Houston & Peach

Warner Robins council OKs deal for Publix project

WARNER ROBINS -- City Council approved a deal Monday that will allow a shopping center anchored by a Publix to move forward despite not being in the city limits.

The council voted unanimously to authorize the utilities department to send a letter to the developer agreeing to extend sewer services to the project if certain conditions are met. One is that the developer must pay the costs of connecting the service.

Mayor Randy Toms said after the meeting he isn't sure what that cost will be, but it won't be a simple hookup. It will require a pumping station due to the topography of the area.

"There are details to work out in this, but we are well on our way," Toms said in the pre-council meeting.

The deal also calls for the county to sign an agreement that the property will be annexed into the city if it becomes contiguous to the city limits in the future.

Toms said there are some other hurdles for the developer before construction can start, including getting the property rezoned by the county, so he wasn't sure when construction might start. He said it is projected to be completed by late 2017.

The property is located at the southeast corner of Ga. 247 and the new section of Ga. 96, just north of Bonaire. Five properties currently separate the property from the city limits. Toms said due to the projected commercial growth in the area, it may not be long before those properties are annexed and the Publix property does come into the city limits.

In other business at the meeting, the council agreed to rename Sewell Circle Park. At the request of a resident in the area, it will be renamed Deloris Toliver Park. The community building there is already named for her. Alvin Robinson, who lives in the area, thought it would make sense for the whole park to be named after her.

Toliver was a volunteer at the center who died in a house fire in 1978 when she was 18.

Also at the meeting the council gave official approval to two items to which it had already agreed in principle. The council approved $100,000 for the development of Wellston Park. The council also voted to start the process of shifting more of its hotel/motel tax money to the Museum of Aviation. The museum currently gets about $300,000 year from the tax and the shift will give it another $200,000.

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, 256-9725.