With Macon-Bibb County in the process of creating its first Business Improvement District along Eisenhower Parkway, Commissioner Al Tillman has a specific target to improve the area’s image.
Tillman has sent a letter to Yong Kim, owner of the now-closed Wings Cafe, asking him to remove the large sign advertising the restaurant.
Wings Cafe was the site of a gang shootout between members of the Crips and Blacc Team gangs Dec. 12 that left three people dead. Tillman, who represents the district where the restaurant is located, said the sign is a painful reminder to area residents of the incident.
He also said the sign goes against what the goal is for the Business Improvement District: bringing in new businesses and customers to the area by beautifying it and making it safer.
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“When people see these improvements, it will encourage more businesses to come back,” he said.
Charles Cox, the attorney who represents Kim, was out of the office Friday and unavailable for comment. Tillman said he was uncertain if Cox had received his letter yet.
Tillman said he was prepared to have the sign removed if Kim didn’t agree to have it removed himself.
MACON-BIBB LANDS BIG EPA GRANT
The federal Environmental Protection Agency this week awarded a total of $400,000 worth of grant money to Macon-Bibb County that will help the city clean up and redevelop contaminated properties.
According to an EPA news release, the city will get $200,000 to assess for hazardous substances and another $200,000 to assess for petroleum as part of the EPA’s Brownfields Program.
The grants, the news release said, are an investment that will boost local economies and leverage jobs in addition to protecting public health and the environment.
Nationally, the EPA awarded grants totalling $54.3 million to 147 communities.
WATER RULES DRAW MIXED REVIEWS
Speaking of the EPA, environmentalists across Georgia were pleased with Wednesday’s announcement of new federal rules that regulators said would better protect small streams, tributaries and wetlands -- and the drinking water of 117 million Americans.
But Republican lawmakers in Washington and farm groups, among others, complained that the new rules go too far.
The White House said the rules would provide clarity for landowners about which waterways must be protected against pollution and development. But Georgia Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue were among those to condemn the new EPA regulations.
In a statement, Isakson labeled it a massive land grab by the federal government.
“This latest overreach by the executive branch will provide the administration, as well as environmental groups, with a powerful tool to delay and prevent development and land use activities on property owned by homeowners, farms, small businesses and municipalities,” he said. “This rule harms not only landowners, but our entire agriculture industry in Georgia.”
Perdue echoed those sentiments in his own statement, saying, “It is also concerning how the EPA continues to push President Obama’s partisan agenda despite strong opposition, including thousands of Georgia farmers and local leaders that directly voiced their disapproval. I share their concerns and will work tirelessly to stop such burdensome rules and regulations from negatively impacting our family farmers, small businesses and private citizens.”
Compiled by Telegraph staff writers Phillip Ramati and Oby Brown.