86,080. Councilman Tom Ellington was the only member of the councils Public Works & Engineering Committee who was absent.
The three promised mowings are two more than currently scheduled, said Stephen Lawson, assistant director of the Public Works grounds division.
Councilman Rick Hutto asked if any bids came from local firms.
Green Side is from Florida, Lawson said. Local companies were shown the mowing sites, but the only other bid came from Cutting Edge Landscaping of Juliette; and that was much higher than Green Sides proposal, he said.
Council members agreed in February for the city to take over mowing responsibility from the Georgia Department of Transportation in exchange for about $157,000 per year.
They had previously rejected an agreement that also would have made the city responsible for road maintenance, and snow and ice removal. The promised amount wasnt expected to be enough for mowing and cleaning all 61 miles of interstates through the city, but supporters said at least the city was getting something.
The governments of Macon and Bibb County are to merge in January 2014, and Hutto asked how that would affect the one-year contracts validity.
Itll be valid unless the new government decides they dont want this agreement, Assistant City Attorney Stuart Morelli said.
Recycling resolution gets voted down
A request from Councilwoman Beverly K. Olson to make Macons limited curbside recycling program citywide got tabled in committee.
Councilman Henry Ficklin said he agreed with the intent and would like to see recycling expanded; but the new government is coming in less than five months.
I think it would be an effort in futility because we dont know what the new government is going to do, Ficklin said.
The resolution was tabled 3-1, with Hutto opposed. Hutto said afterward that he wanted to at least bring it up for discussion.
Currently single-stream recycling is only in select Macon neighborhoods.
Fort Hawkins land to expand
The councils Public Properties Committee voted to accept the donation of two parcels of land next to historic Fort Hawkins. The 1806 fort site is getting $750,000 from the special purpose local option sales tax that voters approved in November 2011, and a major portion of that is earmarked for a two-story log visitors center.
A groundbreaking was held July 25, and the center should be finished by the end of the year.
Now Wanda Smith has offered to the fort the two lots, which total 0.38 acres according to county tax records.
I believe its the plan of the Fort Hawkins Commission to use this area for future parking, for the new visitors center, Morelli said.
The resolution from Councilman Ed DeFore passed 4-0, with Councilwoman Elaine Lucas absent. All items approved Tuesday must pass a final vote by full council, which next meets Aug. 20.
To contact writer Jim Gaines, call 744-4489.