WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Warner Robins Council met Monday night to discuss blight, a potential roundabout, and chickens.
The pre-council meeting kicked off with a discussion on the roundabout at the intersection of Osigian Boulevard and Margie Drive.
"The future of that area is so important, there is so much area for growth down there, and if you have it break down because of one little intersection, that's where we're really looking at problems," Councilmen Kevin Lashley said.
Council members decided to table a vote for the second time. Lashley says their biggest concern is the size of the roundabout won't support the traffic that comes through.
He says between noon and 2 p.m. that intersection can get as busy as Lake View Road and Highway 41.
"If you can imagine, all those lanes converging, and it's too small to handle the capacity of traffic, the back up is going towards Quail Run Elementary, towards Watson. That is going to be awful. You're not going to be able to get out," Lashley said.
He says they want to get it right the first time so people can use the roundabout.
"Cost of failure is more of a concern to me than the actual cost of it. There is allocated amounts for it, but we need to make sure that were not wasting the money," Lashley said.
The project is a 2018 City SPLOST project.
Lashley says at the next council meeting he'd like to see maps and designs for the roundabout. The city hasn't seen any of this from the county. He hopes they can have these by next meeting, so they can make some decisions.
Council also discussed if people could raise chickens in their back yards.
Councilman Derek Mack says he's gotten several calls about people interested in growing eggs because of rising prices. Other councilmembers say they've recieved the same calls, and even seen some chicken coops in yards.
However, council decided to stick with a current ordinance.
"It shall be unlawful for any person to raise, keep or permit to be raised or kept on that premises that he owns or controls within city limits of Warner Robins, any wild, nondomestic animals or any cattle, horses, ponies, donkey, mules, goats, sheep or foul...which is the chicken," reads councilman Mack.
Lastly in pre-council, members agreed to create a blight task force.
"Now it's time for us to do something about it, besides just throw words around and ideas, and tonight was the first step for us," Mayor LaRhonda Patrick said.
Council members agreed to reach out to members in their district to represent them in the task force. Patrick says their role will be to create a list of blighted structures in their area. She expects the most blight to be in the oldest part of the city, near the base.
This list will be sent up to an internal blight team. She says they will be responsible for working towards getting the buildings demolished or renovated.
She says once this begins, the team will do quarterly reports to state how many homes or businesses they have on their blight priority list. Patrick says the city will legally work towards putting pressure on land owners who don't keep property up to code.
"We've waited long enough for land owners to take care of their property's and make them be a nice part of our communities and if their not going to do it we'll do it for them," Patrick said.
Councilman Larry Curtis Jr. also commented that he'd like to see this item take off. He says it will take all community members.
"I think we need to go full force on this blight issue, make it a priority in the city, to get this done. I just know, deep, deep down in my heart, I know that a lot of the crime issues will go away. Again also, I will reiterate, we need help," Curtis said.
He encourages community members to be engaged in issues and assist with recruiting for law enforcement.
Anyone interested in joining the blight task force can reach out to the city clerk.