City of Perry hosts first public council meeting since January

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PERRY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)— The city of Perry hosted its first public council meeting in over a month.

The pre-council and council meetings took about 45 minutes each. The council then went into executive session to discuss real estate.

On the agenda was the announcement for the expansion of Mossy Creek Natural. We spoke with owner Michelle Rhoades before the meeting. She says with the amount of business they’ve done in the last year, it’s necessary to have a location just for making products. The space will allow her to host classes. They’re hoping to start those in late Spring. Rhoades says she’s thrilled to have the opportunity to open another space.

“Our community came out in droves and supported us this last year, it was a tremendous support just the community alone,” said Rhoades. “And the City of Perry being able to stimulate their economy and local economy enough to get more businesses in town so we’re actually quite thankful for that.”

The expansion will allow her to employ more people, which allows her to qualify for the Rural Business Tax Credit Program. She also received $10,000 from Perry’s DDA Internal Loan Program and $48,000 from the Middle Georgia Regional Commission Loan Program.

We spoke with Economic Development Administrator for Perry, Ashley Hardin, CEcD about what this means for the city.

“It shows truly that Perry is open for business,” said Hardin. “Everyday we have businesses that are opening that they call they’re working on business plans. They want to be in Perry and Perry welcomes them.”

The city manager also proposed several items in pre-council. The first was discussion of the city’s Structure Support Plan. The plan was first started in 2012, and supports the growth of the city.

They purchased the old Houston County Courthouse to be used for administrative functions. The Perry Police and Municipal Court would move into the current City Hall building, and Perry Fire and Emergency Services would take over the current Public Safety building.

City Manager Lee Gilmour says the Perry’s population has grown 37% since 2012.

“We anticipate it’s going to continue to grow as we continue to grow we keep needing to add services and expand on existing services,” said Gilmour.

Also from the pre-council meeting, the City Manager presented a senior contact program. The Houston County Sheriff has an automated call system people can participate in. The council discussed augmenting that system with a live person to call seniors or people with disabilities to check on them. Gilmour says the program still needs planning, but council gave him the ok to do so.

“Our Mayor and council are very strong on having individual contact with residents of the city,” said Gilmour. “And this group of residents live alone and they may not have as much of an opportunity to interact and let someone know in case they fall or feel ill.”

The council also approved bids to replace two custodial vans, and buying a new special events van. They did reject a bid for six patrol vehicles, because the bids did not meet the minimum requirements. The council plan to revise the minimum specifications and rebid at a later date.

When the next meetings are for the city of Perry

  • They will hold a work session on March 1 at 5 p.m.
  • The next council meeting is on March 2. Pre-council starts at 5 p.m. and council starts at 6 p.m.