Macon - Environmental Scan - Level One E6018 by pengxiang


									Knight Center of Digital Excellence
Resource Center

Community Environmental Scan: Macon, Georgia

Level One Assessment

Date – December 2008
Tracking #E6018

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018   1

   The following OneCommunity / Knight Center of Digital Excellence colleagues contributed to the
                     publication and analysis contained in this briefing book:

                           Listing of All Individuals who Contributed:

                                       Alissa McKenzie
                                        Anne Herron
                                         Deb Canale
                                         Diana Kline
                                       Garn Anderson
                                          Julie Cross
                                       Matt O’Connor
                                        Sara Eardley

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018    2

The purpose of this report is to provide a community background and begin to answer the following
specific questions regarding individual Knight Communities. These questions are of interest to
OneCommunity/Knight Center of Digital Excellence Management and Knight Foundation:
    • Who are the major stakeholders and key entities of the community?
    • What is the demographic profile of the community?
    • What are the economic / labor issues confronting the community?
    • What are the major headlines/ issues facing the community?
    • What is the history of broadband / wi-fi/ digital inclusion/ technology, etc. initiatives in the
    • What is the regulatory environment to promote/hinder broadband initiatives?
    • Who are the “anchor institutions” of the community?
    • Who are the major funders in the community and what kind of projects do they fund? Has the
         state issued any grants to fund technology/broadband initiatives?
    • How does the community stand in the areas of the three top Knight Center verticals: Education,
         Healthcare, E-government; and the 7 second tier verticals: Safety a& Response, Economic
         Development, Social Services, Workforce Development, Journalism & New Media, Civic
         Engagement, Arts & Culture, and Transportation?

This report is based on secondary data from open and subscription databases and also preliminary data
from selected primary sources (phone interviews and emails). It does not, due to time constraints, have
additional and deeper insights that more in-depth secondary and primary research could provide.

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018          3
                                        CONTENTS                                              Page
Contributors                                                                                      2
Purpose                                                                                           3
Executive Summary                                                                                 5
I. Historical Overview                                                                            7
II. Demographics                                                                                  8
III. Community Economic / Labor Profile                                                          11
        III.1. Industry / Retail Environment (current; outlook; short-term forecast)             11
        III.2. Top industries based on employment                                                11
        III.3. Types of jobs                                                                     12
IV. Anchor Institutions /Top Businesses/Top Employers                                            13
V. Community Foreclosures (foreclosure rate and ranking vs. national average)                    13
VI. Community Top Headlines/Issues                                                               14
VII. Broadband/Wireless Initiatives                                                              16
        VI.1. Community /municipal initiatives                                                   16
        VI.2. Regional/State initiatives                                                         17
        VI.3. any initiatives undertaken by vertical users- universities, k-12, healthcare,
        public-safety etc                                                                        17
VIII. Community Foundations / Funding Sources                                                    19
IX. Community Vertical Areas                                                                     20
       IX.1. Education                                                                           20
       IX.2. Healthcare                                                                          23
       IX.3. Government                                                                          25
       IX.4. Safety & Response                                                                   25
       IX.5. Economic Development                                                                26
       IX.6. Social Services                                                                     27
       IX.7. Workforce Development                                                               27
       IX.8. Journalism & New Media                                                              27
       IX.9. Civic Engagement                                                                    27
       IX.10. Arts & Culture                                                                     28
       IX.11. Transportation                                                                     28

Appendix A: Knight Foundation Macon Profile                                                      29
Appendix B: University System of Georgia Statewide Fiber Network                                 30
Appendix C: Macon Spur Fiber Route and Central Business District Ring via Southern
Telecom                                                                                          31

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018      4
Executive Summary

Macon is “the Heart of Georgia,” located centrally in the state and within Georgia’s third largest
Combined Statistical Area – a region that has been described as a transportation hub for the entire state.
Despite its strategic location, which could serve as a key economic and community development asset,
Macon currently has a high unemployment rate and a crime rate “significantly higher” than that of
Georgia and the nation. Those statistics could possibly change in a more positive direction as a result of
development and investment in the Middle Georgia area during the past three years, which is
drawing employers and new jobs from sectors outside the area’s leading industries of “manufacturing,
aeronautics, medical and tourism.”

As for Macon’s technological assets, the city reportedly has “17,000 miles of fiber optic network,”
according to the Macon Economic Development Commission.
    • Atlanta-based USCarrier Telecom expanded in Macon in 2005 via “Southern Telecom’s 11-mile
        Macon [fiber] Ring.”
    • Macon State College is on the PeachNet fiber network that connects all 35 member colleges and
        universities of the University System of Georgia.
    • Mercer University in Macon recently announced strategic plans that include implementing
        campus-wide wireless internet service, in addition to its already existing mobile, wireless
        communications system for students developed by Sprint and Rave Wireless.

In an effort to “bridge the digital divide,” the city of Macon, in April 2007, made available excess
capacity on its new public safety network available to residents and visitors via 40 WiFi hotspots in
downtown Macon. The priority for city officials was establishing a public safety network that would
enable broadband communications and data retrieval for police officers, with public access being “a nice
additional perk.” At the time the network in downtown was announced, the city also said it eventually
plans to “expand the network, creating an entire city-wide cloud for public access.” City of Macon
Information & Technology Officer Tom Tourand, however, said that, due to financial limitations, “The
original deployment may become [the City’s] entire effort in this area.” (Email communication

                                          Selected Key Players

Last Name, First Name        Title(s)/Organization(s)                                Phone Number(s)
Belote, Michael “Mickey”     CTO, Mercer University                                  (478) 301-2850
Blascovich, Andrew           Director of External Affairs, City of Macon Mayor’s     (487) 751-7170
Cherry, Chip                 President & CEO, Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce      (478) 621-2003
Christopher, Julie           CIO/Assistant Superintendent, Information Technology,   (478) 765-8711
                             Bibb County School District
Dixon, Roger                 CIO, Macon State College                                (478) 471-2860
DuBose, Kevin E.             Department Director, Economic and Community             (478) 751-7190
                             Development Department, City of Macon
Ford, Mike                   President & CEO, NewTown Macon                          (478) 722-9909
Jones, George L.             President, Leadership Macon                             (478) 621-2017
Mock, Madison                VP & CIO, Medical Center of Central Georgia             (478) 633-1353
Reichert, Robert             Mayor, City of Macon                                    (478) 751-7170
Topping, Patrick             Senior Vice President for Economic Development,         (478) 621-2030
                             Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce
Tourand, Tom                 Information & Technology Officer, City of Macon         (478) 751-7245

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018             5
I.      Historical Overview

Macon, Georgia is the county seat of Bibb County and is located approximately 85 miles south of Atlanta.
Nicknamed “the Heart of Georgia,” Macon is Georgia’s sixth-largest city (by population), the fifth
largest Metropolitan Statistical Area, and the third-largest Combined Statistical Area in Georgia, behind
Atlanta and Augusta. The Macon-Warner Robins-Fort Valley, GA Combined Statistical Area (CSA)
includes 13 Georgia counties. South of Macon, in the city of Warner Robins, is Robins Air Force Base, a
major employer in the area.

