MACON, Ga. — In this year's annual address, Macon-Bibb Mayor Lester Miller says the state of community in the county is "strong."
It was Miller's first State of the Community address, and this year's was held outdoors at the Historic Luther Williams Field to allow for social distancing. Leaders gathered for lunch and a "stadium experience" as he discussed his plans and vision for Macon's future.
Miller kicked off his address with a quote from baseball legend Jackie Robinson and made frequent sports references as he attributed the city’s successes to teamwork.
He cited several community accomplishments during his first 100 days in office.
The first was the April 10 citywide cleanup day as part of his Clean Streets Matter initiative. He says over 80 groups and 1,500 people came together to participate, and that over two million pounds of trash have been removed from illegal dumping sites.
Miller says the Brookdale Warming Center is another success story. The warming center opened after two men experiencing homeless froze to death on Christmas.
Around '30 agencies and countless individuals' collaborated to make it possible, and the center has served over 400 families so far, according to Miller.
He also touted his demolition efforts to reduce blight. A new initiative was started Monday to improve neighborhoods, with the goal of demolishing 30 blighted structures in 30 days. Miller says there are over 70 structures the city is working to add to that list.
“It was a team effort, and we’re not finished yet,” Miller said.
He also says the city is working to bring in jobs and revenue, and he announced a $21.8 million investment by Kumho Tire in the Macon plant that would add over 20,000 square-feet and increase production.
Miller also mentioned an 'other local option sales tax' (OLOST) bill that will face voters this year, which seeks to help Macon-Bibb County property owners.
“Today I ask each of you to commit again to do all that you can do to make our community a more vibrant place,” he said.
He says the work going toward making Macon-Bibb greatly expands beyond the community leaders gathered at Thursday's event.
“Team Macon-Bibb County includes all of us. Together, we are one Macon. We are strong. We are nimble. We are ready to work together," he said.