The Union Recorder

April 10, 2013

Milledgeville to take part in downtown pilot program

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder


The Georgia Municipal Association and the Carl Vinson Institute at the University of Georgia selected the City of Milledgeville for a Downtown Fellowship. The partnership chose Milledgeville as the medium along with Gainesville as the large and Porterdale as the small community pilot program representatives.

Milledgeville Main Street director Carlee Schulte announced the positive news in Tuesday's city council work session.

The Downtown Fellowship provides technical assistance for economic development and public sector education for UGA's College of Environmental Design. Each city leaves the program with improved downtown corridor entrance designs.

City support of downtown development and likelihood to implement the plans are considered.

“Milledgeville was chosen because of the city's support of downtown,” Schulte said. “They see that's something you guys take seriously.”

A UGA landscape architect student starts the 10-week study May 20. The city's total cost is $1,440 for the services.

Additional corridor improvement costs attach to the process. City manager Barry Jarrett said the first choices lie at the Wayne and Hancock Street downtown entrances.

“The thing about the award is that we would be expected to implement what they propose, and we can tell them which street we want too,” Jarrett said. “We need to control costs and think about what would be involved.”

Speaking on behalf of Public Works, Fancy Robinson suggested not limiting the student's work areas. 

“The person that does it could do a study as an outsider coming in evaluating these corridors instead of us limiting her,” Robinson said.


• Development Authority Update

Executive director of the Milledgeville and Baldwin County Development Authority Matt Poyner discussed his three-month activity report Tuesday.

The authority recently sent out its Business Retention Expansion Program surveys. Over 400 letters went to existing businesses and industry.

The confidential survey information will be compiled into a fall report assisting the authority and elected officials to bridge some gaps.

“I want to find out what's going on, where we can help and if they need any help, how can we get that to them,” Poyner said.

Milledgeville and Baldwin County Industrial Park signage concepts can shape up entrance corridors. EMC provides free design services for future sign additions.

Also, Poyner thanked the city and the county for clearing 15 acres of land on a 44-acre park tract. Future construction will drop the tract 30 feet to road grade.

“We are excited about it. Right now, our inventory is low in the community,” Poyner said. “By getting this site ready and prepped, we are going to be that much farther ahead.”

At this point the development authority projects 577 jobs and $105 million capital investment on the books.

“We are still working these projects hoping a few will land,” Poyner said. “We know three are definite.”


• City approved grounds maintenance contract

Council approved a resolution authorizing a contract with Central Georgia Lawn and Design, LLC for maintenance in cemeteries, parks and selected rights-of-way. Public Works director Frank Baugh is pleased with the local contractor.

The contract costs $58,660 based on 12 cuts per year per site. A rainy season could increase the figure.

When compared to $80,000 prison work crews, the city officials like the savings and increased efficiency offered.

“We can manage it well within the budget amount that we otherwise had programmed for prisons crews. I can see some realized savings depending on how the season unfolds,” Baugh said.

The contract lasts from April through October and may extend up to three years at the current price if the city approves. Baugh said the company offers spot project maintenance as well for special events.

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