The neighborhoods around three former Bibb County schools could get an infusion of money for revitalization work.
Two resolutions set to go before a Macon-Bibb County Commission committee Tuesday would provide $750,000 for the purchase of the old Alexander IV Elementary School on Ridge Avenue and for revitalizing the neighborhood around a project at the A.L. Miller High School and Junior High complex on Montpelier Avenue.
The funding would come from the blight funds of Commissioners Mallory Jones and Ed DeFore if the projects receive approval from the commission.
The resolutions are scheduled for discussions by the commission's Economic and Community Development Committee Tuesday.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Telegraph
Jones is proposing to earmark $350,000 for Alexander IV, which was selected to the Historic Macon Foundation's "fading five" list late last year. The foundation would use that money to help buy the property that's owned by the Bibb County school district. A couple of options for the project are to turn it into a senior housing complex or charter school.
"Whatever goes there will impact the whole neighborhood," Jones said Monday. "I have a lot of confidence in Historic Macon and what they've done and their reputation."
If the foundation is able to purchase the property, then a meeting would be held to gather thoughts from the public.
"We've been working with school board and staff to find a good buyer for it," said Ethiel Garlington, executive director of Historic Macon. "At end of the day it felt like Historic Macon is the right (group) to oversee finding the right developer."
Also on Tuesday's agenda is a DeFore proposal to designate $400,000 for a rehabilitation project within a half-mile radius of the former Miller schools, where work is already underway. The future A.L. Miller Village site, at 2241 Montpelier Ave., will have a multifamily development with 62 apartments for low-income residents, nine single-family homes and a park.
The money from DeFore would be used to work with a partner agency to remove blight and redevelop properties surrounding that complex.
FORMER SEARS BUILDING COULD GET MORE FUNDS
Another $400,000 could go toward the former Sears building on Riverside Drive as it's transformed into offices for state probation and a sheriff's office annex.
A resolution seeks to transfer bond funds from a proposed east Bibb fire station to the downtown Macon project.
In October, commissioners agreed to spend an additional $1.2 million to complete work on the former store's basement. The proposed $400,000 bond transfer would be used on work performed on the second floor of the building, according to Macon-Bibb spokesman Chris Floore.
Commissioner Elaine Lucas, who represents the district where the proposed fire station would be built, said she would be OK with the transfer as long as the fire station is appropriated funds from another place. The resolution says that leftover money from the 2012 special purpose local option sales tax would make up for the loss.
To contact writer Stanley Dunlap, call 744-4623 or find him on Twitter@stan_telegraph.