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Macon Committee Rejects Resolution Against Forest Hill Changes

9:00 PM, May 1, 2012   |    comments
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By a 3-2 vote, Macon City Council's public works and engineering committee rejected a resolution opposing the proposed widening of Forest Hill Road.

"I'd hate for us to be in a fight with GDOT," says councilman Henry Ficklin.

Ficklin voted against it, he says the state put considerable time, effort, and engineering into the project.

But councilman Tom Ellington backed the resolution asking the Department of Transportation to slow down. He says he doesn't want to walk away from a Forest Hill project, but the current plans need to be updated.

"I know exactly what the rebuttal is going to be. 'It's too late to redesign, we're going to take all the money away,'" says Ellington.

Ellington says for the past five years, he's been told it's too late to change anything.

"I've also heard secondhand from the administration today that I can only describe as threats," he says.

Ellington says he heard secondhand that if Tuesday's resolution passed, GDOT would walk away from the project.

"If we are not going to accept the road, then the likelihood that the project will not happen, you will not have any change on Forest Hill Road. And the money you have already invested in that project would be lost," says Director of Internal Affairs, Keith Moffett.

Moffett says that would be a waste of the $3.1 million of SPLOST funds already spent on the project.

For Ellington, the rejection creates a temporary roadblock in a plan he says can still move forward.

State and city officials, as well as some people in the city, have debated the widening for more than a decade.

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