Hundreds of people met to hear Mayor Robert Reichert's plans for the future of Macon-Bibb County.

"We are realizing our potential and responsibilities just as an adolescent who is coming of age," Reichert said.

Reichert calls 2017 a year of growth. between facilities like the Irving tissue plant opening up and new sports teams like the Macon Bacon coming to town.

Reichert says Macon is becoming more attractive to people looking for a place to live.

"Hundreds if not thousands of people will be drawn into our community for these events," he said.

However, he says Bibb County still has a long way to go.

"Still we were operating at a deficit of anywhere between $4 (million) and $12 million a year, and that reduced our rainy day reserves to an unacceptable level," he said.

So Reichert says the county is looking at ways to generate more revenue and cut back on some of their spending in areas like health care.

"This year, we're seeing a 10-12 percent increase that's $2 million or more," he said.

One of the people in the audience. Charise Stephens, the Executive director of the Georgia Wellness and Fitness Festival​​​​, says she's been working to help fix that issue.

"Putting money and resources to getting people to exercise, eat right, the whole 9 yards," Stephens said.

Stephens says she's been advocating for a county fitness and wellness resource center.

"People can come in and get all types of information on different types of exercise resources," she said.

But despite the financial problems, Reichert says the signs of progress are undeniable.