According to the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce, “The city of Babylon inspired Macon’s planners
to create a city with multitudes of parks and spacious avenues. When James Webb, the appointed
surveyor laid out the downtown streets of Macon in 1832, he gave future generations the gift of wide
streets and parks. The planners designated 250 acres for Central City Park and citizens were required by
ordinances to plant shade trees in their front yards … Beautiful and shady still today, Macon lies on the
site of the Ocmulgee Old Fields. Cultivated long before the Norman Conquest, the fields were home to
the Creeks and their predecessors for as long as 12,000 years before the white man arrived. The area,
situated on the Fall Line where the Piedmont region meets the flat Coastal Plains, has been, since before
written history, an ideal location for communities to thrive … Throughout the era of Reconstruction and
into the twentieth Century, Macon grew into a town built on an agricultural base. As a prospering town in
Middle Georgia, it began to serve as a transportation hub for the entire state.”

                                              Macon Images


KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018       6
                                           Geographic Description

                             (Macon within Bibb County, in central Georgia)

    •   Macon is one of Georgia's “three Fall Line Cities, along with Augusta and Columbus. The Fall
        Line is where the hilly lands of the Piedmont plateau meet the flat terrain of the coastal plain. As
        such, Macon has a varied landscape of rolling hills on the north side and flat plains on the south.
        The fall line causes rivers in the area to decline rapidly towards sea level, making it an ideal
        location for textile mills in the past. The Ocmulgee River is the major river that runs through
    •   According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 56.3 square miles, of
        which 55.8 square miles of it is land and 0.5 square miles of it (0.82%) is water.
    •   According to the Macon Economic Development Commission: “One of Macon's key strengths is
        its strategic location in the heart of Georgia. At the crossroads of interstates 75 and 16, and just 75
        minutes south of Atlanta, Macon has become an attractive location for businesses: A population
        of over 390,000 in a 30 mile radius; 4 major seaports within 4 hours truck travel time;
        international airfreight facilities only 75 minutes away; 2 rail roads and the largest rail switching
        center on the East coast make Macon an ideal location.”

(See Appendix A for more about Macon from the Knight Foundation)


KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018             7
II.       Demographics / Statistics

      •   Home Computer Ownership/Internet Access Statistics
          o The U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (October 2007) indicated that 53.9%
            of 3,663 responding households in urban Georgia had broadband access in their homes.
              (Statistics cited in National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Networked Nation:
              Broadband in America 2007 Report)
          o   As of June 2007, 91% of “residential end-user premises with access to high-speed
              services” in Georgia had “xDSL availability where state ILECs [incumbent local
              exchange carriers] offer local telephone service,” and 90% had “cable modem
              availability where cable systems offer cable TV service.” (FCC, High-Speed Services for
              Internet Access: Status as of June 30, 2007)

      •   Population size/density
          o The population of the city of Macon was 97,255 at the 2000 U.S. Census. The estimated
             population as of July 1, 2007 was 93,076, a decrease of 4.3% from 2000.
          o Macon’s population density was 1,742.8 people per square mile at the 2000 U.S. Census.

      •   Rural vs. Urban
          o As of the 2000 Census, 99.9% of Macon residents lived inside urbanized areas, compared
             to 85.1% of Horry County residents.

      •   Gender/Age/Race
          o City of Macon statistics from the 2000 Census and the 2005-2007 American Community
             Survey 3-Year Estimates included:

                Gender                      2000 Census            2005-2007 American
                                                                   Community Survey 3-Year
                Male                        44.4%                  43.3%
                Female                      55.6%                  56.7%

                Age                         2000 Census            2005-2007 American
                                                                   Community Survey 3-Year
                0-19 years                  30.6%                  32.3%
                20-54 years                 47.4%                  45.0%
                55+ years                   21.9%                  22.9%

                Race                        2000 Census            2005-2007 American
                                                                   Community Survey 3-Year
                White                       35.5%                  31.3%
                Black or African            62.5%                  66.7%
                Other                       2.0%                   2.0%

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018                   8
             Hispanic or Latino       2000 Census            2005-2007 American
             and Race                                        Community Survey 3-Year
             Not Hispanic or Latino   98.8%                  98.2%
             Hispanic or Latino (of   1.2%                   1.8%
             any race)

   •   Educational Attainment/Employment/Poverty/Income
       o City of Macon statistics from the 2000 Census and the 2005-2007 American Community
          Survey 3-Year Estimates included the following:

             Educational Attainment (25        2000 Census       2005-2007 American
             years and older)                                    Community Survey
                                                                 3-Year Estimates
             12th grade or less, no diploma    27.7%             25.3%
             High school graduate (includes    32.7%             33.9%
             Some college, no degree           18.8%             17.6%
             Associate degree                   3.7%              5.0%
             Bachelor’s degree                 11.1%             11.9%
             Graduate or professional           6.1%              6.2%

       o   City of Macon statistics from the 2000 Census and the 2005-2007 American Community
           Survey 3-Year Estimates included the following:

             Employment Status        2000 Census            2005-2007 American
             (16+ years)                                     Community Survey 3-Year
             In labor force           56.2%                  56.3%
             Not in labor force       43.8%                  43.7%

             Poverty Status           2000 Census            2005-2007 American
             (18+ years)                                     Community Survey 3-Year
             Total individuals        14,098                 22,431 (est.)
             below poverty level
             Percent below poverty    20.7%                  24.1%

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018   9
       o    City of Macon statistics from the 2000 Census and the 2005-2007 American Community
            Survey 3-Year Estimates included the following:

              Income                     2000 Census            2005-2007 American
                                                                Community Survey 3-Year
              Median household           $27,405                $28,088
              Median earnings, male      $29,950                $33,603
              full-time, year-round
              Median earnings,           $22,865                $28,397
              female full-time, year-
              round workers

   •   Unemployment Rate
       o According to data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the city of Macon’s preliminary
          unemployment rate (not seasonally unadjusted) in September 2008 was 7.9% – the city’s
          highest unemployment rate this year to date – compared to 7.0% in Georgia and 6.0%
          nationwide. Macon’s lowest unemployment rate this year to date was 6.1% in April.
       o Since 2000, Macon’s average annual unemployment rate has ranged from a low of 5.5% in
          2000 to a high of 6.5% in 2004.

   •   Crime Rate
       o Macon’s violent and property crime rates are significantly higher than those of Gerogia and
          the nation:

           Location      Violent        Violent crime rate      Property        Property crime rate
                         Crimes         per 100,000             Crimes          per 100,000
                                        inhabitants                             inhabitants
           Macon         732            785.4                   7,997           8,580.0
           Georgia       47,075         493.2                   372,342         3,901.0
           United        1,408,337      466.9                   9,843,481       3,263.5
        Source: FBI’s Crime in the United States, 2007;

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018 10
III.       Community Economic /Labor Profile

       •   Industry/Retail Environment
           o The “Macon economy produces everything from airplanes (Boeing) to zippers (YKK USA)
              and processes everything from lease payments (IKON) to insurance applications (GEICO).”
               (Macon Economic Development Commission website)
           o   “Leading” employers in Macon-Bibb County have been listed as “manufacturing,
               aeronautics, medical and tourism.” (Macon-Bibb County Convention & Visitors Bureau website)
           o   “Increasingly, developers and investors are seeing the Middle Georgia area, including
               Macon and Bibb County, as ripe with opportunity. The region has long had a reputation
               for attracting manufacturing and industrial plants, but now other sectors and areas, such as the
               historic downtown, are starting to heat up… In the last three years, Bibb [County] has seen
               more than $323 million in investments and 3,464 new jobs…” (Georgia Trend, 3/08)
           o   According to Patrick Topping, svp for economic development with the Greater Macon
               Chamber of Commerce, “These last two to three years have probably been our most
               active years for both new jobs, and certainly for investment.” (Georgia Trend, 3/08) The
               area’s latest “economic development successes” includes Korea’s Kumho Tire
               announcement in January 2008 that it would build its first U.S. manufacturing plant in
               Macon, to employ 450 with an investment of over $240 million.
           o   Five target industries listed on the Macon Economic Development Commission website:
               • Aerospace parts manufacturing & sub assembly
               • Shared service operations – including data centers and customer contact centers; the city
                   reportedly has “17,000 miles of fiber optic network”
               • Warehousing & distribution centers
               • Automotive supplier parts manufacturing
               • Food products manufacturing

