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Liberty's city leaders offer municipal progress reports
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Mayors from the cities of Flemington and Midway, and Riceboro’s mayor pro-tem presented updates on their cities’ projects and progress during a Liberty County Chamber of Commerce eggs & issues breakfast Wednesday at the Liberty County Performing Arts Center.

Flemington Mayor Paul Hawkins said numerous housing developments are being built or will break ground soon within his city’s limits. One of these developments will include sidewalks, playgrounds, walking trails and 49 acres of green space. However, the mayor stressed, Flemington is not getting a Publix supermarket. The lot cleared on Highway 84 is the future site for Flemington Village, he said.

Hawkins said Flemington City Council has discussed imposing impact fees on developers to help offset any future increased costs of services to residents. Flemington provides its residents trash pickup, and contracts with the city of Hinesville for water and sewer and fire protection.

He said a $1.5 million Georgia Department of Transportation project for a signal at McLarry’s curve on Highway 84 will start in 2019 and should finish in 2021. Hawkins also spoke about the council’s ongoing workshops to revise its city charter, which was originally drafted in 1941.

“We still had chain gang labor on there,” he said of the original charter.

Midway Mayor Levern Clancy, Jr., spoke about the city’s new city hall construction project. Clancy said the city has hired a new city attorney, Reginald Martin, and a new police officer and has purchased a police vehicle. He said they have upgraded computer systems in the utility department and municipal court, and have addressed drainage issues in several subdivisions and are prioritizing road improvements. Midway city leaders continue to discuss the county’s new fire protection plan, Clancy said. He added a community hall meeting on the topic will soon be scheduled.

Clancy also announced a Burger King restaurant will be built in Midway.

Riceboro Mayor pro-tem Tommy Williams, Sr., said his city is also gaining new businesses.

“We’re getting a Dollar General store,” Williams announced.

Williams spoke about a 600,000 gallon water tank to be installed in McIntosh County at a well site that will provide water to Riceboro. This project should help with future growth and sustain new businesses coming into the city, the mayor pro-tem said. The well project began on Oct. 29 and should be finished in October 2019, Williams said.

He said the city’s Revitalization Area Strategy (RAS) application was approved by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. This means the city can apply each year instead of every other year for Community Development Block Grants and other grants from DCA, Williams said. The city has received a $690,000 Community Home Investment Program grant to help increase affordable and safe housing in the city and to help with home rehabilitation, according to Williams.

The mayor pro-tem urged chamber members to attend the annual RiceFest event in Riceboro, which concludes today. RiceFest celebrates Gullah Geechee culture in Liberty County.

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