The City of Hinesville gathered in City hall on Aug. 31 during a public hearing to discuss plans for spending the Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF). Among their various plans is to spend money on billboards to educate Hinesville residents on what is going on. They also discussed the purchase of sanitizing sprayers to clean the city buses and other supplies needed by the city to keep surfaces clean and COVID free.
The CRF will also go towards paying for any COVID related legal fees in addition to increasing public safety salaries, wages and benefits.
The City also intends to use the funding to support small businesses. “One of the things I’ve seen as I ride around,” City Manager Kenneth Howard said. “There are businesses in town that haven’t been opened since COVID hit and haven’t reopened since. I feel like those businesses can benefit from the funds.”
There are plans to use CRF funds to assist the homeless or folks within the city limits that need rent and mortgage assistance. Funds will go to help cover the hotel fees for the homeless and other emergency shelters for the less fortunate. For those that need mortgage and utility assistance due to the pandemic applications must be filled out and turned in at City Hall.
Some of the CRF will be used to upgrade the City Council’s media systems to enhance virtual meetings.
One of the projects that will be funded by the CRF will be a burn house for the fire department. Every year firefighters must undergo tactical training involving lifting and lowering people with ropes. Having a burn house onsite will allow firefighters to gain that training without traveling to different areas and possibly becoming exposed to COVID 19. According to the plans the burn room will be the first floor; the second will be the smoke box and the third floor will be used for practicing lowering and rescuing people with ropes. They are planning on building it off of Shaw road; south of Hinesville Cemetery.
The plans will need to be finalized before becoming an action item at another council meeting.