On Saturday, August 16, State Senator David Lucas appeared on Central Georgia's largest television station --WMAZ-TV-- and spoke about various topics on the weekly public affairs show, CLOSE-UP.
Lucas wanted to set the record straight in regard to the Jeffersonville Road project and said land acquisition is underway, and is hopeful this phase will be finished before the end of the year. This is a critical phase which is required before construction can begin on this East Macon project.
Jeffersonville Road is one of the most traveled roads in Macon-Bibb and it has taken nearly two decades for improvement plans to move forward which originated via a SPLOST (special penny sales tax) referendum. The referendum was approved by local voters by a slim margin of less than 1,000 votes in 1994.
In December 2013 , former County Commission Chairman Sam Hart announced the signing of a contract which would put up $2 million in county funds up front to begin working on the project. The money would be used to purchase the needed rights of way that are currently privately owned.
During the spring, Macon-Bibb commissioners approved a $33,876.75 contract with Reeves Construction Co. to resurface the Jeffersonville-Millerfield intersection.
Lucas also spoke to WMAZ-TV's Randall Savage about the Hancock County Courthouse fire which occurred on Monday, August 11. Lucas recalls being summoned by phone during the early morning hours and driving to Sparta and witnessing other officials such as the FBI and officials from the state investigating.
Lucas is hopeful that voting records and voting machines will be restored in a timely fashion.
However, Lucas did mention the State of Georgia was slow to correct an error in regard to the placement of Macon-Bibb voters in majority-black districts in 2013. Former Macon City Councilman Henry Ficklin had to file lawsuit because of voter disenfranchisement when his District 2 voters were placed in another district.
The Courthouse fire claimed just about everything which included property deeds, birth and marriage certificates and many other vital records.
There are now lingering questions about what kind of impact will the loss of records have on the election in November.
Lucas represents a seven-county district that includes Washington (Sandersville), Hancock (Sparta), Twiggs (Jeffersonville), Wilkinson (Gordon-Irwinton), Houston (Warner Robins), Jones (Gray) and the largest population center of the district --Bibb-- which includes most of Macon.