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Toombs Commission Appoints New Development Authority Members

Toombs County Commissioners, in its session on July 20, appointed two new members to the Toombs County Development Authority to replace retiring members Harry Moses and John Robinson.

Moses represents Vidalia on the Authority while Robinson represents Lyons. Both members have served on the board for two terms. The Commission unanimously agreed to appoint Brian Bishop for the Vidalia post and Trent Williams for the Lyons seat. This will be Bishop’s first term with the Development Authority and Williams’s second term.

“The replacements will be wonderful just like the retiring members,” Chamber of Commerce President Michele Johnson said. “They have truly earned their spots.” County Commissioners praised Moses and Robinson for their years of service. “I have to say for Harry, he has put in hundreds of hours of work for this cause,” Commission Chairman David Sikes noted. “I know [the Development Authority] will be extremely sad not to have him anymore. We have really appreciated him because he went wholeheartedly into this.”

Commissioners Wendell Dixon and Tommy Rollins spoke about their experiences working with Moses and Robinson. “I have worked with both of them, and they are truly incredible men who have done a lot for our community,” Rollins said.

Board of Elections. Georgia Aging Committee Appointments During the session, Commission appointed Yolanda Hernandez to fill the unexpired term of Hoyt S. Pittman, Jr. on the Toombs County Board of Elections. Pittman, who recently resigned fom his post, was appointed to the Board of Elections during its inaugural implementation in 2009 and has served as the Board’s chairman. His term was to end December 31, 2021. Hernandez will serve until that date. Hernandez is a lifelong resident of Toombs County. She is a graduate of Toombs County High School and has a degree in Business Management from Brewton-Parker College. Hernandez has been employed with Georgia Southern University since 2016 and is transitioning into the Talent Acquisition Manager position within Human Resources at GSU. Commissioner Darriel Nobles shared that he and Raymond Turner have been assigned to leadership positions within the Heart of Georgia Aging Committee. Nobles stressed the large array of options the elderly have in the area and encourages individuals to look into the resources.

Broadband Ready Ordinance Approved

Commissioners approved the Ordinance Broadband Ready Community after concluding the series of public hearings required in the decision. This ordinance was modeled after the designation by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs in preparation for changes that come along with providing broadband to rural areas. By adopting this ordinance, the local government opens the community for broadband companies to work in the area without unnecessary local government obstacles.

Now that the commissioners have passed the ordinance at the local level, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs must also review and pass the measure before Toombs County can be advertised as a “Broadband Ready Community.” Once this occurs, entities will be able to begin contacting Toombs County authorities to begin offering broadband options. Solid Waste Disposal

In addition to improving broadband options in the community, the Commission also approved several proposals that will continue to improve solid waste disposal in Toombs County. To control the amount of yard debris being held at the landfill, the Commission annually contracts a disposal company to grind and move the debris. The same company is contracted every year and charges the county $16 a ton with a 1000ton minimum.

Also, Commissioners voted to contract McLendon Enterprises to construct six additional solid waste cells. This construction is the completion of a permit received in 2014 to construct 13 municipal solid waste cells for residential garbage at the landfill. After the receipt of the permit, seven solid waste cells were constructed. These cells are expected to be filled within the next two years.

Many companies were contacted for this project, but only McLendon offered a numeric bid, which the engineering representative from Hofstadter & Associates in Macon recommended the Commission accept. Hofstadter & Associates has served as the project’s engineering company for several years and its personnel are familiar with the construction process. The project will cost $2,821,509.62 and will be funded through the landfill, which charges a tipping fee for every ton of waste placed there.

The repair of both the Solid Waste Department CAT 730 Dump Truck and Solid Waste Compactor 826H were unanimously approved by the commission. Both repairs will be completed by Yancey CAT. The dump truck repair will cost $8,174.14 while the compactor repair will cost $21,523.29. Chairman David Sikes explained that while this compactor repair seemed costly, purchasing a new compactor would be much more expensive. Easement, Courthouse Update Commissioners also approved an easement that allowed Georgia Power to lay an underground utility line for 509-A Maple Drive in Vidalia. This easement was consistent with civil plans. County Manager John Jones reported revenues are at 48% of the budget while expenditures are at 46% of the budget. Jones also explained that the courthouse construction project had been slowed because of the large amount of rain the area has received but should continue to progress as the cement is poured for the first floor.

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