Milledgeville Mayor Richard Bentley described a city of opportunity in Wednesday’s “The State of the City” address as part of the Chamber’s Eggs & Issues series.
The mayor said adapting to a new, better normal is the order of the times.
“We’ll be progressive, educated and innovated. I think that’s a city that could be envied at any level,” Bentley said.
The presentation described past and future topics.
• Budget and Job stats
The mayor detailed the city’s current financial state, which he contends is better than most. General fund revenues for fiscal year 2012 were $9.4 million, down from the prior year’s $10.1 million total.
Water and sewer funds brought in $7.4 million and solid waste revenue was $1.9 million. The city’s general operational fund balance is around $2.8 million in cash and cash equivalents.
The mayor credited a great workforce for doing more with less.
“I hope you can see we are trying to make things as attractive as possible,” Bentley said.
More than 1,000 jobs came to Milledgeville over the last 18 months including the GEO Group prison, Riverbend Correctional Facility, Triumph Aerostructures and the new Kroger.
Several industries are looking here. Bentley said a lot of times the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Development Authority’s good work goes unnoticed.
“That’s the nature of economic development. It’s tough, and a lot of times it’s confidential,” the mayor said.
Time is “of the essence” for opportunities through the city-funded Central State Hospital Local Redevelopment Authority.
Bentley discussed the state properties challenge. The authority can’t simply acquire use of the land and buildings under the current legislative landscape.
“We are going to sit down with our delegation to try and draft a piece of legislation that will pass and give us the opportunity to access those buildings,” he said.