Some job vacancies in Macon and Bibb County will stay open until the consolidated government takes over in 2014.
The transition task force asked the city and county to fill only essential positions over the next 14 months.
Macon CAO Dale Walker says leaving some jobs open will give the new government more room to make its own hiring decisions. The city's attorney recently resigned, and Walker says that's one job that will be left open.
He says, "The question becomes, do we fill that position or do we allow one of the attorneys to fill the position on an interim basis? And then when the consolidated government gets further along or gets closer to reality, do we determine that we are going to do attorneys inhouse or do we outsource it like the county does with their attorneys or a combination of the two?"
The transition team also approved a $150,000 contract with the Carl Vinson Institute to help merge the city and county workforces. A pension attorney will develop the benefits plan for those employees; that will cost around $12,000.
Those numbers factor into the total consolidation budget of over $388,000, which will be split by the city and county.
Walker and County Commissioner Elmo Richardson say the real cost comes with buying a new technology system.
An IT consulting firm says new finance and public safety software could run almost $5 million.
Richardson says Bibb County already budgeted for a new system before consolidation passed, but Walker says the city will have to get creative and possibly use SPLOST funds.
The transition team wants the new system up and running before the merger happens in 2014.
The task force also approved a new communications committee to keep citizens informed during the transition process.
They plan to send out a mail-in survey and online survey asking people how they want the transition team to inform them about their progress.