DDA concerned about WR road widening, Commercial Circle

WARNER ROBINS -- The chairman of the board tasked with helping develop a downtown in Warner Robins expressed concerns Tuesday from business owners whose livelihoods could be threatened with an impending road-widening project.

Tony Robbins, chairman of the Downtown Development Authority, shared words with Redevelopment Agency Director Gary Lee when Lee said some buildings in Commercial Circle may have to be torn down with the widening of South Davis Drive.

“We’ve got to make our plans, too,” Robbins said. “If you’re going to tear buildings down, it wouldn’t make any sense for me to put money into it.”

Lee assured Robbins that the intention is to work with the owner of Tina’s Barber & Style Shop to figure out the best solution for her business and the city. He said his department is working on two proposals right now as the road work begins.

Robbins also took issue with the Commercial Circle problems, such as storm drainage and temporary parking, that have not yielded progress after years of discussion.

DDA Secretary Shirlyn Johnson-Granville told Robbins that the area has moved forward tremendously in the past 15 years.

“This isn’t the old Warner Robins; this is the new Warner Robins,” she said.

The board also discussed their plans for a small fall festival to kick off the annual festival that they intend to begin in spring 2012.

Councilman Mike Daley, chairman of the RDA, said the city attorney’s office is drafting a resolution for City Council to approve, which would allow the downtown board to go forward with festival plans.

To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.