The Macon City Council agreed Tuesday to buy land for the proposed Mid City Square at the corner of Second and Pine streets.
The resolution to allow the purchase of the three available corner parcels passed 14-1, with Councilwoman Elaine Lucas opposed.
Mid City Square is one feature of Mayor Robert Reicherts plan to turn Second Street into a pedestrian-friendly commercial corridor linking downtown to major employers. The square, two blocks from The Medical Center of Central Georgia, would include a central green space and 570,000 square feet of apartments, retail space, offices and hotels in L-shaped developments on each corner, according to tentative plans.
Three of the corner lots are now up for sale. The fourth is occupied by Wilson Electric Co., and owner Roger Wilson has said he does not want to move. The current proposal does not include a timetable for buying Wilson Electric.
Clay Murphey, Second Street project coordinator, has said he expects the vacant-lot purchases could take place within 18 months.
Restaurateur Kiron Johnson now has permission to seek a beer license for the snack bar at the citys Bowden Golf Course.
In July, the council approved a contract with Johnson to run the snack bar, dubbed J.T.s Dawghouse Grill after Council President James Timley, who frequents that course. The deal lets Johnson operate it rent-free for one year, with a subsequent annual rent set at 10 percent of his first years revenue. Soon afterward, the council directed the city to fix the ventilation system in the snack bar, which had prevented previous tenants from cooking food on site.
Then council members, including Timley, urged a resolution to remove a no-alcohol clause from Johnsons lease. Golfers are likely to drink on the course anyway, so the citys tenant might as well benefit from it, council members said.
Rebuilding Macon will get $120,000 from a U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development grant to do minor home repairs for 60 elderly disabled or low-income homeowners, mostly in south Macon. The council unanimously approved passing the money on to Rebuilding Macon through the Economic & Community Development Department.
Rebuilding Macon Executive Director Debra Rollins said the money will keep about 20 volunteers working weekly; ongoing efforts include building a wheelchair ramp and replacing a hot-water heater. Homeowners who think they might benefit from work by Rebuilding Macon can call 744-9808 to apply.
Macon police won permission to shift $1,600 from one budget line to another, in order to fix a glass door, toilet and air-conditioner compressor at various police facilities.
To contact writer Jim Gaines, call 744-4489.