Warner Robins authority hears proposal for project management

chwright@macon.comAugust 19, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- An authority made up of mayor and council met Monday with far more responsibilities since it was created.

After a bout of confusion and a bit of bickering, the Public Facilities Authority heard a proposal from International City Builders to oversee the city’s ongoing projects.

“At any given time, all these gears are turning,” said Daryl Long, CEO of International City Builders, showing a diagram to council. “You need someone to step back” and watch them all at once.

The Public Facilities Authority was created in 2009 through state legislation, said City Attorney Jim Elliott. It met once before Monday -- last fall to approve financing for a sewer project.

At Monday’s regular council meeting, before convening as the authority, City Council unanimously sent seven projects to be under its purview: a sports complex, Walker’s Pond, a new recreation complex, a fire station, a visitors’ center, a health clinic and transit service.

When the authority meeting began in council chambers, it didn’t seem to have a direction. Mayor Chuck Shaheen called on Councilman Mike Brashear to run it, “since it was your idea.” Councilman Mike Daley said it was all of council’s idea. Councilman Paul Shealy commenced to give updates on all the projects.

Finally, Councilman Daron Lee called for organization and reminded the group International City Builders was upstairs in the conference room for a presentation.

Shaheen said he hadn’t been told that ahead of time and rebuked Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Gary Lee, who asked International City Builders to come for the presentation.

Eventually, the group made it upstairs to hear International City Builders explain how the company could, as a program manager, help the city effectively complete projects.

Projects in Warner Robins have been slow to reach the finish line, and many on the plate now have been discussed for close to a decade.

Council seemed to agree a program manager could be useful, but some said the opportunity needs to be offered to all companies.

To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9585.

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