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Reichert Asks for Four-Month Service-Delivery Extension

Macon Mayor Robert Reichert says the city and county are still a long way from agreeing on a service delivery strategy.


So he wants to ask the state for a four-month extension on the plan, until February.


The service delivery plan sets out who provides which services and who pays for them.


The city and county must agree to stay eligible for state grants and funds. The state's deadline is Oct. 31.


But Reichert says Macon and Bibb are still waiting for a study by UGA's Carl Vinson Institute on tax fairness in the city and county before they negotiate further with Bibb County. Reichert and other city officials contend that Macon residents are taxed double by the city and county for duplicate services.


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Middle Georgia Schools To Get $15M From Race to the Top

Four Middle Georgia school systems will get a total of more than $15 million from the Race to the Top grant during the next four school years.

Bibb, Jones, Peach and Pulaski schools will benefit from the federal school-improvement grants. Bibb will get the largest chunk, more than $13 million.

According to the state Department of Education, Peach will get nearly $1.2 million, Jones about $570,000 and Pulaski about $338,000.

The Bibb County district says Superintendent Sylvia McGee and other representatives from Bibb County attended a meeting at the Georgia Department of Education about the grant.

They say allocations for the 26 participating districts are based on the federal Title I formula, which counts the number of needy children in the district.

According to the GaDOE, that means Bibb County will receive $13,297,398 during the next four years.

Council Committee Allots Money For Airport Improvements

Macon City Council's Ordinances and Resolutions Committee voted Monday night to appropriate $5,497 towards a grant match for the Middle Georgia Regional Airport.

It is the last of money needed to provide the required  $79,397 in local match funds towards a $3,017,088 federal grant.

According to the grant agreement, the money will go towards repaving and "rehabilitating," runways at the airport.

The city says the improvements will allow the airport to accommodate larger and heavier aircrafts on their runway.  

Mayor Asks Council to Extend Deadline for Service Delivery Decision

Mayor Robert Reichert asked City Council's Ordinances and Resolutions Committee to extend the deadline for service delivery strategy negotiations Monday.

The service delivery strategy gives Macon and Bibb County guidelines for which entity provides what services, and who has to pay for them.

The state's existing deadline for a decision is October 31, but Reichert says that's no longer feasible and he wants council to vote to delay any decisions until February 2011.

He says the reason for the delay is that the city still hasn't gotten the results from a tax-equity study being done by University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute into the fairness of the current tax structure.

Reichert says with all the work still ahead of them, extending the deadline is the safest thing to do to avoid becoming non-compliant with the state.

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Students Honored at Howard PTO Meeting

The PTO at one Bibb County middle school is working to get the entire family involved in education. They also honored a 13WMAZ Junior Journalist.

At Tuesday night's meeting, the Howard Middle School PTO held a "finger
food frenzy" so teachers and students could eat snacks and play games
while they got to know each other. 

Megan Barker and 13WMAZ Junior Journalist Malik Lyder were honored
for their acceptance as scholars in the Junior National Young Leaders Conference.

They also received $50 in spending money for the trip to Washington, DC.

"I was excited," said Megan.  "But I kind of knew it was coming, but I was like really excited.

"I was sort of surprised by it," said Malik. When asked if he knew it was coming, he laughed and replied, "I did."





Council Committee Postpones Vote On Healthcare Bid

Macon City Council's Employee Development and Compensation Committee delayed a vote on the first step towards putting the city's healthcare service provider contract up for bid. 

Committee Chairman Charles Jones says before the city can accept bids for a new healthcare provider contract, they want to hire a company to help write the bid proposal and then determine which bid is the most competitive.

He says the mayor's office suggested a Gainesville, Georgia-based company called Benefit Advocate Inc.

But the committee voted to postpone the decision on whether to hire them because the proposed contract with Benefit Advocate hadn't been put up for bid.

Jones says that meant any local companies capable of the job could have been excluded.

North Bibb Closer to New Fire Station


People in North Macon are one step closer to having more fire protection in the neighborhood.


Bibb County Commissioner voted to approve purchasing land for station 109, pending an environmental study.


Commission chairman Sam Hart said it was too early to say where the site is location or how much the county could pay for the land.

Hart said the location is about five acres.  Two of those acres are useable for the new station, the rest is green space.


Macon-Bibb Assistant Fire Chief Cliff Rushin says they looked at two to three sites that would have worked, but says they're pleased with the selection.


"That area is certainly building up," said Rushin. "I'm looking forward to getting something built out there."