[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”18817″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]A family and community have waited almost 30 years to for the new Filmore Thomas Park (3793 Log Cabin Road), and on Saturday, November 12, the the Recreation Department and neighborhood will hold a family-friendly festival. From 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. children and families can enjoy food, music, Yoga, Zumba, a bicycle ride, and more, as well as watch a four-team basketball tournament. Parking for the event will be at New Pilgrim Baptist Church (4388 Robinson Road), and a shuttle will take people to and from the park between 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

The new park was funded with approximately $1,700,000 from the voter-approved Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), and includes a pavilion, a splash pad, a playground, basketball courts, sidewalks and trails, landscaping, and more.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]“When we first consolidated, I promised people here that their recreation and safety were two of my highest priorities. With the opening of Filmore Thomas Park and the ongoing improvement project along Log Cabin Drive, Macon-Bibb County can say we are following through on our promises,” says District 9 Commissioner Al Tillman.

“We are elated that – after more than 30 years – the Filmore Thomas Park is finally opening,” says Alfreda Lockett, daughter of Filmore Thomas. “Our entire family wants to thank Commissioner Tillman and Macon-Bibb County for making this dream a reality.”

And there are more features coming to the Park. At its meeting on November 1, the Macon-Bibb Commission approved $250,000 from blight bond funds to be used for the Thomas Park Addition Neighborhood Redevelopment and Blight Remediation Project. The funding will be used to install a prefabricated pedestrian bridge across the creek, sidewalk through the wooded area of the park, and parking lot on the ROAD NAME side of the park.

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In addition to the new Filmore Thomas Park, Log Cabin Drive is undergoing a $1.5 million safety improvement project funded by the SPLOST. It includes a new pedestrian bridge and repairs to the current roadway bridge over Rocky Creek; constructing new curb and gutter, sidewalk, drainage swales, drainage structures and driveways; realign the intersection of Hollingsworth Road and Log Cabin Drive; adding a northbound left-turn-lane on Log Cabin Drive at Hollingsworth Road; and more.

“In all areas of our County, we are adding, expanding, or improving our greenspaces and recreation centers, thanks to the SPLOST,” says Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert. “People deserve these types of spaces to enjoy with their friends and families, and for too long, they have gone without the care and maintenance they deserved. Now, as a consolidated government, we are focusing our resources into improving people’s quality of life.”

About the SPLOST
The current SPLOST was approved by voters in 2011, with collections beginning in 2012. It would fund improvements, upgrades, construction, and more for six years or until $180 million was collected. Thanks to this additional penny – which studies have shown is paid mostly by people traveling into or through Macon-Bibb – there is a new Animal Welfare Center, new Juvenile Justice Center, three new fire stations, $39 million in new or improved recreation facilities, a new public safety radio system, vehicles and equipment for law enforcement, road and storm drainage repair, and more.

Commissioners, and the Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections, have placed the continuation of the SPLOST on the ballot on November 8, 2016. Should this be approved, it would continue the penny tax once the current one expires in March 2018. This would not be an additional penny on top of what people already pay.

The $280 million plan includes the next phases of recreation projects, federally-mandated closure of the landfill, courthouse renovations, runway extension at the Middle Georgia Regional Airport, stormwater repair and upgrades, public safety projects, and more. To develop the list of what was included, the County hosted a series of community meetings to hear directly from people.

You can read about the projects and what else is included in the planned SPLOST here. To see the active and completed projects covered under the current program, check out the detailed SPLOST site.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]