The Union Recorder

Local News

September 10, 2013

Development Authority votes against move to Elks Building

MILLEDGEVILLE — The Milledgeville-Baldwin County Development Authority’s called Tuesday board meeting ended with a unanimous vote against moving from the Chamber of Commerce building to the City of Milledgeville-owned former Elks Lodge Building.

Development Authority Executive Director Matt Poyner remained neutral allowing the board to make the final call.

Lack of communication played a role in the decision. Since the city acquired the building adjacent to City Hall, the Development Authority board had hoped for input but members say they never had the chance. 

The economic development group finally received floor plans last week. 

“We didn’t hear anything back from them until it was nearly done. Suddenly, we were told ‘we are planning on you coming and not the Chamber’ because we thought the Chamber would also be in the building. We weren’t brought into the picture at any time as to what our needs were,” DA board chair Dr. Jo Ann Jones said Tuesday. “Somehow when we weren’t contacted about where we were going to be until after all the decisions were made, I felt a little bit like a stepchild.” 

Elks is a three-floor building next to City Hall on Hancock Street tabbed as a future one-stop shop for economic development. 

The original plan placed Milledgeville Main Street on the first floor, the Development Authority and a second city planner on the second and a third floor to house City Planning & Zoning.

Before the vote, the board discussed pros and cons for either staying put or switching locations.

Pros included being located in a new facility, more space, and Elks possibly becoming a future home for a consolidated Milledgeville-Baldwin County Planning & Zoning department.

Cons were loss of shared Development Authority and Chamber resource staff, the possibility of a city budget line item of $8,000 used for current yearly rent being withdrawn whether the move does or doesn’t occur, parking space and shared space restricting future Authority staff growth.

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