Mayor and commission take on Milledge

It was a quick and easy night at the Mayor and Commission meeting on Thursday, March 18, 2010. The relatively short meeting covered several small issues put forth by the commission for consideration for an April 6th meeting to determine each item’s fate.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had a night with no public imput,” said Mayor Pro-Temp Kathy Hoard who sat in for Mayor Heidi Davidson.

A great deal of the meeting was dedicated to the Annual Action Plan for Human and Economic Development for the 2011 fiscal year. In the past year, funds were allocated to 21 projects, costing about $315,000. With the county still having to account for budget cuts in an already weak economy, members of the commission questioned how the HED money was being spent and if possible, how little can be used in order to maintain a healthy budget.

“When we’re expecting real diligence on the part of our non-profit partners, would it not be reasonable to say that we should try to spend as few dollars ourselves?” asked Commissioner Kelly Girtz. “Many non-profit directors have asked how they can use their money best and I think we should shine the light on ourselves in the same way.”

Other topics included a discussion on a proposed special district overlay for Milledge Ave. which would remove requirements surrounding the fraternities and sororities that own houses along the street. Under current law, the Greek organizations are required to submit special use reviews each year to maintain their property along Milledge. Additions to the houses such as porches and small sheds have to go through a long approval process, costing both time and money.

Tony McGonagle, a member of Phi Kappa Theta, voiced his hopes that the measure would pass with relative ease.

“It’s never been that big of a deal to those of us in the house but I know it does involve a lot of red tape and the less of that we have, the better,” said McGonagle. “I’ve heard of some frats that just wanted to do some minor stuff to the house but ended up having to wait for approval from the government to come through.”

Also addressed was the issue of sidewalk construction along major business corridors in the downtown area. The commission agreed that this issue needed to be dealt with swiftly and even proposed a small addition to a project in order to connect two existing pieces of sidewalk.

Citizens are highly encouraged to attend the meeting on April 6th when these measures will be voted on.

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