Bibb County Commissioners Updated on Recreation Projects, New Animal Shelter

By PHILLIP RAMATI — [email protected]

MACON, GA (08/06/2013) - Bibb County commissioners were presented Tuesday with a 19-point draft of the recreation master plan that will be funded by sales tax money.

Additionally, commissioners learned the new Bibb County Animal Welfare shelter could open as soon as January 2015.

Both projects were key selling points when Bibb voters approved the most recent special purpose local option sales tax in 2011.

Consultant Peggy Thompson of ZT3 Placemaker Studio Inc. gave a short presentation about the recreation master plan.  Recreation projects made up $39 million of the $190 million SPLOST.

Thompson said the plan will cover points gathered from community meetings, surveys and input by public officials. She told commissioners the plan’s details are still being worked out and that she will have a meeting with the county’s Parks and Recreation Department before formally presenting the plan to commissioners Aug. 20.

Thompson on Tuesday outlined 19 different points, including improvements such as adding an outdoor amphitheater, creating a dedicated parks police force that’s similar to having rangers at Lake Tobesofkee, and putting into place a new identification system for parks and rec users.

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In a separate matter, commissioners were given a time line of when the new $3 million animal shelter might be ready.

Len Hindsman, who oversees the SPLOST, said a bid proposal will be issued later this month for the shelter’s site work to be done on the land off Fulton Mill Road.  Meanwhile, the county will begin soliciting bids for the facility’s construction next month, and Hindsman said construction should begin in November.

Architect Gene Dunwody Jr. said the final design for the new shelter was completed July 25 and includes a community room, lobby, administration area, separate areas for adoptable cats and dogs, surgical suites and a quarantine area, among other amenities. He said the heating, cooling and plumbing systems are extremely complex, but they will be extremely efficient in terms of air and water quality.

Dunwody said plans call for 300 construction days, which would have the facility close to completion by mid-December 2014, with the target of a January 2015 opening.

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.