Created: Mon, 16 Dec 2013 06:03:00 EST
Updated: Tue, 17 Dec 2013 10:22:05 EST
Soil contamination is the reason given by developers to cancel their plans of a mixed use residential and commercial project on this 10 acre property tract off Spring street. Kirby Godsey, Mercer University's Chancellor led the efforts for the proposed development, but is now pulling the plug.
"It's a setback is what I would say, not a loss, it's a setback," said Mayor Robert Reichert.
There are currently two distinct restrictions on the property from previous pollution, "one in association with the coal gasification plant, the other with diesel fuel that came from the Macon Transit Authority," said the Mayor.
Urban Development Authority Executive Director Alex Morrison tells me they are prepared to work with the city on any remediation plan for the property to clear it of any future restriction. As of today, that could be anything that is not residential.
"It has already been cleared for use; retail, commercial, just non residential. Even a hotel is non residential," said the Mayor.
Mayor Reichert says the pollution issue may have been lost in the city's handover to the Urban Development Authority. "That may have been where the disconnect was, because some people at the Urban Development Authority were not as familiar with the background, but as I say we assumed everybody knew, including the developer but that was apparently a mistake on our part."