East Macon Shalom Zone Possible Name Change To Walnut Creek Village
Some Macon City Council members held a meeting on Saturday to discuss what could be some big changes in the East Macon community.
City Council Representatives Rick Hutto, Elaine Lucas, and Lonnie Miley held an East Side Summit at St. Paul AME Church to discuss community ideas, improvements and concerns. Non-profit organization, Legacy Builders Foundation presented a Master Plan for the East Macon Shalom Zone to change the name to Walnut Creek Village. The foundation aims to improve the quality of life for children and families in Macon.
"I think that's a good name change from East Macon,” East Macon resident for 26 years, Christopher Wilcox said. “Give a more positive outlook on the community."
“I think the names are so important,” St. Paul AME Church pastor, Jerome McClain said. “This is an exciting time for the city of Macon."
The proposal would take a portion of Fort Hill and bring development into the area including parks and recreation. Which some said is important to help get kids off the street and decrease the crime rate.
"I'm concerned about all kids and this is where I live,” East Macon resident Sonja Jackson said. “I don't want to move out of my neighborhood, I'd rather for my neighborhood to be made better."
CEO of Legacy Builders Foundation, Dr. Vickie Perdue Scott said she’s counted 168 abandoned homes in the East Macon Shalom Zone area. East Macon is one of six areas designated a Shalom Zone by Mayor Robert Reichert in 2010. A Shalom Zone is an area of town that addresses societal issues by using resources available to the city to improve the neighborhoods.
City Councilor, Elaine Lucas, said she wanted to have a forum to provide information and ideas to get more people involved.
"I think when you have an informed electorate; you have people who can get involved,” Lucas said. “They know what's happening. They know all the details and then they feel like they're a part of it. That they're a part of the process."
However, it's not just about elected officials making changes, people at the meeting said it's up to the community as well.
"What can we do, not just them, but what can we do as a whole to help," Jackson said.
"They're in the early stages of everything,” Wilcox said. “Just getting ideas together and I think as long as they keep moving forward and have people get involved they'll be able to bring East Macon back.
City council members representing East Macon said they plan on hosting two more forums when they can find a suitable location and time.