Bibb commissioners approve money for Parks & Recreation Department

pramati@macon.comDecember 3, 2013 

Some of Bibb County’s department heads had to give some good-natured ribbing Tuesday to Bibb County Parks & Recreation Director Dale “Doc” Dougherty.

Seven of the original 19 items on the agenda for the Bibb County Finance Committee were submitted by Dougherty, and Bibb County commissioners ended up approving nearly all of them.

Dougherty said he put in the requests because his department will absorb Macon’s grounds workers once the city and county are consolidated next month. Many of those workers used to work for the Parks & Recreation Department when it oversaw groundskeeping, but those workers and their equipment moved over to the city’s Public Works Department as part of the current Service Delivery Strategy agreement between the city and county.

In addition, Dougherty’s department also will absorb control of Lake Tobesofkee when the new government takes over, necessitating even more equipment.

With just one regularly scheduled meeting of the Bibb County Commission remaining, Dougherty said decisions about equipment and expenditures needed to be made as quickly as possible.

In the end, commissioners approved:

• A total of about $51,000 for equipment and bleachers at Memorial Park;

• About $109,000 to purchase a grass vacuum and reel mowers;

• $72,000 to buy a 32-passenger bus;

• A combined $105,000 to buy a tractor, tiller and aerator;

• and $23,000 to purchase boxing equipment for Freedom Park.

The money from the county’s recreation fund will be used for the purchases.

“We’re merging back together,” Dougherty said. “A lot of things have been in limbo, because everyone has been waiting to see how the new government is coming together. We’re re-incorporating (the grounds crews). That’s 20 people moving over under the new (organization) chart.”

In other county business Tuesday, commissioners approved Chairman Sam Hart to sign a resolution that supports Macon Mayor Robert Reichert’s lawsuit to install the new government before Jan. 1. Macon City Council approved a similar resolution Tuesday night.

Earlier in the day, Hart and the commissioners were honored by their Houston County counterparts. All of the Bibb County commissioners received Houston County lapel pins and writing pens, and they were given a resolution recognizing their service.

Hart was given a plaque and recognized for his work with Houston County for issues such as encroachment and the clean air commission, as well as his service with the Association County Commissioners of Georgia.

“I’m very pleased by it,” Hart said.

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.

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