       •   Top Industries Based on Employment
           o According to the Georgia Department of Labor, Macon-Bibb County’s largest industry is
              health care and social assistance (17.6%):

                 Macon-Bibb County: Top 5 Industries by Employment, Q1 2008
                 Health care and social assistance                      17.6%
                 Retail trade                                           12.7%
                 Accommodation and food services                        8.9%
                 Local government                                       8.5%
                 Finance and insurance                                  7.6%

           o   The Georgia Department of Labor projects management of companies and enterprises will
               experience the greatest job growth between 2004-2014:

                 Macon-Bibb County: Top 5 Industries with Greatest Projected
                 Change in Employment, 2004-2014
                 Management of companies & enterprises                  1,280
                 Nursing & residential care facilities                  1,150
                 Educational services                                   1,130
                 Administrative & support services                      1,070
                 Ambulatory Health Care Services                        950

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018 11
   •   Types of Jobs
       o According to the 2005-2007 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates, the city of
          Macon’s most common occupation for employed persons 16 years and older is sales and
          office occupations (28.1%):

             Macon: Top 5 Occupations by Employment, 2005-2007
             Sales and office occupations                       28.1%
             Management, professional and related occupations   27.9%
             Service occupations                                24.5
             Production, transportation and material moving     12.4%
             Construction, extraction and maintenance           6.7%

       o   The Georgia Department of Labor projects registered nurses and nursing
           aides/orderlies/attendants will have the most new jobs between 2004-2014:

             Macon-Bibb County: Top 5 Occupations with Greatest Projected
             Change in Employment, 2004-2014
             Registered nurses                                  450
             Nursing aides, orderlies & attendants              450
             Customer service representatives                   310
             Retail salespersons                                270
             Child care workers                                 220

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018 12
IV.       Anchor Institutions/ Top Businesses /Top Employers

           Macon/Bibb County: Largest Employers
           The Medical Center of Central Georgia                        4,700
           GEICO                                                        3,300
           Bibb County Board of Education                               3,300
           City of Macon                                                1,711
           Mercer University                                            1,338
           Coliseum Health Systems                                      1,300
           Wal-Mart                                                     1,045
          Source: Georgia Trend, 3/08

                                           Selected Key Players

Last Name, First Name          Title(s)/Organization(s)                              Phone Number(s)
Belote, Michael                CTO, Mercer University                                (478) 301-2850
Blascovich, Andrew             Director of External Affairs, City of Macon Mayor’s   (487) 751-7170
Cherry, Chip                   President & CEO, Greater Macon Chamber of             (478) 621-2003
Christopher, Julie             CIO/Assistant Superintendent, Information             (478) 765-8711
                               Technology, Bibb County School District
Dixon, Roger                   CIO, Macon State College                              (478) 471-2860
DuBose, Kevin E.               Department Director, Economic and Community           (478) 751-7190
                               Development Department, City of Macon
Ford, Mike                     President & CEO, NewTown Macon                        (478) 722-9909
Jones, George L.               President, Leadership Macon                           (478) 621-2017
Mock, Madison                  VP & CIO, Medical Center of Central Georgia           (478) 633-1353
Reichert, Robert               Mayor, City of Macon                                  (478) 751-7170
Topping, Patrick               Senior Vice President for Economic Development,       (478) 621-2030
                               Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce
Tourand, Tom                   Information & Technology Officer, City of Macon       (478) 751-7245

V.        Community Foreclosures

      •   According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Q3 2008 National Delinquency Survey, the
          percentage of Georgia’s seriously delinquent residential mortgages was slightly lower than
          that of the total U.S.:

                     Status                      Georgia %               US %
                     90+ days delinquent or in   4.85%                   5.17%
                     Total past due loans        9.24%                   7.29%
                     Foreclosure inventory       2.27%                   2.97%
                     Foreclosure starts          1.02%                   1.07%

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018 13
VI.       Community Top Headlines

Two area initiatives focus on creating a stronger sense of place and sense of community in Macon:
   • “Macon. Discover It.” Campaign: In April 2008, The Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce in
       conjunction with the Macon NOW! campaign launched the “community branding campaign,”
       which is “designed to generate a stronger sense of community among [Macon’s] citizens and to
       help them realize all the wonderful things our community has to offer … [and to] encourage
       people to become more active in the community.” All local media outlets have donated over $1
       million of space and air time to the campaign.
       o The themes of the campaign “directly correlate with aspects of the community that citizens
           feel the most positively about according to a research report conducted for the Chamber by
           two Mercer Marketing professors in 2007. These aspects are Music, History/Heritage,
           Colleges/Universities, Macon’s central location in the state, and the neighborhoods/small
           town feel.”
      •   NewTown Macon’s “Creating a Sense of Place” Vision focuses on the “city’s central core [as]
          the heart of activity and celebrates Macon's unique history and culture.” The program is outlined
          as follows:

            Goals                  Accomplishments      Services              5-year Plan

            Create a pedestrian-   Built                Market events and     Develop Water
            friendly public        or connected 9.85    attractions           Works Park
            realm.                 miles of trail
                                                        Address safety        Extend and maintain
            Promote downtown       Acquired 180-acre    issues and improve    Ocmulgee Heritage
            as the primary         park for public      perceptions           Trail
            community              recreational use
            gathering place.                            Consult on heritage   Construct Cherry
                                   Opened Charles H.    preservation          Street Plaza
            Support partners to    Jones and Rotary
            capitalize on          parks                Advocate for          Enhance city
            Macon’s music                               National Heritage     entrances
            heritage.              Improved Cherry      Area designation
                                   Street streetscape                         Improve alleyways
            Advocate for
            development that       Supported Tubman,
            protects and           CVB growth
            enhances historical
            and cultural assets.

            community activity
            that embraces

            Provide leadership
            regarding broad
            public concerns.

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018 14

Leadership Macon
    • Leadership Macon’s mission is “to identify and develop leaders through continuing education,
        networking and community involvement for the purpose of creating opportunities and
        encouraging graduates to participate in community leadership.”
    • The group holds monthly seminars that provide “a forum for community decision-makers to
        present topics of interest, and issues of importance and concern. During the course of one year,
        several speakers and facilitators discuss challenging changes, complex situations and various
        viewpoints … Therefore, each year the class focus changes somewhat to reflect the pulse of the
    • Leadership Macon’s “Class of 2008” participated in seminars focusing on:
        o Area Demographics/Economics
        o Housing
        o Education
        o Servant Leadership
        o Economic Development
        o Race Relations
        o Robins Air Force Base / Economic Impact
        o Tourism
        o Local Government

“Mother’s Day tornado tops list of Middle Georgia stories”
    • The Macon Telegraph, on 12/28/08, published its list of 2008’s top stories in Middle Georgia.
        Excerpts from the article include:

                                                                    1. Mother Nature lashes out on
                                                                    Mother’s Day
                                                                    Packing winds of 130 mph, a tornado
                                                                    ripped through the Macon area in the
                                                                    pre-dawn hours of Mother’s Day.
                                                                    South Macon homes were chewed
                                                                    up. Massive trees crushed roofs.
                                                                    Storms spawned other tornadoes
                                                                    across Middle Georgia.
                                                                    The neighborhoods around Lake
                                                                    Tobesofkee were hit hard. Bibb
                                                                    County’s tree canopy was decimated.
                                                                    At Macon State College, officials
                                                                    said 90 percent of the trees were

                                                                    2. Economic hard times take their

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018 15
                                                               Times were tough all over in 2008,
                                                               including here in Middle Georgia.
                                                               Jobless rates soared by year’s end.
                                                               Two major midstate employers cut
                                                               more than 600 jobs. Retail stores
                                                               closed. Even the YMCA in Houston
                                                               County shut its doors.

