Politics & Government

Bibb commissioners OK more money for Tattnall tennis center, animal shelter

Macon-Bibb County commissioners voted 8-1 Tuesday to use leftover money from the construction of three fire stations and spend it on the new animal shelter and the tennis center at Tattnall Square Park.

The fire stations were built with money from a special purpose local option sales tax, but because those projects came in about $635,000 under budget, commissioners are allowed to use the leftover money for other projects on the SPLOST list that are facing increased costs.

That means the allocation for the Tattnall Square Park tennis center jumps from $500,000 to $700,000, while the money budgeted for the new Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare shelter increases from $3 million to nearly $3.44 million.

Commissioner Elaine Lucas cast the lone dissenting vote.

Lucas also was the only “no” vote when commissioners approved a resolution to allow NewTown Macon to use a city-owned parking deck at 448 Mulberry St. for an outdoor “pop-up” concert at a future date. The concert won’t cost taxpayers any money, because NewTown is picking up the cost as a way of drawing people downtown to promote local businesses.

Lucas said she thought the deal amounted to the city giving a “gratuity” to NewTown. If the measure was approved, she said before the vote, then future groups wanting to promote downtown concerts should get the same consideration.

Commissioners Gary Bechtel and Al Tillman noted that since NewTown would be insuring the event, it meant the city only needed to provide permission to use the parking deck for the concert.

Also Tuesday, commissioners unanimously approved:

Giving Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert authority to execute a payment in lieu of rent with the Georgia Department of Human Services for $1.25 million for office space located at 456 Oglethorpe St.;

Appointing Derrick M. Catlett, Jean M. Bragg and Valerie Bradley and reappointing Martha E. Carter, Helen M. Weathers, Charles A. Jay, Diane A. Newton, Melinda D. Robinson-Moffett, Theresa L. Robinson, Mark A. Stevens, Charlotte Woody and Carolyn M. Crayton to the Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission;

Giving Reichert the authority to execute an agreement with the Georgia Department of Transportation for the installation of a roundabout at the intersection of Ga. 22/U.S. 80 -- also known as Eisenhower Parkway -- and Knoxville Road.

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.