Bibb County commissioners could pick a project manager Tuesday to oversee tens of millions of dollars in special purpose local option sales tax projects.
Commission Chairman Sam Hart said he expects to make a recommendation for a project manager during Tuesday’s commission meeting. Other county officials say they don’t have the time or the experience to properly oversee county SPLOST projects, which include extensive upgrades of recreation centers, as well as the construction of new fire stations and a Juvenile Court building.
Hart said an experienced project manager could help the county decide how to schedule projects to make best use of cash flow. Professional advice also could determine the specifics of what will get built. County commissioners set general funding levels for each recreation project, but they still don’t know exactly what they can get for that money.
“We haven’t done anything with the recreation pieces other than, ‘Hey, let’s put about that amount aside,’ ” Hart said. “These folks will help us get a much better plan and see what we can do.”
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Hart said two of the SPLOST projects are almost ready to begin. The county already has been taking bids for Fire Station 109, to be built on New Forsyth Road, and has done much of the design work for the Juvenile Court building, to be built near the Department of Family and Children Services building.
Macon officials have begun figuring out a schedule of what projects will be built, and when, using the city’s proceeds of SPLOST money. That effort also includes decisions about how much money to borrow through bonds to speed up the process.
County commissioners voted on a focus list only for the first year. Hart said he expects revenues from the SPLOST, which goes into effect in April, will go toward buying land near Robins Air Force Base, early construction on the Juvenile Court building and the fire station, and design money for the rest of the projects, which will take longer to build. A project manager could also help with some of the design decisions, such as how to build a new animal shelter.
The SPLOST is expected to bring in some $190 million for Macon and Bibb County over six years. Hart said advocates want to be near the front of the line.
“Nobody has contacted me about a willingness to wait,” Hart said. “It’s urgent for everybody.”
Commissioners are expected to debate the project manager during a committee of the whole meeting, which is tentatively scheduled to begin about 10 a.m. Tuesday. The series of committee meetings is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. in the Bibb County Courthouse.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.