The budget for the Macon-Bibb consolidation task force climbed over half a million dollars Wednesday.
The group approved a budget of $513,484.
They could add another $62,000 for communications tools like mail-out surveys and web-streaming equipment, but the Knight Foundation offered to look for grant money to cover that.
So far, Bibb County shelled out $170,000 and the city wrote a $230,000 check Tuesday night.
Both governments must split all costs evenly and agree to work out finances at the end of the fiscal year.
Representative Nikki Randall, chair of the transition task force, says she's surprised by the controversy over consolidation costs, especially among local elected officials.
She says, "I'm not sure what the push-back is about, but the people have spoken. This is when true public servants stand up and do what's right by the people of this community."
So far, the transition team hired several consultants for things like financial analysis, a new code of ordinances, and pension plans.
Wednesday, the group decided to hire Davenport, a company that will look at current debt of the city and county and the put together a financial debt outlook for the new government.
With the merger just over a year away, Randall says they still have a lot of work to do, and with the new year will come some new faces on the task force.
County commissioner Elmo Richardson will leave the group. The new finance chair of the commission will take his place.
Sheriff-Elect David Davis will replace Sheriff Jerry Modena on the board.
The Macon Chamber of Commerce also has a new leader, but they asked to keep outgoing director Leonard Bevill on the transition team.