Warner Robins mayor: Snellgrove Drive to reopen soon

mstucka@macon.comApril 21, 2014 

WARNER ROBINS -- Mayor Randy Toms said Monday night that he expects Snellgrove Drive will reopen later this week as discussions with Little League continue.

“We will have one more discussion with them (Tuesday), but I think it’s going to be open,” Toms told The Telegraph.

The road was closed several weeks ago by officials with Little League Southeastern Region Headquarters. A plat shows a public 80-foot easement for Snellgrove Drive runs through the property, connecting the rest of Snellgrove Drive to Hunt Road.

Wyman Herbert, who protested a five-mile detour to pick up his grandchildren at Perdue Elementary School or see them play ball on nearby fields, said he was glad to be told the city expects the road to soon reopen. Herbert said two elected officials told him that if Little League didn’t reopen the road, city officials would force the gates open and deal with the consequences.

Toms told The Telegraph he was willing to consider requests to have the road closed for special events where through-traffic could be a hazard. But every day is not a special event, he said.

County commissioners last week said Snellgrove Drive is a public road and cannot be closed.

In other city business Monday, the Warner Robins City Council unanimously voted to have Toms negotiate a contract with International City Builders to manage some of the city’s construction projects. Toms told The Telegraph those projects could include a recreation complex or a sports complex. International City Builders would not manage any projects it wins bids on, such as for a new fire station. City Council will ultimately approve the negotiated contract.

Toms said he expects the project management will save about as much money as it costs. Councilman Tim Thomas said the city will know dollar-for-dollar how much is being spent on a project at any time, and the project management team will ensure projects get done.

Separately, the council unanimously voted to split the city’s development department into departments of community development, and of building and transportation. The last city development director retired at the end of last year. Sherri Windham, a planning and zoning official who had been leading the department, will oversee community development while building official Bill Mulkey will oversee the building and transportation operation. Toms said both officials, who are paid between $60,000 and $70,000 each, will receive a 10-percent raise for their promotion.

The department split had not appeared on the agenda of the City Council, which waived a second reading of the measure to make it final Monday.

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