Payne City residents discuss consolidation options

Consolidation for Macon and Bibb County was decided in the 2012 election cycle, but Monday night, Mayor Robert Reichert sat down with people in Payne City to discuss the possibility of merging into the new government.

The majority of voters in Payne City opposed consolidation in 2012, but Reichert says as Macon and Bibb County work toward the change in January, they're learning more ways Payne City could benefit from joining them.

"We are going to provide all the services except those that they decline," says Reichert. "If they say they don't want code enforcement, they don't want animal control, that's fine. I think they still need to pay all the county taxes, because animal control is everywhere else in the county."

He says they will also have to pay a separate set of taxes to Payne City.

Just under 30 people came to city hall Monday night, and many of them were eager to learn more about consolidation.

"I think as a community as a whole, we see that it's a small area," says William Murray. "I think Payne city could definitely be a historic district, but I think we should consolidate it so we can get all the opportunities and safety that we need over here."

Others said they were concerned that since Payne City isn't included in Macon-Bibb's nine districts, its only representative would be the mayor.

Reichert says, if people in Payne City want to consolidate, they can hold a referendum or start a petition before the Georgia General Assembly convenes in January.

Payne City Mayor Grace McCrimmons says city council will discuss the options in their meeting next Monday.


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