Bibb County government and school leaders plan to unveil details of a proposed partnership in a news conference Wednesday morning.
County Commission Chairman Sam Hart said proceeds from a special purpose local option sales tax could expand the playing fields, playgrounds and other facilities at the county schools. Voters will decide Tuesday the fate of the SPLOST referendum. If voters give it the green light, it would raise about $183 million for a courthouse complex, recreation, stormwater and other improvements.
Hart said he understood there was a consensus among school board members to partner with the county on recreation efforts. No formal votes have been taken by either the county commissioners or the school board.
In a statement, school board President Gary Bechtel said the “joint initiative will offer an innovative and cost-effective solution to provide safe, convenient recreational facilities for our children and putting to full use the resources that are already there.”
A news release said facilities such as passive trails, concessions, restrooms, lighting and security could be considered. Hart said the school partnership would likely be a relatively small portion of the county’s SPLOST recreation proposal.
The news conference with Hart and Bechtel is scheduled for 9 a.m. at Springdale Elementary School.
The SPLOST has put a wedge between Bibb County and Macon officials. Macon leaders have attacked the SPLOST in part because an agreement over how to divide government services hasn’t yet been hammered out. City leaders said the county’s initial SPLOST proposal, to split $40 million in recreational improvements between the city and county, would hurt the city’s operating budget.
The city has responsibility for recreation across Bibb County, but most of the facilities are within the city limits.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.