Warner Robins mayor pitches veterans memorial plaza

mstucka@macon.comJune 9, 2014 

WARNER ROBINS -- The mayor of this military town wants to add some patriotism to the city with a plan to build a new fountain and a veterans’ memorial plaza in front of City Hall.

Mayor Randy Toms introduced the concept Monday to the Warner Robins Redevelopment Agency, which endorsed it. City Council could consider the idea next week, Toms said.

One drawing prepared by Parrish Construction shows four walkways meeting at a small central fountain. Surrounding those would be a pentagon. The paths, lined with about 40 benches, would presumably connect City Hall, the Civic Center, Watson Boulevard and Myrtle Street. The draft calls for four monuments, which Toms suggested could each be dedicated to a different branch of the military.

Toms said the city has some money for a memorial from a special purpose local option sales tax. Donations, such as from memorial pavers, could help fund the effort.

The basic concept came out of the Leadership Robins Region class at the Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce, but the project’s scope was too large for the class. Chamber President Morgan Law said the classes complete a service project, but those typically range between $15,000 and $25,000. Toms said the plaza project would cost more than $100,000.

The current plaza in front of City Hall is anchored by an aging fountain that’s had maintenance problems. Along one edge of the plaza is a single memorial to veterans dedicated by several area veterans organizations.

The head of the Redevelopment Agency, Gary Lee, said the current fountain is outdated. “It’s got to go. We spend more money fixing leaks in it than anything,” he said.

Toms said the new plaza would fit into the Redevelopment Agency’s plans to revitalize downtown Warner Robins.

Toms plans to look at costs and how much SPLOST money remains before the City Council meeting.

Separately, the City Council heard efforts to finalize paving at Commercial Circle that could begin this week. A barbecue restaurant is delaying its opening because of the construction work.

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