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Tuesday, March 1, 2011 - 9:52am

House Backs Macon-Bibb Merger

A bill to consolidate Macon and Bibb County governments passed the Georgia House of Representatives Monday. The legislation, now moves on to the Senate.

The bill would allow voters to decide whether to merge the two governments. If approved the new Macon-Bibb County Government would be run by a mayor and nine member commission. Macon is one of the only major cities in the state that is not consolidated with its county.

Macon State Senator and Republican Cecil Staton says he will look over the bill, and then decide whether to back it.

“For consolidation to be something I can support, it’s got to be a plan that is going to bring about a smaller government and a more efficient government and lower cost for taxpayers.”

Macon Democratic Representative David Lucas voted against the bill. He says he disagrees with a provision that creates separate urban and rural tax districts.

Macon Mayor Robert Reichert supports consolidation and says it’s essential to Macon’s future.

“I think that it is the single most important thing that we could do as a community to become more united, more cohesive, and eliminate a lot of the bickering and small disputes.”

The bill now moves on to the Senate.