103 North Broad Street
Abbeville, Georgia 31001
212 Barnes St.
Abbeville, GA 31001
Representatives from the counties bordering the Ocmulgee River from Bibb County at the upstream end to Jeff Davis and Montgomery on the downstream end, as well as state and national organizations have been meeting in Hawkinsville, GA during 2011 and 2012 to continue discussions related to the organization of an effort to promote the Ocmulgee River and the water trail.
The meetings were facilitated in 2011 by Brooks Bailey, Pulaski County Sole Commissioner. In 2012 the facilitator was Pat B. Merritt, CEcD, Manager, Community Development at Georgia EMC. Ms. Merritt facilitated the meetings on behalf of Flint Energies, Irwin EMC, Little Ocmulgee EMC, Ocmulgee EMC, Oconee EMC, Middle Georgia EMC, and The Satilla EMC.
Objective of the organizing meetings: Develop a plan for formally organizing the Ocmulgee River Water Trail Partnership as the organization that supports the Ocmulgee Water Trail.
- “The purpose of the ORWTP is to coordinate the implementation, management, maintenance and activities of the Ocmulgee River Water Trail from Macon to the Altamaha River.”
- The group discussed organizational options and membership options.
- The decision was made to first select representatives who would be the members of the ORWTP. Then that group would move through the decision making process to develop the bylaws and the strategic plan for the Partnership.
Important agreements for organizing meetings:
- The ORWTP will eventually form a nonprofit.
- Only counties have voting members. These are to be appointed by the County Commissions.
- Appointees cannot hold public elected office.
- There will be 2 primary voting members per county and 2 alternates. Alternates vote only if primary member absent.
- All Partnership meetings and ORWTP board meetings are open to the public. This is encouraged to build support for the ORWTP.
- Each county is encouraged to have its own Water Trail Advisory Group that the 2 members of the Partnership report to and coordinate with.
- All other cities, agencies, businesses, NGOs, will be included on an Advisory group that assists the ORWTP board as needed. They do not have a vote.
- The most upstream point of the ORWTP will be Macon for now. When the counties north of Macon are interested in participating, they may request membership.