ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — The future of Robins Air Force Base and the surrounding area's housing opportunities became one of the main topics at Monday's Warner Robins City Council meeting.
This is the first Robins Air Force Base Sustainability Plan in 18 years. After a year-and-a-half of planning and outlining it, the City of Warner Robins agreed to adopt it Monday evening.
The plan promotes the growth and development of present and future operations at the base. Middle Georgia Regional Commission Executive Director Laura Mathis says it took a lot of coordination to finish the study.
"All the things that have been identified will absolutely benefit Robins Air Force Base and the defense mission that we serve in middle Georgia, but it will also make middle Georgia an even better place to live," Mathis said.
In this plan, Chief Operations Officer Daniel Rhoades says they are focusing on bringing more housing to the area.
"Housing is an issue and certainly something all of our communities are looking at to better everybody, so that'll certainly be one thing we are looking at, as well in crime. How is crime doing? What are the things that communities are doing to mitigate any issues they have identified there?" Rhoades said.
Rhoades says the plan is geared toward supporting active duty airmen and civilians, as well as all of Central Georgia.
"So making sure that we have the housing needs for all of those members out at the base -- anything from apartment complexes to duplexes to townhomes to standalone homes. All of this is needed," Rhoades said.
Warner Robins Mayor LaRhonda Patrick says the city recently held many "brainstorming sessions about resolving the housing issue."
"We heard tonight from 21st Century Partnership and the Middle Georgia Regional Commission that housing is a top concern. The city shares that," Patrick said. "To know that our main partner, which is Robins Air Force Base has put it at the top of its agenda, I am happy to know we are following in that same heartbeat and it's something that we do want to work and resolve."
All six council members agreed to adopt the new plan.
"The action taken by the cities and the counties to adopt the plan is not the end. It is the beginning. It is the end of the plan process, but the start of the doing process," Mathis said.
Mathis says the plan addresses airspace, security, and land-use, all of which they will discuss over the next five years. Mathis also says the Department of Defense's Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation funded the plan. It cost them nearly $300,000.