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Warner Robins mayoral race candidates share their thoughts on growth, infrastructure

Warner Robins continues to grow with a current population around 80,000 people, but is the city keeping up?

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Voters in the International City will be electing a new mayor and city council members in November.

13WMAZ wants to help you with everything you'll need to know before going to the polls.

We sat down with the three candidates in the mayor's race: Incumbent Randy Toms, and challengers LaRhonda Patrick and Stephen Baughier.

They trio spoke about infrastructure and growth in the International City. Warner Robins continues to grow with a current population around 80,000 people, but is the city keeping up?

Toms says they’re doing the best they can right now and are still looking to improve.

“Trying to control the growth the best we can. Now, we have had to play catch up a little bit with our infrastructure as far as water, sewer, natural gas in certain areas, especially out at the 96/Houston Lake area and then down in the areas that's Warner Robins down in the Bonaire area down towards 247,” said Toms.

Patrick says city resources could do a better job keeping up with the growth, and Baughier thinks city services are doing well overall but changes may be needed as more people come in.

“I don't want to wait until we're having even more water leaks than we have currently and even more flooding in areas than we have currently before we take a serious look at this issue. Let's be proactive and fix the issue now before it gets way out of hand and costs taxpayers money,” said Patrick.

“The more people you have obviously the more strain you're going to have on infrastructure and more strain on roads, more strain on [the] sewer system. You're going to have more houses, more businesses, hopefully. And so you also have to expand the departments” said Baughier.

With more people moving to the city, not everyone has a car. We asked if candidates plan to ramp up public transportation.

“I don't think Warner Robins is set up for large mass transit and I just don't think we've ever been set up that way. There is some transit available in Warner Robins and we're certainly looking at ways that we could do better,” said Toms.

“Making sure our seniors have ways to get to and from different community events, it's another initiative of mine. Doctor's appointments to get prescription medication,” said Patrick.

“That's something that I would really like to see. You know, if people who may not necessarily be able to drive or people who may not necessarily have a license or may not be able to afford a car -- we want people to be able to get around to make it to the grocery store, to make it to the pharmacy, make it to the library,” said Baughier.

Election Day is Nov. 2. Each week leading up to the election we’ll keep you updated with information from each candidate on various issues in the city.

RELATED: 2021 Warner Robins election guide: Key dates, voter registration, and candidates

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