MOULTRIE -- There is a fine line between a city with much history and one that is aging. Recognizing that line and defining a plan of action to keep the community attractive and vibrant is a challenge for Moultrie government leaders.
Moultrie Mayor Bill McIntosh, in sort of an abbreviated State of the City Address to Rotarians, said Tuesday that numerous critical issues will be on the plates of councilmen over the next decade.
"Our city is aging. It will be a challenge to keep up the integrity of our infrastructure and our city of beautiful homes," he said.
Among the major concerns are the sewer and water systems.
"We are about at capacity at the sewer plant, and soon we won't be able to discharge into streams," said McIntosh, noting that such changes on the environmental scene already are a matter of discussion. Presently, the treated sewage is discharged into the Ochlockonee River. Two decades ago, that river had almost died as a result of a then-inadequate treatment facility and overflows from industry.
McIntosh said the people of the city will believe in their leaders and will respond to them when those leaders do what they say they will do. He also pointed out that citizens don't always want to do what is cheaper but rather will demand what is best.
He cited an issue over roll-out garbage cans broached just a few years ago. It would have been cheaper to have used and maintained roll-out garbage cans rather than in-ground containers. But the citizens rose up against that idea and were willing to pay the difference for what they considered to be a better and more aesthetically pleasing system.
Annexation also is on the mind of the city's leaders, he said.
"Moultrie needs to grow. We have people moving into those areas right around the city. These people depend on our city. We need them in Moultrie, not just for the tax base but for their leadership," said McIntosh.
In a nutshell, his comments were about stewardship.
"What will our children and grandchildren say about how we handled these issues?" McIntosh asked.