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Cherry Blossom Festival orders Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful out of Pink House HQ

The Cherry Blossom Festival has ordered its founding organization, Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission, out of its “Pink House” headquarters seen here in the Telegraph file photo.
The Cherry Blossom Festival has ordered its founding organization, Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission, out of its “Pink House” headquarters seen here in the Telegraph file photo. wmarshall@macon.com

The Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission must vacate the Cherry Blossom Festival Headquarters.

According to a report from WMGT-TV that was substantiated by festival president and CEO Stacy Campbell, personnel issues are behind the clean-up organization’s ouster.

Although the commission was originally given a deadline of Friday at 5 p.m., leaders of the two organizations reportedly agreed to give the commission a week to leave.

KMBBC board members were told during Thursday’s tense board meeting that ended with the resignations of treasurer Billy Oliver and treasurer-elect Jean Bragg, the television station reported.

Macon-Bibb County officials, including acting county manager Julie Moore, attorney Judd Drake and spokesman Chris Floore, attended the meeting and presented concerns over the commission’s failure to present reports on finances and the commission’s activities.

Floore presented Mayor Robert Reichert’s concerns about the lack of litter pick-ups across the county.

The county is threatening to pull $110,000 in funding for the fiscal year after waiting five years for a clean-up plan from the organization, he said.

Floore reportedly said the funding concerns have nothing to do with personnel issues, but the commission’s inability to present a strategy for tackling the county’s litter issues.

He gave the commission 90 days to submit a report or lose the public funds.

According to the WMGT report, Moore asked the commission for its monthly financial reports and audit and questioned whether the commission is performing required tasks, such as litter pick-up.

She indicated the county has not received a report on the commission’s activities.

The Cherry Blossom Festival was founded out of Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful in 1982 and became separate non-profit organizations about five years ago.

Both groups are headquartered in the Pink House at the corner of Cherry and New streets.

Come back to macon.com for updates and read Saturday’s Telegraph.

Liz Fabian: 478-744-4303, @liz_lines

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