Macon City Council Split On Decision Of Terminal Station Sale
The terminal station is operated by the City of Macon but come next month that might be a different story and city council member Henry Gibson said that infuriates him.
"It belongs to the tax payers,” Gibson said. “The property is just being given away, that doesn't make any sense.”
At Monday’s city council meeting, members came to a split decision on whether or not to give the terminal station to the Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority for the sale price of $10. Those who wanted to sell it said it would help save the city money but Gibson said that's not the issue.
"It's not about the money,"Gibson said. "It's about the historic remembrance of the building."
However, if MTA owns it, the city would no longer be solely responsible for the station's financial shortfall. MTA CEO Rick Jones said it could apply for federal grants that the city can't get. Those grants would help support the operating costs and future endeavors.
"We need the building to be in our name for us to be able to go forward and get any more grants to continue the renovation of the building,” Jones said.
However, Gibson said he voted against the sale because he was told the city could receive federal grants by still owning the building.
"It was confirmed by the city attorney that, the city it could still get the same benefits for grants if we could lease the terminal station," Gibson said.
All occupants in the station currently do lease the space. However, all the revenue goes towards transportation services in the city and county. An agreement made with the Federal Transportation Administration a few years ago in order to receive money to renovate the building. Money that the building generates cannot go to any other services in the city or county.
Gibson said if the city sells the terminal station, it just adds to the list of operations given away by the city of Macon, including the Medical Center of Central Georgia and Macon Water Authority.
"The city needs to own something," Gibson said. "After a while we won't own anything,"
Jones said MTA would keep the historical presence and only help cut the cost of the taxpayers.
"There are no intentions of anybody of altering the integrity of this building in anyway," Jones said.
"We have assets that are owned by the city of Macon," Gibson said, “There's nothing like ownership."
Gibson said the council will most likely vote on the issue again at the next meeting.