Politics & Government

Macon-Bibb leaders look to forums to get opinions on proposed senior center

If you’ve got an opinion about the location of a proposed senior citizens center in Macon or the programs it should offer, you can share those thoughts at upcoming forums.

At the first two forums on Sept. 9, people will be able to let the designers know what amenities they think should be offered at the new center, as well as discuss three potential locations near Central City Park.

Based on that feedback, designers from the Sizemore Group will develop preliminary drawings to show at the second two forums on Sept. 23.

Construction of the center will be funded by a sales tax initiative that voters approved.

The forum dates are:

Sept. 9, 11 a.m., Senior Citizens Center, 1283 Adams St.;

Sept. 9, 3 p.m., North Macon Park, 815 North Macon Park Drive;

Sept. 23, 11 a.m., Senior Citizens Center on Adams Street;

Sept. 23, 3 p.m., North Macon Park off Wimbish Road.

Anyone who’s unable to attend a meeting can submit suggestions by sending an email by Sept. 11 to Bruce Morris, the senior project manager with the Sizemore Group, at: brucem@sizemoregroup.com.

“Our recreation centers and programs should meet the needs and desires of the people using them currently, as well as bring in new people, and we have a great opportunity by building a new center to expand programming and attract more people,” Reggie Moore, the interim director of the Recreation Department, said in a news release. “As an Age-Friendly Community, we are committed to offering programs and activities that improve the community’s health and quality of life.”

Jeffery Monroe, chairman of the sales tax advisory committee, added, “We’re working to make sure we continue to listen to our senior citizens and get their input about the things they’d like to see included in the center. We hope more input will lead to more interest in the center. More interest will translate into more usage and more usage into more seniors who are active, engaged in their community and keeping themselves healthy.”

Forums have already been held, and plans approved, for sales-tax-funded improvements, upgrades and construction projects at Central City Park, the Frank Johnson Community Center, Freedom Park, Memorial Gymnasium, Rosa Jackson Community Center and the SubSouth Recreation Center.

“The people of Macon-Bibb voted to approve the SPLOST and begin addressing decades of neglect in many areas of our community, including recreation center, infrastructure and public safety,” said SPLOST Project Manager Clay Murphey. “Through forums like these, we want to keep people engaged throughout the process and ensure we are spending the funds as they expect.”