Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bibb County Georgia

Special Local Option Sales Tax
I was able to attend the SPLOST Meeting at Macon's City Hall last evening.  Over the course of the meeting well over fifty people attended.

This event was an opportunity for the Citizens of Bibb County to discuss their desires to improve the County with the emphasis on Economic Development.  In Short our elected County Leaders and also the elected City of Macon Leaders wanted to hear from the Citizens.

During the course of the meeting which lasted one and one half hours everyone had the opportunity to state their desires.  These were written down on wall charts.  At the conclusion of the meeting each attendee was given three green dots to place on the projects they desired so that our Elected Leaders could determine the wishes of the Citizens in attendance.

I addressed the group and listed three concerns:

  1. Repair the infrastructure of the Cities Storm Drain System.  Without this we have scant hope of attracting new business to the City of Macon.
  2. Focus on the repair of our Current Recreation Centers as well as establish appropriate liaison with the Bibb County School System.  The People have provided wonderful resources thoroughout Bibb County that could be used during the Summer Months for Recreation Opportunities.  Additionally, construction of Recreation Centers in the County would be appropriate.  I also spoke to the need to drown proof our young Citizens.
  3. Construct a New Court House.  I know that this is not a popular concept.  That stated, if we are to attract new industry and business we need a Government Center that reflects our dedication and love for our Community.  As it is we are now currently considering expending funds which we do not have to rehab the current Court House so that safe and secure communications can be accomplished in the event of an emergency.  If I understand correctly there is a possibility that over $100,000.00 will have to be expended to accomplish reliable communications.  Yet we will have an old building with an inefficient layout.  
My primary concern for the New Court House is that as we strive to attract New Business and/or New Industry we are demonstrating to the World that we do not care enough to have an attractive and also efficient Government Center.  I can look to our neighbor,  Houston County and see what they have accomplished and are currently accomplishing.  Their Court House is neat.  Even nearby Crawford County has an efficient appearing Government Center. 

I know from my own experience as a potential Superior Court Juror, our Court House is a disgrace.  The assembly room is a nightmare.  The Restrooms are a miscarriage of justice.  I understand that the current Court House basement has water problems when it rains. 

Yes, it will cost money, real money to construct, but someday it will have to be done.  We all know that in the future it will cost even more.

As I departed the Macon City Hall from the SPLOST meeting I looked to the left as I proceeded to my home.  There was Saint Joseph Catholic Church.  A landmark in our City and County.  I do not know the cost of it's construction; but I do know that it took twelve to fourteen years to construct in the late 1800s.  I recall from reading the marker in front of the church that the basement was constructed and that they finished the upper level once they achieved their fund raising goal. 

In summary, I know that spending some money now will result in a much more efficient Court House of which we can be proud.  Additionally, I know for a fact that if we wait five or even ten years to construct a New Court House that it will cost even more.  In the meantime we will have to expend more funds to maintain the current Courthouse both from a safety and security aspect.

So, I, The Flower Child simply state that if we are going to bite the bullet, the sooner the better because delaying the construction will cost us even more.

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