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Commission hears from Coastal Workforce Service
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The Liberty County Commission on Thursday heard updates on road improvements and the possible Sunday alcohol-sales referendum.

County Engineer Trent Long told commissioners that proposed improvements to the intersection of Bill Carter Road and Highway 84 would cost roughly $200,000.

Commissioner Marion Stevens asked if the state would possibly contribute funds toward the project, since it could be considered a safety improvement.

“We could apply for safety money,” Long replied.

Long then explained that the Georgia Department of Transportation has a pot of “safety” money that municipalities may petition for. He said that a large portion of the pot is left over Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant funding that local governments didn’t request.

“There’s a surprising number of municipalities that don’t apply for the LMIG money,” Long said.

The commission also heard from County Attorney Kelly Davis, who briefed the board on a potential Sunday package-sales referendum.

Davis said that, if the board approved it, the resolution to approve package-alcohol sales on Sunday would be sent to the board of elections ahead of the November election. If the voters approved the resolution, Sunday sales would go into effect the first Sunday after the election, Davis said.

Davis also said that no additional licenses would be required for businesses selling package-alcohol products, since the resolution basically would just extend the legal selling hours to include 12:30- 11:30 p.m. on Sundays.

Commission Chairman Donald Lovette said the board would plan to make a decision by April.

Also Thursday, the commissioners heard from Odie Donald, executive director of Coastal Workforce Services.

Donald explained that his service acts as the administrative arm of the Coastal Workforce Investment Board, which receives funds from the federal government under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.

Donald said the state distributes the federal funds to 20 regional service areas throughout Georgia. The Coastal Workforce Service is the “administrative entity” for Region 12, which covers Liberty, Long, Bryan, Bulloch, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, McIntosh and Screven counties, according to Donald.

The CWIB’s primary mission is to provide job training and placement services, mainly through “one-stop service” centers, Donald said. He said that the CWIB serves anyone in need of employment or training, but puts emphasis on special populations such as veterans or ex-offenders.

Donald said his organization is charged with producing a high-quality workforce, and he challenged the commission to help raise awareness of the CWS and the Hinesville Career Center throughout Liberty County.

“You send us the people, (and) we’ll make sure they get skilled and employed,” he said.

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