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Ga. HR commissioner tours aging DFCS facility
jp DHR site
Local and state officials examine the site of the old hospital. The land could serve as the building site for the DFCS building. - photo by Joe Parker Jr. / Coastal Courier
The state's commissioner of human resources, B.J. Walker, toured Liberty County's cramped, aged Department of Family and Children Services building Tuesday and had a look at a potential new site on Highway 84 and Fraser Street.
The site, Liberty Memorial Hospital's former location, has been considered for many possible uses since the hospital relocated and the building was demolished.
The Department of Family and Children Services wants to use the property for a new building and the General Assembly has appropriated $7.3 million, but no details have been worked out.
County Commission Chairman John McIver who, along with other local leaders met Walker and some of her top assistants, told the HR commissioner that the DFCS "facility is not one we are proud of."  
State Rep. Al Williams said, "Few places have experienced the growth Liberty County has, but that growth comes at a cost. We are going to demonstrate that persistency pays off in state government."
Williams and Sen. Tommie Williams of Lyons set aside funds in a previous state budget to improve the DFCS facility, but the senator said, "It didn't stick that time, but we've got it in again. We've done all we can."
Both legislators expressed appreciation for the assistance of Rep. Ben Harbin of Evans, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, for his assistance.
The county DFCS director, Richard Chamberlain, proposed a 37,000 square foot facility to replace the present 14,000 square foot building.
The commissioner spoke briefly to a roomful of DFCS employees, praising them for doing "the hardest work with the hardest folk."
"We have to make sure people who never would have worked get a job and go to work," Chamberlain said.
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