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Leaders head to D.C. to lobby for funding
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As Hinesville continues to brace for growth, planning and zoning issues dominated Thursday’s city council meeting.
Among approvals for variance requests concerning new homes in Oak Crest and an approval for a minor lot adjustment, the city also heard and approved a request from David McDonald to provide water and sewer services to a part of Allenhurst.
“It’s not uncommon,” City Manager Billy Edwards said. “Allenhurst doesn’t have its own water and sewer facility.”
As a representative of Allenhurst, council member Amanda Cox said its city council wants to make sure the mobile home park is the only place that gets services.
Edwards said the smaller city probably sent Cox to ensure control of the development of their city. She was unavailable for comment Friday.
The council approved a request for McDonald to hook into service lines at a manhole near his mobile home park. As of right now, it would be the only place in Allenhurst to receive services.
Also, partially in an effort to prepare the city, Mayor Jim Thomas, City Manager Billy Edwards, and a handful of county leaders and Fort Stewart representatives are going to Washington, D.C., to meet with local representatives about the current legislative session. They will lobby for funds for things they deem essential for city growth. Fort Stewart’s 3rd Infantry Division is slated to get a fifth brigade which could bring as many as 10,000 new residents into the area in the next few years.
Funds for housing and infrastructure are some of the priorities as the leaders lobby national leaders.
The mayor, seeking as much help as he can for city planning, will also take a trip to Atlanta this weekend to request funds from the state for infrastructure projects. He invited Fort Stewart commander Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo to accompany him in hopes of confirming the city’s needs.
In other business Thursday, the council approved bids for nine new squad cars for the Hinesville Police Department. The 2009 Crown Victorias will cost just over $197,000. The council also approved a bid for one F-150 4x4 truck for CH2MHILL which will cost under 18,000 and one F-150 2x4 truck for the Inspections Department.
Toward the end of the meeting, council member Keith Jenkins proposed the idea of switching Meloney Drive from a one-way into two-way street.
“It hasn’t happened
yet, but I’m worried there might be a head on collision,” Jenkins said of drivers’ tendency to misuse the street. The motion was passed.
In other matters of public safety, the mayor once again expressed some concern about recent criminal behavior and patterns.
“Several things are up,” Thomas said. “Mostly we’re seeing domestic disputes and daytime burglaries. The police department is working on that.”
According to the statistics presented, burglaries for January have doubled over last year; there were 25 reported in 2008 and 51 last month.
The mayor said the current national financial crunch could be responsible for the recent spike in thefts.

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