                                                               3. Hospitals feel the pain
                                                               With both the hospital industry and
                                                               economy ailing, Bibb County’s
                                                               largest employer, The Medical
                                                               Center of Central Georgia, cut 208
                                                               jobs to help trim operating costs.
                                                               Meanwhile, another midstate
                                                               hospital borrowed money to stay
                                                               afloat, while a third shut its doors for

                                                               4. Feds find problems with Macon
                                                               Questions about financial controls
                                                               during former Macon Mayor Jack
                                                               Ellis’ administration came back to
                                                               bite the city this year to the tune of
                                                               That’s how much the U.S. Attorney’s
                                                               Office forced the city to pay back
                                                               this year from a $1 million “Safe
                                                               Schools Initiative” grant the city
                                                               used during Ellis’ tenure to run
                                                               children’s programs through area

                                                               5. Gun violence escalates
                                                               The sound of public concern echoed
                                                               for weeks following a spate of
                                                               summer shootings highlighted on
                                                               Aug. 24, a single day when six
                                                               shootings were reported to Macon
                                                               police. In all, police were busy
                                                               dealing with at least a dozen
                                                               shootings — three of them fatal —
                                                               from late August to early September.
                                                               Two people were killed in the Aug.
                                                               24 shootings.

                                                               6. Police raid Macon massage

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018 16
                                                               A series of summer raids targeted 11
                                                               Macon-area massage parlors and
                                                               spas that police suspected of being
                                                               houses of prostitution.
                                                               Conducted in three phases between
                                                               late June and mid-August by Macon
                                                               police officers and Bibb County
                                                               sheriff’s deputies, the raids resulted
                                                               in the arrests of more than 20 men
                                                               and women on various sex charges.

                                                               7. Middle Georgia visited by
                                                               political heavyweights
                                                               This year’s presidential election
                                                               brought a slew of political faces to
                                                               Middle Georgia.
                                                               Former President Bill Clinton was
                                                               the first to arrive in January to stump
                                                               for his wife, Democratic presidential
                                                               candidate Hillary Clinton, at Mercer
                                                               University. About one week later,
                                                               Democratic presidential candidates
                                                               John Edwards and Barack Obama
                                                               visited Middle Georgia
                                                               simultaneously. Edwards rallied
                                                               supporters in Dublin while Obama
                                                               preached unity at a south Macon
                                                               In February, Republican presidential
                                                               candidate Mike Huckabee visited
                                                               downtown Macon and brought with
                                                               him martial arts icon and actor
                                                               Chuck Norris, a Huckabee supporter.

                                                               8. Bishop ousted as Bibb
                                                               commission chairman
                                                               Voters turned Bibb County
                                                               Commission Chairman Charlie
                                                               Bishop out of office in November in
                                                               a hard-fought race with former
                                                               Commissioner Sam Hart.
                                                               Hart, who already had 10 years of
                                                               experience on the commission, took
                                                               60 percent of the vote. He rejoins the
                                                               commission Jan. 1 after leaving his
                                                               District 1 post in 2007 because he
                                                               moved out of the district.

                                                               9. Macon mayor fails to annex
                                                               chunk of county

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018 17
                                                               Robert Reichert’s first major
                                                               initiative as Macon’s new mayor was
                                                               a bold one.
                                                               Reichert proposed annexing 26
                                                               square miles from surrounding Bibb
                                                               and neighboring Jones counties into
                                                               the city. The proposal also would
                                                               have added about 13,300 new
                                                               residents, according to figures from
                                                               the 2000 U.S. census.

                                                               10. The Shoppes at River Crossing
                                                               Light rain and chilly, stiff March
                                                               winds canceled a skydiving
                                                               demonstration but failed to keep
                                                               away hundreds of shoppers who
                                                               turned out for the grand opening of
                                                               The Shoppes at River Crossing in
                                                               north Bibb County.
                                                               The sprawling, 750,000-square-foot
                                                               open-air shopping center was billed
                                                               as the biggest economic development
                                                               in Bibb in the past three decades.

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018 18
VII.    Broadband/Wireless History

Community/Municipal Initiatives
  • Citywide Wireless
     o In April 2007, Macon Mayor C. Jack Ellis and Motorola announced the availability of
         “wireless broadband access throughout the city,” using Motorola’s MOTOMESH Quattro
         multi-radio broadband network that provides wireless access to residents and municipal
         workers on the 2.4GHz frequency and “secure and dedicated wireless data communications
         for first responders on the licensed 4.9 GHz public safety frequency.” According to the press
         release, the city eventually plans to “expand the network, creating an entire city-wide
         cloud for public access, extending the network applications out to other government
         agencies including the local sheriff’s office.”
     o The WiFi network is described as “part of an effort by the city to bridge the digital divide.”
     o Residential users have “wireless Internet connectivity to the Macon network at broadband
     o For “first responders in the field,” the wireless network “allows officers to monitor high-
         quality video feed from cameras placed in heavy traffic and high-crime areas … [and]
         broadband access to county criminal justice databases, Amber Alerts, and the county mug
         shot and fingerprint system.” The city’s firefighters can use the network for “vehicle tracking
         and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) mapping of hazardous material storage areas,
         utility infrastructure locations and to create tactical plans for commercial building responses.”
     o Motorola’s MOTOMESH Quattro multi-radio solution was selected for the project following
         “an extensive evaluation of municipal wireless broadband solutions,” according the Mayor.
     o According to Motorola’s website: “MOTOMESH™ Quattro is a four-radio meshed WiFi
         network with Mobility Enabled Access (MEA) — a revolutionary wide area, multi-radio
         solution that offers the security, capacity and flexibility cities need. This multi-radio
         broadband solution combines 4.9 GHz licensed mobile broadband radios and unlicensed
         WiFi radios into a single access point… [and] enables truly distinct wireless broadband
         networks to operate over a common physical infrastructure. MOTOMESH Quattro allows
         municipalities to serve diverse communities of interest without the risk of public WiFi users
         overwhelming mission critical mobile broadband users. Recent deployments include Plano,
         Texas; Wake County, North Carolina; Riviera Beach, Florida; Los Angeles, California and
         Macon, Georgia.” (
     o A May 2007 Macon Telegraph article provided further details on the WiFi network,
         explaining that it “allows people to use their laptop computers to access the Internet near 40
         different locations across downtown,” and that the hot spots are “part of a computer system
         purchased for the police department so that officers can transmit information from their patrol
         cars. The technology lets the public piggyback on the network, though at ranges shorter than
         those accessible to law enforcement”:
          “…Internet users should be able to go online within 300 to 500 feet of one of the wireless
              nodes,” while “police can connect up to a mile away from the hot spots, which are
              located near key areas such as Cherry Street Plaza, Central City Park and Tattnall
          The mayor added, “Our entire downtown, for the most part, is wireless.”
          The project was funded using “cash from a $1.5 million U.S. Department of Justice grant
              [the city of Macon] won a few years ago to buy the system for the police department.”
     o A June 2007 Macon Telegraph article, titled “Few Using City’s Free Downtown Wireless
         Internet Service,” described the WiFi network as possibly “downtown’s best-kept secret.”
     o An email communication with Tom Tourand, City of Macon Information & Technology
         Officer, revealed that there have been no further changes or updates to the original

