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Macon Council OK's $230,000 for Consolidation Costs

11:28 PM, Dec 18, 2012   |    comments
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Tuesday night, Macon city council approved a $230,000 payment to the consolidation task force.

Mayor Robert Reichert already advanced $20,000 to the transition team in October without council's approval.

Members decided to count that as part of their original $250,000 bill. That money will go toward consulting services hired by the transition team.

Some of those firms have already started their work, which under state law, means the city and county cannot pay for them.

Council member Rick Hutto says the task force will use a $50,000 donation from the Peyton Anderson Foundation to cover those costs and the city and county will split the remainder.

Their current proposal sits at just over $530,000 but council member Tom Ellington, who is also a member of the task force, says they are still looking into grants and donations to cover some of that.

Council member Elaine Lucas voted for the payment, but says she is still skeptical. She says, "My question is, how much more are they going to need and what kind of controls are we going to place on them? Do they have unlimited spending? It's obvious that they do, and I think we should have voted that down and we should have made them present itemized information, detailed information as to how this money is to be spent."

The consolidation team will finalize its budget during Wednesday's meeting.

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