Howard Holman Is Named August Sweet Onion Citizen
At its August 8 meeting, the Vidalia City Council received an update on the renovation of the Vidalia- Toombs County Library and recognized one of the committee members responsible for overseeing the project. “You have been part of the backbone of Vidalia for a very long time,” Mayor Doug Roper told Howard Holman. “As just a small token of our appreciation of who you are and what you have done for our community, we could not be more pleased to say you are our Sweet Onion Citizen Award winner for the month of August.” Holman has been very active throughout the community. He is a longstanding member of the Vidalia Presbyterian Church, a Board Member of the Toombs County Boys & Girls Club, Board Member for the Sweet Onion Classic, twice President of the Greater Vidalia (formerly Toombs- Montgomery) Chamber of Commerce, Volunteer for Open Doors for the Handicapped, Cochair of Vidalia Onion Run for over 20 years, President of the Kiwanis Club of Vidalia, and more.
He has also been involved in the Feeding Every Child program at the Vidalia City Schools, served in leadership for many years until retirement at the Memorial Health Meadows Hospital, served the area as Lieutenant Governor within the state Kiwanis Club, and received the highest honor bestowed on members by Kiwanis Club International, which is the George Hixon award. Currently, Holman continues to serve the city through his work in fundraising and overseeing the recent Vidalia-Toombs County Library renovation.
Library Renovation Committee Members Howard Holman and Gary Campbell updated the Council on the library renovation project. “We are pretty much on schedule, maybe a little bit behind, but I think we are in good shape,” Holman commented. “We hope to be done by the end of December, and even if we don’t make that target, we shouldn’t be too far off.” Holman says the committee believes the library will be complete by Spring 2023 at the latest, and that everything from construction to budget is completely on target. “We’ve had some delays, but fortunately, our biggest delay was the roof, which we’ve been able to get started on,” Campbell remarked. “Even with the delays, we feel like we are doing a fine job.” The pair say that the construction has officially closed in the structure from the outside, enabling it to be locked and protected. Public figures and politicians were invited to a walkthrough on Sunday, August 14, to see the progress which has been made.
Vidalia Fire Chief Brian Sikes told the Council that the number of fires in the city had increased significantly from last year. There are 58 more fire calls so far in 2022 than in 2021. “This is a trend that I do not see slowing down – it is steadily going up,” he said. Amidst this rise in fires, Sikes and the Vidalia Fire Department continue to promote fire safety, as they reached over 400 students and parents to discuss the topic at the recent Back to School Bash at Southeastern Technical College on July 30. Sikes also shared his gratitude to Lowe’s and Food World of Vidalia, which each donated 60 cases of water to the fire department.
Vidalia Regional Airport Manager Billy Ragan informed the Council that the construction on the runway rehabilitation project has been complete and inspection for the project will be completed this week. He also said that currently, the airport is undergoing work on the lighting. Ragan attended a recent regional meeting between airport administrations in which several upcoming Georgia Department of Transportation studies were announced. These studies included a drone study, electric aircraft charging study, rate and demand of fuel study, and a hangar study.
According to Vidalia Recreation Director Scott Strickland, progress has been made on the transformation of the former Captain’s Corner lot into an excess parking area for the Ed Smith Recreation Complex. The sign for the restaurant has been taken down and several trees have been removed from the property. The Aquatics Center on Sweet Onion Drive has 12 parties scheduled for the remainder of the season, which ends on September 4. The Center will be open and available each weekend when a party is not occurring. Call (912) 537-7913 with any questions or to check for openings.
Signups for Recreation Football and Soccer opened on August 1 and will continue until Friday, August 19. Evaluations for soccer team drafts will occur on Monday, August 22, while football evaluations will be held the following Monday, August 29. Contact the Vidalia Recreation Department for details or to register.
The Council approved the execution of an agreement between the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) and the City of Vidalia to use GMA financing for City vehicles and equipment. Council members also authorized City administration to finance three vehicles for the Water and Sewer Departments. These vehicles were previously approved for purchase but have only recently become available. The vehicles will be financed with a 3-year amortization schedule which will be paid from the Water and Sewer Fund.
Right-of- Way Deeds
The Vidalia City Council approved three right-of-way deeds for paving projects of Hugh Taylor and McLendon Road, totaling 2.056 acres. The project is a combined effort by the City of Vidalia and Toombs County Commission.
The Council approved having the asphalt parking lot within the former Captain’s Corner lot cleaned and sealed by Southeast Centerline, Inc. for $13,549.20. This work will be funded by the remaining proceeds from the GMA loan used to purchase the property.
Several Christmas Decorations, including decorative pole lights and a Christmas tree-topper, will be purchased for $12,020 through Special Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds. This purchase is a continuation of the effort begun in 2019 to replace the decorations for the downtown area.
Fred Godbee was reappointed to the Vidalia Housing Authority for a five-year term, which will end August 2027.
Rural Roots Beauty Bar will host the monthly 5:05 meeting with the Downtown Vidalia Association at 5:05 p.m. on Thursday, August 18. The Patriot Walk 9-11 Remembrance Event will occur on Saturday, September 10. The walk will begin at the Vidalia Municipal Annex and end at the Ronnie A. Dixon City Park.