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018 19
            deployment. According to Tourand, “The City of Macon is in dire financial straits and
            doesn't have any available funds to spend on this project for the present, nor in the
            foreseeable future. The original deployment may become our entire effort in this area.”
            (Email communication, 12/29/08)
    •   Interest in Wireless Internet Initiative
        o An April 2008 Macon Telegraph article suggested two “Middle Georgia” cities – Macon and
            Milledgeville – “could benefit from a nonprofit Knight Center of Digital Excellence project
            that will help provide governments and residents access to the Internet.” Beverly Blake,
            program director in Macon for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, said “The Knight
            Center will provide expertise, but, as importantly, it will provide on-the-ground aid to these
            communities as we move forward to ensure that no one becomes a second-class citizen.”
            Blake added, “[The Knight Center] will be here and spend time in Macon. ... It is really up to
            our community, government leaders, business leaders, neighborhood leaders to determine if
            this is something that Macon wants to do. This is our resource to our communities to help
            accelerate that." The article mentioned that Blake has had conversations with the mayor’s
            office in Macon about the Knight Center of Digital Excellence, and that Andrew Blascovich,
            director of external affairs for the mayor's office, “said the city is interested in the
            program,” but would have to study a wireless Internet initiative extensively to ensure its
            effectiveness. “We would be interested in pursuing something along these lines for the access
            for individual citizens and for better use by government employees,” Blascovich said.
    •   Earlier WiFi Initiative
        o In 2004, according to the Macon Telegraph, a public/private partnership between NewTown
            Macon (a local organization with a mission to “grow jobs, increase residents and create a
            sense of place” in downtown Macon) and Cox Business Services (the B2B division of Cox
            Communications) was established to allow seven downtown businesses to sign up for free
            wireless Internet access on a six-month trial basis. After the trial period, the business owners
            had the option of continuing the service, but paying for it. The trial access initiative coincided
            with Cox launching wireless services to business and residential customers.

and ;
georgia-network-does-double-duty/; Macon Telegraph 5/1/07, 6/11/07, 4/27/04, 4/12/08.

State Initiatives
    • University System of Georgia’s PeachNet Fiber Project
        o The Office of Information and Instructional Technology (OIIT) provides leadership to the
            University System of Georgia (USG) for technologies that support instruction, research, and
            service in higher education, including PeachNet, which is the statewide network that
            supports all information and IT efforts for the USG and the Georgia Public Library Service
            (GPLS). (
             PeachNet connects all USG institutions to each other, the Internet, Internet2, and
                 resources such as GeorgiaVIEW (the USG’s state-of-the-art learning management
                 system), GALILEO (Georgia’s Virtual Library), PeopleSoft (financials and human
                 resource management system), Banner (student information system), and the Data
                 Warehouse (USG data repository).
             PeachNet also provides Internet connectivity at a reduced cost to GPLS.
        o The USG Fiber Project provides increased bandwidth for all connected sites and results in a
            higher level of service at a cost equal to or less than current costs for commercial leased lines.
            (See Appendix B for a document containing a map of the network’s route)
        o Macon State College is a member of the USG and is on the PeachNet fiber network.

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018 20
    •   Wireless Communities Georgia
        o The Georgia Technology Authority awards funding for local wireless networks through its
           Wireless Communities Georgia (WCG) program. The first round of grants was awarded in
           November 2006, one of which was Milledgeville, a Knight community that received
           $863,000 from the WCG program. In January 2008 the second round of grants were
           awarded to Savannah, Statesboro, and Hapeville for proposed wireless networks.
            (,2096,1070969_51513016,00.html; Macon
            Telegraph 4/12/08)

Select Local/Regional News
    • Wi-Beam Communications: In November 2008, Macon-based high speed Internet and digital
        telephone company Wi-Beam Communications announced a partnership with a San Diego, CA-
        based private equity firm, Hamburg Equity, that will provide Wi-Beam with $10 million in
        additional capital to expand their services, including wireless broadband Internet. The assistance
        from Hamburg Equity will reportedly give Wi-Beam “the ability to deploy in over 100 markets
        across the United States in the next few years.” Wi-Beam “currently offers digital wireless
        Internet and telephone services in selected areas of South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, and
        Georgia.” (
    • USCarrier Telecom, LLC: Atlanta-based USCarrier Telecom is “a one-source wholesale
        provider of high-capacity, high-speed telecommunications bandwidth … connecting more than 36
        cities in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and the Southeast” by over 3,400 route-miles of
        fiber optic network, which also has an operations center in Macon. In 2005, USCarrier selected
        Southern Telecom to expand in Macon, acquiring fiber from Southern Telecom that “includes
        fiber on Southern Telecom's 11-mile Macon Ring, which allows USCarrier to access new
        customers in the central business area of Macon.” (; See
        Appendix C for a map of Southern Telecom’s fiber ring in Macon)

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018 21
VIII.    Community Foundations / Funding Sources

         Foundation/Funding Source                     Comments
         Community Foundation of Central               Total giving year ended 6/30/07: $3,560,997;
         Georgia                                       Geographic Focus: Central Georgia; sources
                                                       include Knight Funds for Macon
                                                       and Milledgeville
         Fund for Southern Communities                 Total giving year ended 6/30/07: $468,660;
                                                       Geographic Focus: South Carolina, North
                                                       Carolina, Georgia
         The Peyton Anderson Foundation                Total giving year ended 12/31/07: $5,110,000;
         (former owner of The Macon Telegraph          Charitable foundation with priority focus on
         and The Macon News)                           Macon and Bibb County

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018 22
IX.       Community Vertical Areas

