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Leaders offer state of county at Chamber meet
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County Administrator Joey Brown gave a state of the county review at last Thursday’s Progress through People Luncheon held at the Liberty County Performing Arts Center. The event was hosted by the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Trent Long Engineering.

County Commission Chairman Donald Lovette said the county is looking to mirror a campaign that has been successful in Gwinnett County.

“We will have a Partnership Liberty,” Lovette promised.

The idea is to have a better collaboration between current community resources that will help the county grow and expand current resources. The idea was a topic of discussion during this year’s county-wide event. Liberty Regional Medical Center Executive Director Mike Hester mentioned the formation of a unified health care group to meet the needs of the county’s patients. Partnership Liberty seeks to build better partnerships in health care, youth programs, education, transportation, employment and other areas.

Count Administrator Joey Brown reviewed the budget. He said the county is moving forward with a youth program which will one day include a youth council.

He said the county finished several projects during the past year. They opened a new animal control office on Lee Place Road, opened Gill Park in Fleming and have completed interchange lighting projects at the I-95 exits at Riceboro and Midway.

Brown said the Mid-Coast Regional Airport runway extension project is slated for a ribbon cutting Sept. 14. The county has extended the runway 1,500 feet. Brown said the army did some extensive renovations as well. “And the once abandoned airport is now totally revitalized,” he added.

Brown said the county’s 9-1-1- system wide updates will go live soon making it next generation compliant.

Brown also reported that the emergency reserve revenues benefitted the county during the recovery phase of Hurricanes Matthew and Irma, and the snowfall in January. He acknowledged his staff’s hard work in handling all FEMA reimbursement items which means the county suffered a net loss of less than $200,000 for those weather events.

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