Committee proposes $35 million blight bond

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Macon-Bibb County Commissioners continue to find ways to fight blight throughout the county.

During Tuesday’s committee meeting, the committee as a whole proposed a bond that, as Commissioner Virgil Watkins says, would eliminate Macon’s blight.

Watkins presented a blight project requesting a bond of $35 million to the committee. Some commissioners say that’s too much money.

Watkins argues that the amount would eliminate the county’s current 1,600 blighted homes.

Commissioner Elaine Lucas supports the bond and says the county needs to make blight a priority.

”It needs to be enough money to make a difference in this community. Not just for downtown and other areas. We put a lot of money in without blinking,” Lucas said.

Commissioner Valerie Wynn says the county can’t afford the bond. She says she would rather invest in adding sheriff deputies.

”If we can control crime, we can start controlling blight and put more officers in neighborhoods that can control blight,” Wynn said.

Watkins says he’s in favor of doing a large upfront bond to solve the problem and move on.

”Whether or not we spread it over the course of two years or 20 years, that is what it will cost the county,” he said.

Watkins says he will present a new blight bond proposal next week to commissioners.

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Tanya comes all the way from Chicago, Illinois. She’s a city girl that’s excited to be a part of Middle Georgia’s community and tell your stories! She received a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Columbia College Chicago. She also spent a few semesters studying at San Diego State University. While in college, she interviewed Joan Rivers before she passed away, was on the red carpet for the movie premiere of “Chiraq” and also interned with ABC7’s investigative reporters and Bill Kurtis. Tanya spent nearly 2 years reporting in Billings, Montana where she covered a lot of politics and agriculture. In her spare time, Tanya is a sports fanatic, so even though the Chicago Bears and Bulls didn’t know how to win this season, she still roots for them. You can guarantee you’ll run into her at the gym every day. If you do, stop by and say hi! Share your stories with her and don’t be surprised if she’s hiding chocolate chip cookies in her gym bag.