TIFTON — Seven Urban Redevelopment Authority board members and an alternate were sworn in at the July 15 Tifton city council meeting.

Vivian Hightower, Curtis Akins, Michael Bowen, Major Battle Jr., Abbey McLaren, Tyler Riddle and M. Jay Hall were sworn in as the first board to head up the newly-formed URA.

The URA will focus on improving blighted areas of the city and will have the ability to borrow and spend money to do so.

Bruce Green will be the new URA director, and said that he is eager to get to work with the board.

Green, along with Main Street Program director Chandler Day and new Downtown Development Authority director Abbey McLaren, presented the council with two festival proposals.

Green presented the council with a proposal to designate an Elvis Tribute Night, scheduled for Aug. 16, and September Month of Music, which will take place on each Thursday during September, as festivals.

The Elvis Tribute Night is hosted by the Tift Tap House and will be on the 42nd anniversary of his death. The September Month of Music will be a battle of the bands, with three bands playing on three downtown stages, located at Veterans Park, Tifton Gardens and Gateway Park. The winner from each Thursday will then compete on the last Thursday to be named Tifton’s best band.

Green said that the events will hopefully encourage all the downtown businesses to participate and benefit while drawing more traffic downtown.

The council unanimously approved both festival designations.

The council unanimously voted to update authorized signers for the city’s banking accounts and approved a new alcohol license for John Place, located at 1508 S. Park Ave.

The council approved several items that were previously discussed at the July 1 workshop:

• Awarding the bid for the Chestnut Avenue street and drainage improvements to The Scruggs Company for $410,370.23.

• Approving Enterprise Zone incentive guidelines. The council agreed to allow the current zones to expire and then create new zones in south Tifton.

• A resolution providing for the 2019 general election.

• A resolution creating the Tift County Complete Count Committee for the 2020 census.

• Alcohol license applications for Sunmart, located at 902 Central Ave. and Walmart, located at 1830 Hwy 82.

Mayor Julie Smith read a proclamation celebrating the 50th anniversary of Diversified Enterprises, which provides services and support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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