IX.1.     Education

      •   Mercer University

          o Mercer University was founded in Penfield, Ga., in 1833 and later moved to Macon in 1871.
              Mercer University is a faith-based institution offering degrees from 11 academic departments.
          o Mercer operates two major campuses, in Macon and Atlanta, and three regional academic
              centers. Total enrollment in all programs at all locations is over 5,880 students. Fall 2007
              student/faculty ratio was 13:1 (based on 5,635 students and 473 faculty).
          o Mercer employs over 1,500 full and part time employees.
          o Department of Information Technology: The mission of Mercer University Information
              Technology is to support, develop, and maintain Mercer University's Information Technology
              environment in support of University endeavors and to provide leadership in the application
              of information technology and computer support.
               IT is divided into seven operating units: Web Management, Learning Technologies,
                   Systems and Network Management, Help Desk, Technology Support, Administrative
                   Services, Law School IT.
          o “Charting Mercer’s Future”: The University wide strategic planning initiative includes a
              specific goal for enhancement of technology. According to the plan, the capital investments
              required to fund these enhancements will exceed $10 million over the next 10 years, with
              annual increases in operating expenses of more than $1 million. Selected objectives
              mentioned in the plan include:
               Upgrade online communication systems (e-mail, web) to facilitate effective
                   communication with on-campus and off-campus constituents
               Link all campuses through advanced video conferencing systems to facilitate instruction
                   and administrative operations.
               Implement campus-wide wireless internet service in Macon, Atlanta, Savannah and
                   the Regional Academic Centers.
          o Mercer Network: Called BearNet, Mercer provides network access to current employees,
              students and other affiliated users. The network is available at all facilities, including
              dormitories, but requires a 10mbps, 10/100mbps, or 10/100/1000mbps Ethernet card and an
              Ethernet cable (Category 5 or higher) with RJ-45 connectors.
          o Wireless Access: Wireless access is available in the University Center, all of Mercer's
              libraries, the 24-hour study rooms, and in a number of classroom buildings.
               The wireless access points in classroom buildings are generally designated for use in a
                   specific program and require special permission to gain access.
               In order to use Mercer's wireless network, users must first register computers with
                   Information Technology Help Desk. The registration process is usually completed within
                   1 business day.
          o MercerMobile: MercerMobile is a mobile, wireless communications system designed to help
              students communicate with other students, friends and families, and the Mercer
              administration. Developed and offered by Sprint and Rave Wireless, MercerMobile allows
              students (who must pay for the service) to use Mercer’s wireless networks to:
               Text message
               Access their Mercer e-mail accounts
               Receive course information
               Keep up with activities across the campus
               Track the current whereabouts of Mercer shuttle buses

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018 23
            Receive urgent news from Mercer administrators
            Receive emergency alerts from Mercer Police
            Immediately notify Mercer Police in the event of an emergency
       o   Online Education: Many Mercer courses utilize the Blackboard course management system
           to integrate web-based components into traditional classes.
       o   Key Contacts:
            Michael “Mickey” Belote, Chief Technology Officer, 478-301-2850
            Shane Milam, Director of Systems & Networks, 478-301-5138

   •   Macon State College
       o Macon State College, founded in 1968, has grown from a small junior college of 1,100
           students to the largest undergraduate college in Central Georgia. It is a member of the
           University System of Georgia, an organizing body for 35 colleges and universities in
           Georgia, governed by the Georgia Board of Regents.
       o Macon State has experienced strong growth in the last decade with fall enrollment for the past
           two years exceeding 6,400 students. The student-to-faculty ratio is 22:1.
            Since the fall of 1998, when enrollment was 3,559, to the fall of 2008, enrollment has
                increased 80.6 percent, one of the highest growth rates in the 35-member University
                System of Georgia.
       o Macon state employs approximately 300 employees and occupies a 167-acre campus in
           central Macon.
       o Office of Information Technology: The Office of Technology Resources is organized
           around the concept of an “information utility.” This means that user requirements drive the
           delivery of services, that the quality of services is paramount, and that the user relies on the
           utility for the provisioning and support of the technology itself. The four operating divisions
           of IT are: Academic Systems, Administrative Systems, Network Services, and Technology
       o Network Services: Network Services is responsible for the following:
            Developing and maintaining a technical infrastructure.
            Enhancing the campus network for high-speed, broadband access by students, faculty,
                and staff requiring real-time interactive instructional and administrative services.
            Investigating and deploying wireless network technologies as needs and technologies
            Conducting research on prototype technologies for future integration within the technical
       o Wireless Access: The Macon State College wireless network consists of 802.11g access
           points capable of a raw speed of 54Mbs. It is designed to cover all indoor areas and outdoor
           gathering areas adjacent to buildings.
            802.1X PEAP is used to restrict access to authorized users only and protect privacy.
            Unaffiliated users are provided with a "Guests" wireless network that comes with limited
                Internet access only.
       o Key Contacts:
            Roger Dixon, Chief Information Officer, 478-471-2860
            Tommy Davis, Director of Network Administration, 478-471-5376

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018 24
    •   Other Macon Colleges/Universities

              Institute                           Description                       Contact Information
Central Georgia Technical College     Central Georgia Technical College       Ben Hall
                                      is a member of Georgia's system of      Director of Information
                                      technical colleges and offers           Technology
                                      programs in business, health            478-757-3425
                                      sciences, information technology,
                                      and other similar disciplines.
Wesleyan College                      Wesleyan College was founded in         Wesleyan College
                                      1836 was reportedly the “first          4760 Forsyth Road
                                      college in the world chartered to       Macon, GA 31210
                                      grant degrees to women.” The            478-757-5139
                                      school offers undergraduate
                                      degrees in 32 majors and 29
                                      minors, as well as eight pre-
                                      professional programs including
                                      seminary, engineering, medicine,
                                      pharmacy, veterinary medicine,
                                      allied health sciences, dental, and
Georgia College & State University    The Macon location offers graduate      Donald Steward
                                      programs in education, health           Chief Information Officer
                                      sciences, business, public              478-445-1196
                                      administration, and criminal justice.

    •   Bibb County School District (BCSD)
        o BCSD serves pre-kindergarten through grade twelve students from Macon and Bibb
           Counties. An elected Bibb County Board of Education and an appointed Superintendent of
           Schools manage the school system.
            The BCSD has over 40 schools and an enrolment of over 25,000 students. The
               student/teacher ratio is 15:1.
            The BCSD employs over 3,500 employees – over 1600 of which are teachers. The system
               spends over US$8,000 per student on instructional support, operations, and
               administrative and other services.
        o Department of Technology Services (DTS): The DTS provides hardware and software
           services and support to the BCSD. BCSD’s vision for technology is that of a connected
           community consisting of homes, city/county government, colleges/universities, libraries,
           social services, and business/industry using modern technology that is available to every
           student, teacher and administrator at school, home and in the community.
        o Key Technology Facts:
            Number of Schools with high-speed internet access: 41
            Percentage of schools with high-speed internet access: 100%
            Number of classrooms with high-speed internet access: 1,475
        o BCSD Network: In 2003, BCSD signed an agreement with Cox Communications to deploy
           a Wide Area Network, which was to include a fiber connection.
            Currently, all school entities within the Macon area are connected to each other through
               this WAN. This connectivity enables enhanced communication via electronic mail and
               the Internet, access to district-level resources such as Board policies and district calendars

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018 25
                via an Intranet, and access to student and financial information software stored on the
             The BCSD intranet can only be accessed from a school or Board-owned facility.
             WebAccess allows employees to access their email from anywhere that has an internet
                connection. It requires no groupwise client.
             HomeAccess provides a groupwise client for PC, Intel Mac and PowerPC Mac that an
                employee can use from home. It also provides an Integrade Pro client for each school
                with install instructions.
        o   21st Century Classrooms: Some classrooms are equipped with mobile computing carts that
            consist of the following:
             Gateway Tablet PCs
             Port Replicators
             TV Tuner ULead Video@Home
             Wireless Mice
             Wireless Keyboards
             Document Cameras
             Digital Projectors
             Promethean Slates
        o   District Technology Fair: The BCSD sponsors an annual Technology Fair for students to
            compete in the following categories: 3D Modeling, Animated Graphic Design, Case
            Modification, Digital Photography, Digital Video Editing, Hardware, Internet/Intranet, and
            Robotics, among many others.
        o   Key Contact: Julie Christopher, CIO/Assistant Superintendent, Information Technology,

   •    Selected Private K-12 Schools

        o   Stratford Academy (
        o   Central Fellowship Christian Academy (
        o   Windsor Academy (
        o   Mount de Sales Academy (

IX.2.   Healthcare

   •    Medical Center of Central Georgia
        o As a part of Central Georgia Health System, MCCG is a 501(c)(3) private, not for-profit
          corporation. The hospital is owned by the Macon-Bibb Hospital Authority and maintains an
          active affiliation with Secure Health Plans of Georgia, a network of central Georgia hospitals
          and physician providers, and Mercer University.
        o MCCG is a 603-bed, full-service, acute care hospital that serves an estimated population of
          750,000 residents and is reportedly the second largest hospital in the state of Georgia.
        o For the 2007 fiscal year, the MCCG’s net revenue was US$620 million and expenses totaled
          US$591 million. The result was an operating margin of US$29 million. It recorded over
          32,000 individual hospital stays.
        o Electronic Medical Records: EMRs can be accessed over both the physical network and the
          wireless network. The MCCG selected eClinicalWorks’ unified electronic medical record and
          practice management products to streamline practice operations for 428 providers across
          Central Georgia.

