Breaking News
More () »

'The possibilities are limitless': Warner Robins takes new steps toward city center, school zone cameras; Vietnam vets memorial paused

Monday night, council also unanimously approved two ordinances involving the city's alcohol licenses.

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Monday night, Warner Robins mayor and council took another step in bringing a downtown area to the city.

In August, city leaders agreed on a $1.6 million contract for land to build a city center.

That contract included about 6 acres of land.

"Bring space for activities outdoors, walkability, places for people to ride bikes safety, shopping -- the possibilities are limitless when it comes to this space," Patrick said.

At the meeting, they moved forward with entering a purchase and sale agreement for more space for the same project.

After a closed-door executive session, council voted to buy an addition -- a "little less than half an acre" for $250,000.

"Tonight is just another example of investment that me and council are making towards making that deal a reality," Patrick said.

Mayor LaRhonda Patrick says the land they agreed to buy is located in the downtown area near Commercial Circle, but she would not give us a precise location.

"Only because we are just under contract, but once we're close, everything is out. We just don't want us to be our own enemy and have someone else bid against us on a certain parcel," Patrick said.

13WMAZ also asked Patrick where the Vietnam Veteran Memorial stands.

She said they are still working on finalizing the land purchasing contract.

"We are still in negotiation processes with that. We are so close, I can almost taste the victory. I spoke to two of our veterans here tonight to let them know the status of where we are currently. Some of them were already forewarned of where we were today, so the contract has been submitted to the sellers attorneys and they have made a little few tweaks, so I was told later this afternoon those will come back to us. I've been told nothing is material and there is nothing that is major that would change this deal for us, so I am very optimistic that we have reached, when I have received it, it will be the final state so we can put it on the next meeting. That is the goal. Anything can happen between now and then. I thought we were going to vote on it tonight, but situations happen. We didn't get to vote on it tonight, but me knowing we have reached a point of negotiations where everything is pretty good with the major points of this contract makes me feel so good," Patrick said.

Like the mayor said, as far as the memorial, she wants the contract to be ready for council to vote on it at the next council meeting.

Patrick says the next step in the city center project is to close the contracts.

Mayor and council's Monday night agenda draft listed eight items.

In addition to the city center contract, they unanimously approved RedSpeed USA speed cameras for three school zones -- Northside High School, Warner Robins High School, and Lake Joy Elementary, during school hours.

"Super-excited. Everybody on council has been on board with this from the get-go. This is a no-brainer. Again, it promotes safety for our school zones," Lashley said.

Councilman Kevin Lashley says hopefully, they'll be up and running by January.

He also says the Houston County Board of Education and the Georgia Department of Transportation need to approve the cameras next.

Monday night, council also unanimously approved two ordinances involving the city's alcohol licenses. 

Warner Robins city leaders and the police department have been working together to change their code "all year."

That's according to City Clerk Mandy Stella.

Prior to Monday night's meeting, she says city code on alcohol licenses only included fees.

"It didn't say who can get a permit or give any guidelines," Stella said.

She says that's why she recommended adding more details.

Her office presented two ordinances at the meeting.

Since council approved the ordinances, Stella says the new code will now include "what kinds of businesses can host and what times and days they can cater with alcohol."

Stella also says the code will now include more information on the application, like having businesses include the host, caterers, and venue's contact information.

"It's basically just growing our codes as we grow. Some of the things that we as directors see, bring it to mayor and council as suggestions that may help eliminate some of the calls from constitutes that they are getting and bring us up to date with some of the things surrounding cities are doing," Stella said.

Prior to the meeting, city code stated, if a business is denied a license, they have to wait a year before re-applying. 

Since council passed the ordinance, Stella says, the city's alcohol license appeal process timeline will also change.

"If businesses have any questions about obtaining their alcohol license, or getting a license where they can have an alcohol manager on site, so they don't have to get an alcohol license manager on-site so they can not have to get an event permit through an off premises caterer, to please feel free to give us a call. I would be glad to walk them through the steps of applying for that and what the requirements are for the State of Georgia," Stella said.

You can contact Warner Robins City Hall at 478-293-1000.

Before You Leave, Check This Out