After a long holiday weekend, Macon City Council eased back into the work week Tuesday, highlighted by measures to demolish 15 dilapidated houses and repair 14 city streets.
The council approved using $100,000 in unused funds from the Economic and Community Development Department’s land acquisition account to tear down 15 of the city’s abandoned houses. Mayor Robert Reichert has a goal to demolish 100 dilapidated houses this year. Last week, when the measure was approved by the Appropriations Committee, Reichert said city crews had been tearing down at such a fast pace that they were ahead of the money already allocated in the budget.
He had recommended the money for the 15 additional houses come out of the unallocated reserves fund, but the committee decided to pull from unused ECD money.
In a separate matter, to get the Georgia Department of Transportation to move forward with its plan to resurface 33 city streets, the council approved $48,617 to have Macon Asphalt Paving — the lowest bidder by more than $23,000 — patch up 14 streets that are in disrepair.
Before the state will resurface those 14 streets, the city has to patch them, Macon’s internal affairs director Keith Moffett told the council’s Public Works Committee earlier Tuesday.
The council also sent five measures to committees for review before the next meeting of the full council. Among those items to be discussed in committee, $13,750 to purchase two trucks from Bibb County as a part of the merger between the city and county Animal Control departments.
Over the next couple weeks, the committees also will consider putting $500,000 in the city’s working capital reserve — better known as the Filomena Fund, named after late former Councilwoman Filomena Mullis — which helps the city’s cash flow during the summer months when tax and franchise fee revenue is low.
Councilwoman Elaine Lucas also has proposed two measures for consideration. One would institute a citywide program for providing internship and volunteer opportunities within city departments.
The other would make the Booker T. Washington Community Center, which is currently being used by the city’s Office of Workforce Development, a community center that is run by the Macon-Bibb County Parks and Recreation Department.
At the end of Tuesday’s council meeting, Council President Miriam Paris announced that City Council meetings will be Webcast on the city’s Web site in addition to being shown on Cox Cable channel 14.
Paris also said that Councilman Ed DeFore, who was not present for the meeting, is still recovering from back surgery.
Councilmen Erick Erickson and Charles Jones were also absent from Tuesday’s meeting.
Budget reviews of city departments continue today at 3 p.m., and will include a review of City Council’s budget for fiscal 2011.
To contact writer Chris Horne, call 744-4494.