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018 26
        o   Wireless Patient Check-In: The MCCG implemented Galvanon’s MediKiosk as part of a
            comprehensive suite of products allowing for patient self-service capabilities such as pre-
            registration via the web, online bill pay and eClipboards, wireless patient check-in solution.
        o   MCCGWEB: The MCCG’s network is available to all affiliated MCCG employees and
            other related parties. The MCCG provides a secure wireless network for employee operations
            and free WIFI for visitors in selected areas.
        o   Key Contact: Madison Mock, Vice President & Chief Information Officer, 478-633-1353

    •   Coliseum Health System
        o Coliseum Health System is a three-hospital system located in Macon. The CHS has two full-
           service medical-surgical hospitals and one psychiatric facility. The CHS employs over 1,400
           people and is owned by the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA).
        o Genus MD: Genus MD is the Coliseum’s information system developed exclusively for
           HCA affiliated physicians. It provides electronic access to information and is available online
           over the Internet.
            The effectiveness of Genus MD however, is subject to client system and bandwidth
               limitations, client computer processing speed, and network connection speed and network
            Genus MD complies with the HIPAA Privacy rule in safeguarding the electronic
        o Key Contact: Noel Brown Williams, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer,
           Hospital Corporation of America, 615-344-9551

    •   Other Selected Healthcare Facilities in Macon:

            Institute                              Description                    Contact Information
Regency Hospital of Central Georgia   Regency Hospital of Central            Susan Smith
                                      Georgia provides services to           CEO
                                      medically complex patients who         478-633-8296
                                      have suffered recent catastrophic
                                      illnesses or injuries and require an
                                      extended length of stay in an acute
                                      care environment.
Veteran’s Health Administration       As a part of the Department of         Carl Vinson VAMC
Outpatient Clinic                     Veteran’s Affairs, health services     1826 Veterans Blvd.
                                      are provided to veterans who meet      Dublin, GA 31021
                                      the eligibility criteria.              478-272-1210

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018 27
XI.3.   E-Government

   •    City of Macon
                                   City of Macon has a city council/city mayor form of local government
                                   which is governed by a City Mayor and fifteen Council Members.The
                                   mayor is the City's chief executive officer and the city council is the
                                   City's legislative body. The City is divided into five voting wards and
                                   there are three council members in each ward. The mayor and City
                                   council is elected to serve a 4 year term.
        o Macon Department of Information & Technology (IT): The IT Department's function is to
            research, manage and maintain IT systems, providing the City of Macon government with
            proactive leadership in citywide Information, Communications, and Telecommunications
             The primary responsibilities of the IT Department incorporate providing and maintaining
                the city’s complex data and communications network infrastructures, enterprise
                applications; and in ensuring the security of the city’s information and data processes.
             The IT Department deploys centralized and decentralized information technology,
                communications, and telecommunications staffs that maintain and deliver the city’s
                services respective to these technologies.
             IT must strategically balance the citywide infrastructure and technology needs with the
                individual priorities and concerns of our Mayor, CAO, and all city departments.
                Additionally, IT proactively apprises city management, departments, and staff of
                changing technologies. These new technologies can potentially be beneficial and prudent
                technological advancements for possible deployment within city departments towards
                enhancing technology throughout the city.
        o E-911 Center: The Communications division of IT is responsible for providing and
            maintaining the technologies for the regional Emergency 9-1-1 center. Additionally, IT
            Communications division provides and maintains all City/County Fire Department, City
            Police vehicles/ police officers, and Emergency Ambulance Service mobile radio units; as
            well as the regional 800 MHz radio transmission towers.
        o Key Contact: Tom Tourand, Information & Technology Officer, 478-751-7245

XI.4.   Safety & Response

   •    City of Macon Police Department
        o This division is comprised of the Chief, the Deputy Chief and the Office of Professional
            Integrity. This division is responsible for the overall direction and supervision of the police
            department. This division is comprised of several squads, each emphasizing on a different
            area – crimes against persons; specialized traffic; intelligence; crime lab; gang investigation;
            drug investigation; Violent Crime Reduction Task Force; juvenile crime investigation; Victim
            Assistance; and Court Liaison.
        o Patrol Division: This division is comprised of the traffic section and teams of police located
            strategically throughout the city. There are also many specialized units in this division,
            including a Mobile Command Unit.
        o The City of Macon IT Communications division serves the IT needs of the city police

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018 28
        o Key Contact: Mike Burns, Police Chief, 478-751-7500
    •   City of Macon Fire Department
        o The Fire Department provides efficient and effective fire and rescue services to the residents
            of the City of Macon and Bibb County. Fire Administration Office oversees and assures the
            smooth operation of department’s Fire Suppression Division, Fire Training Division, and the
            Fire Prevention Division.
        o The City of Macon IT Communications division serves the IT needs of the city fire
        o Key Contact: Marvin Riggins, Fire Chief, 478-751-9180
    •   Emergency Management Agency
        o The mission of the Macon - Bibb County Emergency Management Agency is to prepare for,
            respond to, and recover from a host of potential hazards and threats that may affect the
            citizens of Macon - Bibb County. The Macon - Bibb County Emergency Management
            Agency is responsible for the coordination of mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery
            efforts pertaining to major emergencies or disasters arising from natural or manmade causes.
        o Key Contact: Johnny Wingers, Director, 478-751-7214

XI.5.   Economic Development

    •   City of Macon Economic & Community Development Department (ECD)
        o The Economic and Community Development Department's mission is to promote diversity
            and economic development in the community and enhance the living and working choices for
            all Macon citizens. Economic and Community Development oversees the Community
            Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership grants that the City
            receives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
        o Key Contact: Kevin E. DuBose, Department Director, 478-751-7190
    •   Macon Economic Development Commission (MEDC)
        o The mission of the Macon Economic Development Commission (MEDC) is to attract, sustain
            and grow primary jobs and investment in Macon and Bibb County. The MEDC is a
            private/public agency funded by the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce, City of Macon,
            Bibb County and the Macon Water Authority to develop and implement the Marketing
            Strategy for economic development activity in Macon and Bibb County and to act as the
            single point of contact for economic development activity in Macon and Bibb County.
    •   Middle Georgia Regional Development Center (RDC)
        o The RDC serves local governments in an eleven county and twenty-two city region of Middle
            Georgia that spans over 3,600 square miles and has a resident population of over 440,000
            people. Services are provided in the areas of planning, public administration, aging
            assistance, economic development and information technology.
        o The RDC also operates several loan funds via the Development Corporation of Middle
            Georgia, and is officially designated as the Economic Development District of Middle
            Georgia by the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of

