Minutes: MATS Policy Meeting – Nov. 4, 2020

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The following minutes for the Nov. 4, 2020 meeting were approved by the MATS Policy Committee.


MATS Policy Meeting Minutes – November 4, 2020

A meeting of the MATS Policy Committee was held on November 4, 2020 via Zoom Video Conference Platform. There were eight members in attendance, thereby establishing a quorum. Mayor Reichert made a motion to approve the meeting agenda and the minutes. Mike Greenwald commented that the Air Quality amendment item had been moved to the fifth item on the agenda. A motion was then made by to approve the revised agenda as well as the minutes from the previous meeting. The motion was subsequently passed by the committee members. Under Committee Reports, Greg Brown gave an update from the last CAC meeting. He mentioned that the CAC had presented concerns about improvements on Ridge Ave. and the bridge replacement project on College Street. Jim Thomas then gave an update on the TCC Committee meeting that was held the previous month.

The first item discussed on the agenda were the amendments to the MATS Public Participation Plan. Mike Greenwald stated that the Participation Plan needed to include a more detailed explanation of what should be considered as a significant comment in relation to the public comment process. A list of criteria for significant public comments was presented as well as a list of what should not be included. Comments addressing the need or scope of a project would be considered significant as well other criteria that were introduced. However, comments that are not deemed significant do not need to be reported and similar multiple comments can be consolidated into a single statement. Although, the number of comments received in relation to a  single item should be made available. In regard to on-line meetings, it was also suggested that the Participation Plan be amended to allow that meetings be broadcast simultaneously through the MATS MPO website and other social media outlets when possible. The amendments to the Participation Plan were made available to the public and the IAC for comment. Subsequently, a motion was made by Chris Weidner and seconded by Richard Bazemore to adopt the proposed amendments to the Participation Plan which was approved.

The draft Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) which contains the work tasks for the Macon MPO in FY 2022, was the next item discussed.  The funding level for the highway projects were similar to last year’s amount but the amount for transit projects has decreased. There were some changes to the categorical budgets in the UPWP as a result of the upcoming LRTP Update and continued assistance with the transit system planning activities. After further discussion, a motion was made by Chris Weidner that was seconded by Richard Bazemore to approve the draft UPWP which passed unanimously.

Under the LRTP Amendments, it was explained there were three new bridge replacement projects that need to be added to the LRTP. This is necessary in order for these projects to be included eventually in the TIP and would be subject to the fiscal balancing requirement. The projects were SR 247@Echeconnee Creek, SR 11/SR 22 @ Rock Creek and SR 11/SR 22 @ Sand Creek. These amendments have been presented to the public and IAC for review and comment. A motion was then made by Chris Weidner and seconded by Sam Hart to amend the LRTP to include the projects which was approved.

The next item discussed was the TIP Update for FY 2021-24 presented by Mike Greenwald. He explained that the TIP is a subset of the LRTP.  In terms of road projects, the TIP continues to advance the I-16/I-75 interchange projects. Some of the new projects in the TIP include the widening of Bass Rd. from Providence Blvd. to New Forsyth Rd. and several bridge replacement projects. Funding for the Macon Transit Authority projects and the airports were also included in the TIP. The draft TIP had been submitted to the public and the IAC for review and comment. No public comments had been received but there were several comments from the IAC including the addition of Performance Measures in the document. A motion was subsequently made by Jeane Easom and seconded by Richard Bazemore to approve the TIP subject to certain conditions regarding performance measures which was passed by the Policy Committee. It was stated that there may be a possible TIP amendment in the future to include improvements to the lower section of Forest Hill Rd. The Mayor said that he had discussed this project with Georgia DOT due to the congestion and road conditions on this section of Forest Hill Rd.

The next item discussed were the amendments to the MATS Air Quality Determination Report (AQCD). MATS is currently in a Maintenance Area for air quality and the AQCD needs to be reflected in the LRTP and the current TIP. The proposed AQCD report amendments would reflect the adoption of a new TIP and the addition of a new amendment section. Several comments had been received from the IAC regarding the amendments. A motion was made by Chris Weidner and seconded by Richard Bazemore to adopt the AQCD with the proposed amendments which was subsequently approved.

Harland Smith of GDOT presented the project status report for the road projects which was interrupted due to technical difficulties. Mayor Reichert asked the Policy Committee members to just review the project status report that was sent to them instead.

Under New Business, a letter of support for the proposed I-14 project from Odessa, TX to Augusta, GA was introduced and discussed. The purpose of the letter was to demonstrate support from local MPOs in Georgia for the project. Mayor Reichert stated this project follows the course of the original Fall Line Freeway. He added that the letter should be given additional study and then discussed at the next meeting under Old Business. Mike Greenwald presented a list of possible meeting dates for the Policy Committee in 2021. The first meeting date next year for the Policy Committee  was February 3rd. Mayor Reichert commented that his term expires at the end of the year and the election of new officers should be held at this meeting. A motion was made by Richard Bazemore and seconded by Jeane Easom to adopt the list of meeting dates for the Policy Committee which was passed.  Being no further items to discuss, the meeting was then adjourned.


           Those Attending                                            Representing

  1. Mike Greenwald                             Planning Director, Macon-Bibb Planning & Zoning
  2. Jim Thomas                                    Director, Macon-Bibb Planning & Zoning Comm.
  3. Jeane Easom*                                 Chairman, Macon-Bibb Planning & Zoning Comm.
  4. Robert Reichert*                             Mayor, Macon-Bibb Co.
  5. Charles Brooks                               Macon-Bibb Engineering
  6. Ken North                                       Macon-Bibb Co. Planning & Zoning Comm.
  7. Louis Tompkins*                           Macon Transit Authority Chairman
  8. Tom McQueen*                              Russell McMurry, Georgia D.O.T. Commissioner
  9. Greg Brown *                                  John Swint, CAC Chairman
  10. Vivian Carnizares                         GDOT Planning Office
  11. Sam Hart*                                     Macon Water Authority Chairman
  12. Chris Weidner*                            Jones Co. Commission Chairman
  13. Kaniz Sathi                                    Georgia D.O.T.
  14. Greg Boike                                     Laura Mathis, Middle GA Regional Commission
  15. Craig Ross                                      Macon Transit Authority
  16. Richard Bazemore*                    Chairman, Middle GA Regional Commission
  17. Harland Smith                             Georgia D.O.T.
  18. Michel Wanna                              Macon Water Authority
  19. Liz Fabian                                      Macon Telegraph
  20. Tim Pitrowski                               Jones Co. Zoning Director
  21. Clinton Ford                                  Georgia D.O.T.

*Voting Member