ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany city leaders are developing new projects to help better the community.
The city now has funds saved to pay for some new initiatives, like community safety officers, expanding transit service on Ledo Road and through federal funding, there will be improvements at Southwest Georgia Regional Airport.
These projects are a result of the city's careful planning with the budget.
"The most exciting thing for me and this budget is we've been able to balance it again without the use of MEAG credits. And that was a real concern when I came here because we were heavily dependent on MEAG credits to balance our budget and we've now been able to do that for a third year since my arrival here," said City Manager Sharon Subadan.
One of the community needs is getting community safety officers patrolling the area on Segways.
Leaders borrowed a model out of Marietta to develop a community safety officer program.
These officers will be non-sworn police officers who will be able to help with non-critical situations.
For example, Subadan said a lot of calls law enforcement officers receive are not always for a crime. These officers will serve in downtown Albany as the city continues to grow.
"We'll be able to have greater access to police services because we'll be able to free up our sworn law enforcement officers to do real police work and like I tell the Chief, to lock up the bad guys," said Subadan.
As for a new expanding transit service on Ledo Road, the goal of this initiative is not only to help people feel safe, but also provide directions and identify any situation before it erupts.
Subadan said getting to the bridge at Nottingham is not feasible for people who need to get to work.
So inside of the existing budget, they've been able to expand that.
As for the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport, Subadan said she expects a passenger bridge to be constructed by the end of this year.
And with significant federal assistance, leaders are looking to repave the runway.