Politics & Government

Work could soon begin on two new Macon-Bibb fire stations

The construction of two Bibb County fire stations could start as early as this summer.

The Macon-Bibb County Commission is expected to vote Tuesday on transferring about $2 million of leftover money from two completed fire stations to the planned Jeffersonville Road fire station. If approved, construction of that fire station and another station on Napier Avenue could begin by July, said Macon-Bibb County spokesman Chris Floore.

Funding for the fire stations were approved as part of the 2012 special purpose local option sales tax referendum. It costs between $2 million and $2.5 million to build a station, county officials have said.

The $2 million to be voted on Tuesday includes $1.3 million remaining after Fire Station 109, located on New Forsyth Road, was completed in 2013. Another $700,000 from the budget for Fire Station 110 on Heath Road also would go toward the 3947 Jeffersonville Road site in east Macon.

Beyond that, "there is currently about $4 million in the line for another fire station," Floore said in an email. "By moving the excess left over from (Fire Station) 109 and (Fire Station) 110, we will be able to fund the construction of the Jeffersonville Road station and the Napier Avenue station."

Floore said the county could begin accepting bids for construction at the Jeffersonville site by the end of March and for the Napier station by the end of April.

"It takes about 60 days to work through the bid and commission process, and construction would begin soon thereafter," Floore said. "Construction on a fire station is about 300 days, but that all depends on the weather and other unforeseen circumstances."

Getting work started on the Jeffersonville station has taken a few years. In 2013, the now-defunct Bibb County Commission purchased land on Donnan Road where the soil was later deemed not suitable for the station and equipment. Last year, the county bought another parcel of land, this time about a half-mile from the Donnan site.

The Napier site would be a relocation of the Breezy Hill Fire Station on Forsyth Road. Macon-Bibb officials have said the Breezy Hill station needs to move because fire trucks are having difficulty getting in and out of that location.

REHAB PROJECTS FUNDING SET FOR VOTES

Two other resolutions on Tuesday's commission agenda would provide money to support revitalization projects at former Bibb County schools.

Commissioner Mallory Jones is looking to use $350,000 of his blight money to help purchase the old Alexander IV Elementary School on Ridge Avenue, and Commissioner Ed DeFore's resolution would give $400,000 for revitalizing the neighborhood around the A.L. Miller High School and Junior High complex on Montpelier Avenue.

The money for Alexander Elementary would aid the Historic Macon Foundation's efforts to find a developer for the historic school.

The A.L. Miller schools are being transformed into affordable housing with 62 apartments as part of the A.L. Miller Village that also will include a park and nine homes. County officials have pledged $650,000 worth of money and in-kind services to the project that is being built by a private developer.

County commissioners each have $1 million to spend on various blight projects.

Information from the Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Stanley Dunlap, call 744-4623 or find him on Twitter@stan_telegraph.

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