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Is Brightmark still coming to Macon? Macon-Bibb Industrial Authority has been silent for a month

It's been a month since Mayor Lester Miller withdrew his support. However, the Industrial Authority has yet to make any public decision on Brightmark.

MACON, Ga. — The half-billion-dollar question is "What's next?" for what's being called the world's largest recycling plant.

It's been a month since Mayor Lester Miller withdrew his support, saying he had concerns about the health and safety effects of the plant.

He asked the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority to reject the company as well. However, the Industrial Authority has yet to make any public decision on Brightmark.

Many questions are still unanswered after the Industrial Authority met Monday-- the first time the board met since Mayor Lester Miller formally withdrew his support. 

Will the board issue $500 million in revenue bonds to help Brightmark build its plant? Will Brightmark actually move to Macon? These are questions the Industrial Authority still could not answer publicly.

An industrial authority member says executives from Brightmark were scheduled to fly into town to meet with the board Monday. The authority went into a closed session for about 40 minutes. A board member indicated that Brightmark executives met with the board via Zoom.

Since November, we've been waiting to hear whether the Industrial Authority will issue $500 million in Exempt Facility Revenue Bonds for Brightmark.

Before closing the meeting to the public, chairman Robby Fountain listed off why they could be meeting per Georgia Open Meeting Law. Fountain said it could be anything pertaining to real estate, attorney-client communication, pending litigation or personnel issues. 

But Fountain never confirmed specifically what the board was discussing. 

"Is it about Brightmark?" 13WMAZ asked.

"No, we don't discuss why we're going into executive session," the Industrial Authority lawyer said. 

We asked the Industrial Authority's executive director Stephen Adams whether they made any decision or if there's been any movement in the deal. Adams refused to answer our questions. 

"Unfortunately, that meeting was not open to the public so we don't know what was discussed, but we can only count on and lean on our elected officials and Macon Bibb County Industrial Authority board to make the right decision for the county," said Jessica Wahl with Environment Georgia. Wahl has spoken out against Brightmark since they announced they wanted to move to Macon. 

Wahl says she hopes the authority updates the public soon.

"I will not sleep soundly at night until I have seen the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority soundly reject Brightmark's proposal and cease to have a relationship with the company," Wahl said. 

Board members say they can't discuss the details of the deal and closed door discussions because of a professional service agreement. They say it's 100 percent confidential. 

We reached out to Brightmark. They did not respond. 

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