ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany City Commissioners voted in favor of two highly anticipated agenda items during a meeting Tuesday.
Commission leaders voted 4-3 in favor of the expansion of the historic district.
Supporters, some who said they have worked for an expansion for a quarter of a century, describe Tuesday's vote as an advancement for the entire city.
"We see it as a preservation for in-town neighborhoods, as well as the structure of neighborhoods, which we think is the only way the city is going to continue to thrive, is by having structure in the neighborhoods and having strong neighborhoods. We see this as a tremendous victory for the city," said Julie Miller, a Rawson Circle resident.
Miller said expanding the rules that apply to living inside a historic district will create a uniform appeal to a beautiful section of the city.
And, just before the vote, the newest Commissioner Matt Fuller, who lives inside the historic district and is himself a licensed builder, offered his assistance to any historic district resident with questions about these guidelines.
Commissioners also voted in favor of opening negotiations with Spectra to manage the Albany Civic Center.
That decision was also tabled at the January commission meeting.
Spectra, by Comcast Spectator, was chosen by civic center staff after a bidding process.
The original proposal included an estimated five-year contract at $625,000.
The team at Spectra manages similar facilities in Macon, Augusta and Tallahassee.
The company's General Manager said they have a strong track record of cutting expenses and bringing in acts.
"I am from Macon, Georgia and we just took over the contract in July 2016 there. We have had a great success. The first year and a half, we have been able to save on average a million dollars, just by booking, taking a look at the expenses and doing a lot of capitol projects," said David Aiello, Spectra's General Manager.
Aiello said the goal will be to keep and train the current staff.
Aiello also said the first priority is to book and bring content, a job made easier because Spectra manages several venues, and has large "routing" capabilities, moving acts from city to city.