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County approves county waste rate hike
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After some end-of-year formalities the Liberty County Commission, on Dec. 17, voted to approve a package of solid waste measures including annual rate hikes of six percent. 

The increases will total from $2.86 to $9.84 for residential users in unincorporated Liberty County and the municipalities of Midway, Riceboro, Gumbranch and Allenhurst. Hinesville, Walthourville, Flemington and a small area in Riceboro have separate agreements with the solid waste authority and their fees differ. 

John Culbertson of MSW Consultants did the previous reports on Liberty’s solid waste in 2015 and presented the rate study Thursday. Recommendations include new rate studies every five years and annual financial monitoring. 

The five-year residential rate path projects no increase for 2022 with a five percent hike in 2023. No increases are predicted during the last two years covered in the study, 2024 and 2025. 

Commission Chairman Donald Lovette, opening the session by remarking that it was the last of 2020, and also the last session for Commission Pat Bowen who has represented District 4 for 22 years. Bowen did not seek re-election. District 4 will be represented by Maxie Jones IV. 

In a split vote the commission decided to open registration for Spring Recreation Department Programs. Recreation Director Jimmy Martin said he encourages online registration because COVID precautions limit the number of people allowed in the department office at one time. 

Programs will include spring soccer, track and field, baseball, softball, and T-ball. Volleyball is not being offered because of difficulty disinfecting indoor facilities. 

Commissioners Eddie Walden and Gary Gilliard voting against the offering because of concerns about the Corona virus pandemic. 

Continuing their monthly recognition of retired county employees, the commissioners honored the memory of four retirees who passed away in 2020: Howard Freeman, Dave Sapp, Willie Jones and Donna Davis. County Emergency Management Director Larry Logan, who is retiring himself this month, led a special prayer in remembrance of the retirees. 

Emergency Management Specialist Bob Dodd will succeed Logan. 

Public Works Director Clenton Wells told the commissioners he was working on the scheduling of street sweeping. He said a new employee and other improvements should allow monthly scheduled sweeping. 

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