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City OKs higher mill rate; rollback negates any increase
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At their meeting Thursday, Hinesville City Council members adopted a slightly higher millage rate of 16.54 mills for the 2009 tax digest;  however, the 7.04 sales tax rollback will bring the net rate to 9.50 mills, the same rate assessed in 2008. The millage rate system assesses one dollar of tax per one thousand dollars of taxable property value.
Additionally, city officials were admonished by one resident to consider the implications of doing business with James Buckley and Associates, the architectural firm being sued by the Liberty County Board of Education over drainage problems with Donell Woods Stadium.
Andrew Smith spoke on behalf of concerned citizens during Thursday’s Hinesville City Council meeting, telling council members they should acknowledge concerns about contracts held by the firm for work with the city, as well as with the county and the BoE.
“We are requesting that the city council give due consideration to taxpayers regarding this issue,” Smith said. “The taxpayers want [similar work] done fairly, equitably and responsibly.”
The BoE seeks financial restitution that would allow it to correct problems with the stadium. Smith said the lawsuit has cast “a very costly shadow over taxpayers.”
In regular council proceedings, city officials also prioritized SPLOST projects for round five funding. The city intends to use its portion of the special purpose local option sales tax, set at 1 percent, to fund area road and drainage improvement projects.
Projects with the highest price tags include phase four of the
Memorial Drive project at $2,024,329 and curb and gutter improvements on Main Street, at $807,843. These and several other listed areas are estimated to be completed in the next two to three years.
Council members also approved entering into an agreement with the city of Flemington to provide transit services between Flemington and Hinesville-Fort Stewart, and awarded a contract for grinding yard waste to Dennis Waters Development in the amount of $31,252. The company was the only entity to submit a bid before the city’s deadline.

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