Officials hope to turn Macon Rd. lot into green space

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – Muscogee County School Board Chair Dr. Philip Schley, Muscogee County Library Board Chair Dr. Frank Star, and Columbus Mayor Jim Wetherington made a major announcement Wednesday concerning the  green space located at the corner of Macon Road and Rigdon Road.

Within the next year, Columbus city officials hope to turn the paved parking lot into a flourishing, 14-acre green space.

 A memorandum of understanding was released Wednesday, which will release funds from the 1999 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.

"I think you'd have to call it fruition of some efforts that have been made to get some things behind us that were causing everybody some unhappiness," said Dr. Philip Schley.

Unhappiness,  led some citizens to file a law suit against the City of Columbus, the board of education and the Library Board.

Attorney Josh McKoon said Wednesday's proposal could signal the end of a long-standing fight, "We've had the opportunity to have conversations with several of the plaintiffs, who are satisfied with the proposal.  I have not contacted all of the plaintiffs yet, but we're working hard on it and we're hoping to have an announcement about the status very shortly."

SPLOST funds of more than a million dollars will be used to complete the project, which still must be voted on by the Muscogee County School Board and the Columbus City Council. 

"This is going to be beautiful out here.  When you get it landscaped and get sidewalks running from this building to that building, to the administrative building, to the library, it's going to be show piece," said Mayor Jim Wetherington.

City Council will address the topic at its January 26th meeting and the school board will address the same topic at a called meeting on January 30th.

News Leader 9 is following this story. We'll have the latest information as soon as it becomes available.