The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame got another stamp of approval Tuesday that should mean the museum would remain open in Macon for the next year, with an option for two more one-year contracts.
“This whole thing is designed to save the sports hall of fame,” said attorney Chix Miller shortly after the Development Authority of Bibb County agreed to sign a resolution approving a lease of the hall of fame from the state to the authority. It also agreed to a management agreement between the authority and NewTown Macon, which will take over management of the hall of fame.
“The lease runs for one year with options for two more years,” Miller said.
The Peyton Anderson Foundation has already paid the money for the first year, he said.
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If the foundation does not provide funding for the next two years, it should be available from other sources, he said. If the funding dries up, the authority can terminate the lease.
The base rent to be paid to the state is $10,835.89 a month for 12 months, according to the resolution.
NewTown Macon, the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Authority and the state have approved the arrangement, but they still have to sign off on it, Miller said.
“They have all basically agreed,” he said. “We have gone through some drafts, and we are down to very, very fine tuning.”
The development authority is involved in the deal because the lease needs to be signed with a governmental agency. Otherwise, the bonds used to finance the construction of the museum in the mid-1990s would no longer be tax exempt.
The agreements that would keep the Georgia Hall of Fame open is a long time coming. Nearly two years ago, the state put out a request for proposals by Georgia cities and counties to take over the sports hall and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, which was closed in June. The state cut funding for the halls, which had been losing money.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report.