Another step in Mayor Robert Reicherts plan to transform Second Street is coming through Macon City Council.
The Public Properties Committee voted 4-0 Tuesday to authorize purchase of land on the proposed site of Mid City Square, at the corner of Pine and Second streets. Councilman Lonnie Miley was absent.
Several of those lots are unused and up for sale, said Clay Murphey, the Second Street project coordinator.
We hope to begin to acquire some of those that are available now, he said.
Reichert seeks to turn Second Street into a pedestrian-friendly corridor lined with businesses, and the special purpose local option sales tax that voters approved in 2011 included $8 million for the first part of that work. The idea for Mid City Square emerged from later public design sessions, though its construction may be several years off.
It would be a central green space surrounded by apartments, retail space, offices and hotels, Murphey told committee members. Several developers have contacted him about it, but they want the necessary public infrastructure in place before they make firm plans. Thats why available land needs to be bought in advance, he said.
The land would be bought by the Macon-Bibb County Land Bank Authority, in return for 5 to 10 percent of the resale price developers pay, said Alison Goldey, that agencys executive director.
The resolution will likely be up for final approval at the full City Council meeting Nov. 5.
Golf course beer
A resolution to let the snack bar at the citys Bowden Golf Course sell beer also got 4-0 approval. Restaurateur Kiron Johnson agreed this year to operate the snack bar, which had long lacked a tenant. Council first asked that the ventilation system be repaired so Johnson could cook food on site. In late September, council President James Timley -- a frequent Bowden customer, for whom the snack bar has been named J.T.s Dawghouse Grill -- asked that Johnsons lease be altered to let him sell beer too.
Administration officials agreed, and Assistant City Attorney Stuart Morelli told the committee Tuesday that the resolution merely deletes the lease clause that prohibited Johnson from applying for an alcohol license.
Everything else remains the same, Morelli said.
The committee put off accepting three streets in the Oak Creek subdivision into the city maintenance system.
Sam Henderson, executive assistant to the mayor, said developer Tom Ward was told 18 months ago that the streets still needed installation of approved street lights, but that plan hasnt been submitted.
Councilman Ed DeFore moved successfully to postpone the streets acceptance until that information is obtained.
To contact writer Jim Gaines, call 744-4489.