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Liberty ranked 16th in state for DUI’s
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The Liberty County Board of Commissioners held their regular meeting on Aug. 3, where they tabled a proposed firearms discharge ordinance until the August mid-month meeting. The Board of Commissioners is still tweaking the proposal and also wanted to have representatives from the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department input on how the ordinance would be enforced. 

The Board later learned Liberty County has earned a bad distinction.

“We are 16th in the state as far as DUI arrests,” said Liberty County Sheriff’s Office Major Bill Kirkendall adding the Georgia Department of Highway Safety deemed Liberty County a “hot spot,” making it eligible for a special grant. 

Kirkendall said he applied and is now requesting the Board approve the authorization to receive $300,000 from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. The Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic (H.E.A.T.) Grant, will be used to place three additional deputies and fully equipped new vehicles on the road to focus specifically on highway safety within the County. 

“From 2016 to 2020 there are on average 1,796 crashes in Liberty County,” Kirkendall said. “An average of 644 injuries per year and an average of 15 fatalities per year.” He said the County had 35 traffic fatalities in 2019 alone.

He said there is a big problem with crashes and incidents of DUI that need to be addressed. 

The grant covers the initial purchase of three fully equipped Chevy Tahoes, the majority of the salaries and expenses for three new deputies. The grant is for a three-year period but the County can re-apply and would most likely receive a second grant. The Board approved the authorization to receive the funds. 

Also at the meeting, County Attorney Kelly Davis, presented EMS Agreements as the County prepares to take over the management of EMS from Liberty Regional Medical Center. The final approvals will be considered at the August mid-month meeting. 

The Board of Commissioners approved an award of $90,258.02 to Sittle Construction for roadway improvements to Olive Street and Becky Street. 

The Board approved agreements with the City of Flemington and the City of Midway to conduct municipal elections pursuant to Georgia law. 

David Holton presented information on the Liberty County Community Complex Gym, formally called Samuel B. Harris Gym, is back on the action plan to go forward with restoration and rebuilding. Holton said the entire gym floor needs to come out because it is completely rotted. He went over some plan designs and modifications to the former plans which are more than a decade old. 

Mike Parker presented the renderings and designs for the Midway EMS building. The building will have room for eight personnel in the building per shift. The building is designed so that every room has easy access to the ambulance bays for quick departures. 

County Administrator Joey Brown said they are working with the Liberty County Development Authority for portions of the project and the water and sewer estimates for installation are around $145,000.

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