The Liberty County Board of Commissioners heard a request from Coastal Georgia Area Community Action Authority Executive Director Tres Hamilton at its mid-month meeting Thursday night.
Hamilton solicited the commission to apply for a $500,000 grant on behalf of the CGACAA, a nonprofit organization that provides services to low-income families. The grant would help fund a new facility to replace the dilapidated building off of E.B. Cooper Highway in Riceboro.
“It’s an extremely old facility,” Hamilton said, noting that the CGACAA has operated out of its current location for 26 years. “It has deteriorated to the point that it no longer meets our health and safety requirements, as required by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.”
The new facility would house the many programs offered by CGACAA, including its Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Hamilton said there are 151 students enrolled in the Head Start program and 32 students in Early Head Start — numbers that the CGACAA is looking to expand upon.
Hinesville Assistant City Manager Kenny Howard also spoke on behalf of the CGACAA, as he sits on its board of directors.
“This is for those folks who can least afford to be given a short stick when it comes to education,” he said. “They are the low-income populace of our county, and they are in dire need of assistance.”
According to Hamilton, the Early Head Start program serves children aged 6 weeks to 3 years, while the Head Start program serves kids ages 4 and 5.
The commission will decide whether it will apply for the grant or not at its next meeting.
Howard then presented the commission with proposals for playground equipment at Liberty Independent Troop Park in Hinesville.
He recommended acceptance of a bid from Game Time Inc. that totaled $107,585. Although Game Time was not the lowest bidder of the three that submitted bids, the low bidder did not meet all the requests of the proposal.
The board unanimously approved acceptance of Game Time’s bid.
The commission also heard a monthly financial report from county Chief Financial Officer Kim McGlothlin.
She informed the board that an amendment to the county’s budget was needed, due to two unexpected revenue sources. She explained that a recent grant received by the county’s wellness program included $2,500 more than expected, and an increase in revenue as well as an increase in the wellness program’s expenditure would need to be reflected in the budget.
The county also received an unexpected $11,000 in insurance proceeds for the loss of a piece of fire-imaging equipment. McGlothlin said the fire coordinator planned on using the funds to replace the equipment, so an increase in revenue and increase in expenditure would be necessary to balance the budget. Like the case of the wellness-grant money, the line items would net each other out.
The motion to amend the budget to reflect the changes passed, 5-1, with District 4 Commissioner Pat Bowen opposed.
Also Thursday, the commission:
• heard a report on the county’s newly updated website from Clint Stanley, the county’s director of information technology.
• received an update on various county projects from county engineer Trent Long.
• unanimously voted to appoint County Administrator Joey Brown as Liberty’s Association County Commissioners of Georgia voting delegate.