WARNER ROBINS -- Warner Robins City Council members balked at a proposal that would have allowed a welcome center to be built away from Interstate 75.
The proposal was stripped from the agenda after a raucous precouncil meeting after council members heard that the Warner Robins Convention & Visitors Bureau knew nothing about the plan.
Kristi Minor, interim city clerk and assistant city attorney, said time was running short because the General Assembly would have to approve a change to the requirement that the welcome center be “located in the vicinity of the I-75/Russell Parkway intersection.” That language previously had been approved by state legislators.
Marsha Priest Buzzell, executive director of the Warner Robins CVB, said the area near the interstate is ideal because of huge traffic volume. Georgia Department of Transportation statistics show about 55,000 cars per day use that stretch of roadway.
Several council members said stripping the location requirement wouldn’t prevent the city from building the welcome center there but would allow for flexibility. Mayor Randy Toms, who later proposed removing the item from the agenda, said there had been some less-than-serious discussion about putting the welcome center into a former bank building next to City Hall.
“All this does is give us the option to not put it out there,” the mayor said. “It doesn’t say we’re not going to put it out there.”
The proposal could be discussed at the next City Council meeting in about two weeks.
In a separate matter, the council was told it received a clean financial audit.
“The city of Warner Robins is in a good, strong financial position,” auditor Marlan Nichols said.
In other business, council members:
officially appointed Minor as the interim city clerk.
voted to annex and rezone land near the southwest corner of Houston Lake Road and Ga. 96 to accommodate a 200-apartment complex.
voted to allow Lauren Young to have as many as six dogs on a Drayton Court property to accommodate an animal rescue operation. That vote came in an unusual split decision, with Toms along with Councilmembers Tim Thomas, Carolyn Robbins and Mike Davis supporting it and Councilmen Keith Lauritsen, Chuck Shaheen and Clifford Holmes Jr. opposed.
agreed to rename The Village at Town Centre business park the Donald S. Walker Business Park, honoring the late mayor.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.