Deferred maintenance issues
Ocmulgee National Monument, a place of tremendous historic, cultural, natural and economic importance to Middle Georgia needs our help. The monument is home to lands that have been significant to Native Americans for more than 17,000 years and contains multiple ceremonial mounds, including the only spiral staircase mound known to exist in North America.
Today, the Ocmulgee National Monument is Middle Georgia’s most popular tourist destination – attracting 109,000 visitors and adding $5.4 million to the local economy in 2010. This economic impact would only grow if the national monument boundaries are expanded, as proposed by a number of area grassroots organizations.
Main Street Macon strongly endorses the expansion of the national monument boundaries and its evolution into a 2,800-acre park and preserve. But also fundamental to the success of this amazing cultural and natural treasure is action by our federal government to ensure the National Park Service has sufficient financial resources to take care of Ocmulgee’s historic buildings, archaeological sites, trails and roads. The monument is currently facing a backlog of deferred maintenance of approximately $7.7 million, which is representative of the estimated $12 billion problem facing our nation’s parks as a whole.
For Middle Georgia and the world to be able to truly enjoy the rich cultural, historic, and recreational resources of the Ocmulgee River corridor for generations to come, we urge Congress to make addressing the deferred maintenance backlog a component of any infrastructure bill.
The rest of the story
I enjoyed the article in Thursday’s paper regarding Wesleyan’s Porter House being selected as Historic Macon’s annual Design, Wine and Dine event. However, I was disappointed that the efforts of all those involved in its being moved and restored were not recognized.
To transport to the campus, the roof had to be removed and the structure cut in half in order for American-Lowe Building Movers to relocate it to Tucker Road. The basic reassembly and reconstruction was done by Tom Yun working with Rusty Poss Construction Company after which work on the project was put on hold.
Chris R. Sheridan Company later was assigned the responsibility for its completion under the watchful eye of Robbie Beeland. With some modification it was essentially returned to the condition shown on the original plans which, fortunately, were available for this restoration. It is a truly fascinating look into the past. I hope the events surrounding it will be well attended.
Eugene Cox Dunwody,
Prioritize SPLOST spending
I agree with Orris Mercer. If the special purpose local optional sales tax is approved, the county commission should prioritize the county’s requirements. The expenditures should be for things that will benefit the population, not just the privileged few. They should buy essential public safety equipment first. Does the sheriff and fire departments have all of the emergency equipment they need? Does the 911 system need to be upgraded or expanded? Does the tornado warning system need to be upgraded or expanded? Are there sufficient traffic lights at all of the dangerous intersections?
Before the commissioners considers spending tax dollars they should conduct a cost analysis benefit study. How much will it cost to build the facility? How much will it cost to maintain the facility? What percent of the population will use the facility?
After all of the essential public safety equipment is procured, the first consideration should be for the “nice to have” items. Like, a recreational park. Would it be used by over 50 percent of the population? It could contain a public pool, a playground and a walking trail and a running track.
Frivolous spending would be the construction and maintenance of an aquatic center. It would be used by less than 5 percent of the population. The costs to maintain such a facility would increase each year. Ridiculous spending would be the construction and maintenance of an equestrian center. It would be used by less than one percent of the population.
I never met a politician who did not like a tax. Or who did not adopt a scheme that would benefit himself, his friends and his sponsors. It is our tax money. We should have a say on how it is spent.
You can read about the 2018 SPLOST at houstoncountyga.org look under the Commissioner tab.
Who gets the bills?
A Quandary with maintaining “Quality of Life” in fully developed neighborhoods in Bibb County has existed for an extended period, no nearer to resolution. Larry Fennelly’s “Special to the Telegraph” states, “fix the neighborhoods and you’ll fix the failing schools.
Mayor Robert Reichert has stated that one of the keys to successfully fighting blight in our county will be with the coordinated help of existing neighborhoods. P&Z commissioners appear to have never seen a “buffer” that could not solve any problems with new commercial development located near or contiguous with an established neighborhood.
A “court” says that residential owners have no standing in a lawsuit challenging a rezoning which they apparently believe adversely impacts their existing home values and their quality of life. County leaders, the Georgia Department of Transportation and their consultants claim that their superior knowledge in road design and construction does not result in adverse impacts on existing neighborhoods although history appears to indicate otherwise.
As a half-century property owner who has helped maintain city/county property (sweat work in my neighborhood for two decades), I think it is the county’s move since we are just the pawns, ill equipped to fight “windmills” or blight. However, we fully know who will receive the tax notices and will pay part of the SPLOST.
Arthur D. Brook
Build a wall
I think Macon-Bibb County should build a wall on its side of its border with Monroe County and make Monroe County pay for it. That should resolve their silly border dispute. Just sayin’.