After 32 years serving on the Macon Water Authority, chairman Frank Amerson is throwing his hat in the ring again. The 79-year-old retired developer announced his candidacy today in the authority board room on Second Street.
"I thought the last time I ran would be my last, but I still feel active," he said. "I like the challenges.... It's a job I enjoy and you can really see what you've accomplished."
Amerson said he looks forward to continuing work on funding the authority's program to manage aging equipment, plants and infrastructure.
He said he sees an ever-expanding role for the authority in economic development and job growth, as it adds new trunk lines to northeast Bibb County and the Hartley Bridge Road interchange, a new water tower at Hartley Station, and more. Amerson said job development and growth have been his main priorities for the authority, which has helped fund land and infrastructure for industrial parks under his tenure.
Amerson said he is also looking forward to shepherding the authority through the improvement of its major lift stations, which pump sewage uphill toward the treatment plants. One of these will allow industrial development at the Sofkee Industrial Park for industries including Khumo Tire, which is expected to create more than 450 jobs.
Among his proudest moments on the water authority, Amerson said, were the development of the employee pension and benefits plans, and the development of the reservoir that has helped protect Macon from the worst impacts of the ongoing drought.
Amerson is thus far the only candidate for his seat. He said he wanted to declare early to end speculation that he would retire.
"I never learned to play, so I like to work," Amerson said.