Macon-Bibb County will celebrate the completion of a $425,000 improvement project at Theron Ussery Park on Friday, March 10 at 10:30 a.m. The Park will also be officially dedicated as Theron Ussery Park. It was previously known as North Macon Park before the Commission approved the name change to recognize former Macon City Councilmember and current SPLOST Advisory Committee Member Theron Ussery, who has been a tireless advocate for expanding and improving recreation facilities and programs across the entire county.
“It’s overwhelming to have a park named after you,” says Theron Ussery. “I went into politics to make a difference in our community, and for that to be recognized in such a way is a great honor. It makes me feel like I did the job people asked me to do.”
The project includes new bleachers and bleacher covers, new fencing around the ball fields, and new dugouts, and erosion issues near the fields will be addressed. The improvement project was funded by the voter-approved Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). The plans for the Park were designed by Travis Pruitt & Associates, and Peed Bros., Inc. was the contractor hired to make the improvements.
“Baseball is a thriving sport for children in Macon-Bibb and the entire region, and they deserve the facilities that will encourage them to continue playing,” says Macon-Bibb County Commissioner Larry Schlesinger. “I’m proud to see these facilities finally getting the attention they deserve, and I’m looking forward to seeing improvements like this continue with the next SPLOST.”
“We are able to make a significant investment in our recreation programs and facilities thanks to the SPLOST, including these much needed repairs and upgrades at North Macon Park,” says Parks & Recreation Director Reggie Moore. “In all areas of town, we are making sure the parks and facilities are what the neighborhoods deserve and need, the new center in South Macon-Bibb and major improvements and upgrades at East Macon Park, Rosa Jackson Community Center, Frank Johnson Community Center, Memorial Gym, and more.”
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.
The voters of Macon-Bibb County have approved a continuation of the SPLOST, and it is expected to raise $280 million. It 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.