(Additional research is needed for this vertical)

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018 29
XI.6.   Social Services

    •   City of Macon Economic & Community Development Department (ECD)
        o ECD works with numerous social service agencies that administer programs to improve the
            quality of life for the elderly, youth, and persons with special needs. The agencies apply and
            compete annually for federal funding to assist with these needs. Grant funding is highly
            competitive and is awarded to those agencies which meet a growing need within the
            community. Grants are not awarded to for-profit agencies at this time.
        o Key Contact: Kevin E. DuBose, Department Director, 478-751-7190

(Additional research is needed for this vertical)

XI.7.   Workforce Development

    •   Mayor's Office of Workforce Development
        o The Office of Workforce Development is the administrative entity for the Workforce
            Investment Act (WIA) of 1998, which superseded the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA).
            WIA is a federally funded Department of Labor program to provide employability training to
            adults, dislocated workers, and youth.
        o Key Contact: Lori Howard, Administrator, 478-751-7333

(Additional research is needed for this vertical)

XI.8.   Journalism & New Media

    •   Newspaper: The Macon Telegraph is a daily newspaper, and the primary newspaper in Macon.
    •   Magazines:
        o Around Town Macon - monthly community magazine
        o M Food & Culture - dining and entertainment magazine
        o Macon Magazine - bi-monthly publication
        o Address Macon - business magazine

(Additional research is needed for this vertical)

XI.9.   Civic Engagement

    •   Knight Foundation/Gallup Poll Findings:
        o The Soul of the Community study identifies the main driver of Macon’s residents’
           emotional engagement to be social offerings (such as entertainment venues for people to
           meet each other). Findings indicate residents feel more social offerings are needed. Other
           areas where Macon’s residents feel the community could improve for increased community-
           citizen engagement are openness (how welcoming the community is to different people) and
           leadership (such as leadership and views of elected officials). Community aesthetics (such as
           physical beauty and green spaces) and education are found to be strengths in Macon, i.e. they
           are rated highly by Macon’s residents and should be leveraged, as they have an impact on
           their emotional connection. (

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018 30
(Additional research is needed for this vertical)

XI.10. Arts & Culture

The City of Macon is home to various museums and major attractions. Macon is also home to many
Southern Historic Landmarks including the Hay House, the Cannonball House, and the Woodruff House.
Annual Events and Festivals in Macon include the Georgia State Fair and the Cherry Blossom Festival.
The Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual spring festival that acts as a window to Middle Georgia area
that draws thousands each year to Macon with its venues, locations, entertainment, arts & crafts, shows,
services, and, of course, its beautiful cherry blossoms. For more information, see the City of Macon’s
Arts & Entertainment page at and its Places to Visit
page at

        o   Georgia Music Hall of Fame (
        o   Douglass Theatre (
        o   Georgia Sports Hall of Fame (
        o   Museum of Arts and Sciences (
        o   Museum of Aviation (
        o   Tubman African American Museum (
        o   Middle Georgia Regional Library System (

(Additional research is needed for this vertical)

XI.11. Transportation

    •   Air Travel: Middle Georgia Regional Airport (IATA: MCN, ICAO: KMCN), provides public air
        service to Macon as well as cargo flights. The airport is situated 9 miles (14 km) south of
        downtown. Herbert Smart Downtown Airport (IATA: MAC, ICAO: KMAC) also provides air
        service to Macon and is a general aviation airport serving private, corporate and executive jet
    •   Interstate/State Highways: Interstates 16, 75, and 475; U.S. Routes 23, 41, 80, and 129; and
        State Routes 11, 19, 22, and 74
    •   Public Transportation:
        o The Macon Transit Authority (MTA) is Macon's public-transit system, operating the bus
            system within Bibb County. However, many commuters in Macon and the surrounding
            suburbs use private automobiles as their primary transportation. This results in heavy traffic
            during rush hour and contributes to Macon's air pollution. The MTA currently operates over
            20 buses in the Macon Area.
        o MTA Trolleys: The trolleys offer tours in the downtown Macon area since 1999. The tours
            consist of all of the major historical sites such as the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, the Hay
            House, and the Tubman Museum. There are three trolleys; MITSI, Miss Molly, and Sweet
            Melissa and each holds up to 39 passengers.
        o Greyhound Lines provides intercity bus service between Macon and many locations
            throughout the United States and Canada. The Greyhound terminal is situated at 65 Spring
            Street, on the eastern edge of the downtown area.

(Additional research is needed for this vertical)

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018 31
Appendix A: Knight Foundation Myrtle Beach Profile

Steeped in Georgia history and southern tradition, Macon is at a crossroads. The community is working to
increase its population of homeowners and to strengthen city leadership and government to respond more
effectively to the needs and goals of its citizens.

Background: Macon is a traditional southern community with a rich cultural, musical and architectural heritage. Its
economy is influenced by Robins Air Force Base, in adjacent Houston County, the state's largest industrial complex,
with a work force of more than 25,000. Other key employment sectors in Macon and Bibb County include health and
education, retail business and manufacturing. Macon's location at the heart of Georgia has made it a leading
distribution center for manufacturing and retail businesses.

The community has strong educational resources, including Mercer University, Macon State College, Wesleyan
College, Central Georgia Technical College and Georgia College & State University. Bibb County's population is
approximately 155,000; the City of Macon has a population of about 94,000.

The city has slowly lost population in the past several years, in contrast to neighboring cities and counties, which
continue to grow. With Knight support, the city, Mercer University and the Macon Housing Authority are working to
revitalize the historic Beall's Hill neighborhood and support efforts to create new housing for Macon residents.

Opportunities and Challenges: To reverse the trend of population decline and restore a vital, growing city, Macon
must work to make new housing stock available for moderate- and middle-income families. The city and Mercer have
formed a partnership to create a revitalized College Hill Corridor, running between the campus and downtown. The
initiative seeks to promote economic development and attract young professionals and members of the "creative
class" to Macon. Additional opportunities for housing redevelopment exist in 11 neighborhood districts listed on the
National Register of Historic Places. Combined, these neighborhoods offer more than 5,500 residential and
commercial structures.

The community also faces a critical leadership transition. In November, Macon voters elected a new mayor and entire
new city council of 15 members. Many residents see the election as a tipping point for Macon: new leaders will help
shape the future of the city and county - and possibly the entire region - for the next decade or more. Local residents
believe it is time to reconnect with their government, demand greater accountability and become more active and
engaged citizens.

Strategies and Tactics: Knight Foundation is uniquely positioned to assist community leaders and residents in efforts
to strengthen citizen-led government as well as continuing our work in neighborhood revitalization.

    •    In the area of responsive government, the Knight aims to support efforts toward greater transparency and
         accountability, and to assist city leaders and department heads in strengthening management practices and

    •    In neighborhood revitalization, Knight will continue to support work currently under way in Beall's Hill, as
         well as assisting other opportunities such as the College Hill Corridor and Payne City Renaissance. Knight
         will also work with the community to promote quality of life opportunities such as the MAGA Film

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018 32
Appendix B: University System of Georgia Statewide Fiber Network


See .pdf attachment: “USG PeachNet Fiber Network”

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018 33
Appendix C: Macon Spur Fiber Route and Central Business District Ring via Southern Telecom

Source:, 1/23/06

KCoDE Report: “Macon - Community Environmental Scan – Level One” – December 2008 Tracking #E6018 34

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