• Milledgeville attractions
The Convention & Visitors Bureau registered 100,000 tourists last year. Bentley said thousands more visit local historic, cultural and natural attractions.
“You can imagine the number of people that don’t register at the CVB and come through town,” he said. “Tourism is economic development, and we work hard trying to maintain that.”
Milledgeville sets up well for a retirement destination. Nationally, seven of the top 10 retirement communities are located in college towns.
State surplus property around the Bill Ireland YDC could house a future retirement development.
“A retirement community somewhere in that 400 acres would be very beneficial to us because of proximity to the hospital, and it’s not that far from the college and downtown attractions we have,” Bentley said.
Milledgeville was voted as the best middle size community on the Georgia Cities Heart and Soul Bus Tour for an active downtown.
The city attained a $42,000 pavilion grant for the current farmer’s market location as well.
“I think that is going to add a great deal aesthetically and functionally to the downtown,” the mayor said Wednesday.
• Educated city
Few communities boast three unique colleges, according to Bentley.
“There is no reason in the world that anybody in this community can’t get an education,” he said. “You don’t have to leave Baldwin County.”
Community in Schools of Milledgeville-Baldwin County (CISMBC) and Central Georgia Technical College have programming to improve literacy for citizens and the city workforce.
Displaced Central State Hospital employees have a chance to attain a GED diploma on location.
“I think it’s very good that CGTC and the CIS partnership are going to reach a lot more people,” Bentley said.
• Shaw and Elks buildings
The city acquired the Shaw building and placed it on the market. Talk of a business incubator repurpose swirls also.