Bibb commissioners, undecided on animal shelter, set final meeting

mstucka@macon.comDecember 20, 2013 

Bibb County commissioners will make a third try at having a final meeting as they struggle with a costly animal shelter.

Commissioners spent 47 minutes behind closed doors Friday before deciding they’ll need to continue working on plans to build the new animal shelter. Commission Chairman Sam Hart said all of the bids had come in over budget. Commissioners will need to look at ways to cut costs through value engineering, and they will also review contractors.

Hart said bidders included Warner Robins’ International City Builders and Macon’s Warren Associates, as well as a company from Newnan.

“We’ll still try to make a decision” before the commission is abolished at the end of the year, Hart told reporters.

He said the commissioners wanted to do all their due diligence on what he called a complicated building. International City Builders had the low bid at about $2.608 million for construction.

The facility -- planned to be welcoming for visitors, and safer and cleaner for animals -- is to be built on Fulton Mill Road near Central State Prison. An architect has said some of the building’s systems are at least as good as they would be for a surgical center.

Friday’s meeting was supposed to have been the commission’s last. Instead, commissioners will return at 9 a.m. Dec. 27.

Tuesday was the commission’s last regularly scheduled meeting.

Separately, commissioners voted to hire Ken Sheets, the former county engineer, for $53.50 per hour for up to 29 hours per week. Hart said Sheets’ expertise is critical to helping the county manage stormwater drainage projects funded by special purpose local option sales tax money.

In other business, commissioners:

• Ratified an appointment of Rick Hutto to the Urban Development Authority. Several commissioners said they’d gotten phone calls from opponents of the appointment, but Commissioner Lonzy Edwards said that, without evidence on the record showing that the appointment shouldn’t be made, commissioners shouldn’t take back a nomination they’d previously made.

• Agreed to name a stretch of Ga. 247 after Gen. Robert L. Scott, a Macon pilot who authored “God is My Co-pilot.” The memorial highway will run from the Seven Bridges area in south Macon to the Houston County line, where the honorary naming is already in place.

• Voted to encourage the new Macon-Bibb County government to do a disparity study of minority contractors.

To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.

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