A year in review with excitement for tomorrow; A Message from the Mayor of Macon

by Benjamin Nelson and Mayor Talt Holman

MACON, MO -- With the New Year well on it's way, for the Mayor of Macon Talt Holman, his first full calendar year as Mayor has come to an end. The following is a message from Mayor Holman with a glimpse back at the previous year:

"We are excited to welcome in a new year and new decade at the City of Macon and are looking forward to what the future holds for our City in 2020. Turning to a new chapter doesn’t go without reflection on the list of accomplishments we have seen throughout the last year. I am proud to highlight some of the great accomplishments of 2019 including infrastructure, asset purchases, civic club involvement, and community safety projects. All of these moved us forward to our goal of making our city a better, safer, and more prosperous place to live.

The Macon Fire Department replaced a 1963 model with a new fire engine in May 2019. In May 2018 the department replaced a 1977 model fire engine with a 95-foot aerial ladder fire engine. Funding for these engines was possible due to the Fire Department Operations Sales Tax that voters approved in 2017. To facilitate the new fire engines and replace obsolete equipment, upgrades were needed at the fire station as well. An upgraded exhaust system was added, and all four furnaces were replaced in the fire engine bays as they were all original to the building built in 1987.

In addition to the fire engines, the department also received new self-contained breathing apparatus units. These units are also being funded by the Fire Department Operations Sales Tax through a five-year low-interest lease agreement with Macon County Economic Development. They provide the firefighters with breathable air in an otherwise life-threatening situation.

I’m sure you all hear the emergency management siren testing on the first Wednesday of every month. The City replaced and relocated the siren located on the Macon R-1 property and replaced the backup batteries in the additional four units around town. These improvements not only support reliability of the equipment but brought the system into compliance with FCC regulations.

We have been working to update patrol fleet vehicles. The Macon Police Department received four new patrol cars in 2018; however, the units were not outfitted with transport cages. In 2019, all four cars received transport cages with the City providing funding for two and the additional funding received from a Local Law Enforcement Block Grant. These transport cages are an important tool to keep our officers/prisoners safe and to protect the patrol vehicle equipment. The department also received a new, fully equipped, Ford Explorer in 2019 to replace an older vehicle and reduce maintenance costs.

The City Street Department had a large amount of equipment that was worn out and in need of replacement. The City purchased a multi-use tractor, skid steer, and multipurpose snowplow truck to begin updating the assets. Funding for this equipment came from the Transportation Sales Tax that voters approved in 2016. The department also purchased a DuraPatcher machine to upgrade the process of pothole repair. Now, instead of crews with shovels and hot mix, we have a trailer-mounted piece of equipment which uses spray injection emulsion for tack coating and an emulsion/aggregate mix for fill. This technology extends the lifespan of repairs and allows the crew to work faster and safer.

Infrastructure projects that took place in 2019 include 1 ¼ mile of roadway improvements that included widening, milling, overlay, and related storm water work on Bourke Street (from Rutherford to Sunset Hills Drive), Pearl Street (from Bourke to Prairie), and Rollins Street (from Bourke to Rollins bridge). The majority of the funding for this project was provided by proceeds from the Transportation Sales Tax fund with assistance from MoDOT Surface Transportation Program funds of $115,000. Twenty-four sidewalk corners associated with the project area were replaced making them ADA compliant and some additional deteriorated sections of sidewalk were replaced on the 100 block of East Bourke Street and the 100 block of North Rollins Street.

Three commercial mowers were purchased for the Public Grounds Department to facilitate maintenance of over fifty acres of land that keeps the department busy mowing, trimming, and spraying during the growing season. True to the club motto, “Service Above Self”, the Rotary International Club of Macon County spearheaded and collaborated with the City on the expansion of the Blees-Hildreth walking trail that circles Blees Lake. In addition, the Lydian Club of Macon donated one of the benches along the trail with a second bench donated as a memorial. The path is just short of a mile long and was enjoyed by many citizens in the community.

A storm water project is nearing completion on Walnut Street. The West culvert box is in place and complete and the East culvert box is still a work in progress. The storm water committee will be meeting this month to discuss tackling additional drainage issues in the project area. This funding is available from the storm water mitigation portion of the Capital Improvement Sales Tax.

The parks portion of the Capital Improvement Sales Tax continues to save and invest for future capital improvements. The City invested an additional $500,000 of park improvement funds in certificates of deposit which now has total savings of slightly over two million dollars. Currently, projects for 2020 that these funds will provide for include repairs to the roundhouse and replacement of fencing at Don Schelle Fields.

I am proud to live in and be a part of a full-service City like we have here in Macon. Cities our size are finding it more and more difficult to provide this today. Macon continues to provide municipally owned utilities, police, fire, street, and public grounds services for our citizens. We are grateful voters passed a Use Tax in 2019 which will generate revenue to help replace declining sales tax revenue and retain the motor vehicle and trailer tax which was previously in place.

I would like to send a huge thank you to all the City employees and congratulate them on a job well done! The success of 2019 could not have been accomplished without them to make it all work.

I would also like to send a thank you to the citizens of Macon for your input and involvement and I look forward to working with you in 2020 to accomplish more and make the City of Macon even better!

Mayor James “Talt” Holman"

Aside from the Mayor's message, The Macon Home Press has covered several events and developments throughout the last year here in the town of Macon. These are some of those stories:


















Headline picture taken by Reporter Ben Nelson