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Financial topics dominate Liberty County Board of Commissioners meeting
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A finance report that included Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax funds — and a rough budget estimate — and a major road project bid were among topics the Liberty County Board of Commissioners discussed during its Thursday meeting.

During her finance report, Chief Financial Officer Kim McGlothlin discussed the amount of SPLOST funds left for each district and said no more revenue was going in the SPLOST V funds.

“So what you have available, that’s it,” she said.

District 1 Commissioner Marion Stevens Sr. asked McGlothlin about Hinesville’s remaining SPLOST funds for road projects. He then asked his fellow commissioners whether Hinesville had already selected projects for its money.

“I think because what I’m looking at is some of these projects that we have out in the rural area. Because if they want to, say, play fair, they ought to come on and help us because they’re always looking for help from the commissioners,” he said.

He added that Walthourville has more of the county’s road money than any commissioner district in the county. “So it’s something to be looked at,” Stevens added.

The county’s fiscal year ended in June, and McGlothlin gave the commissioners a rough estimate of the year’s budget numbers. The county had collected $26.7 million and spent $26.3 million so far, leaving about $360,000.

Project bid delayed
County engineer Trent Long presented a bid for the Bill Carter Road intersection project.

Sikes Brothers Inc. was the only bid to be received out of five sent out. Sikes’ bid was $394,555. The county will also receive $200,000 in Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant money from the Georgia Department of Transportation for the project.

“Which leaves $194,555.20 plus the 10 percent contingency that would need to be budgeted through sales tax in Commissioner Stevens’ home district,” Long said.

The bid items did not seem wrong or overpriced, Long said, adding that he has seen construction-job prices rise.

“I don’t think that if we put this back on the street we’re going to get any lower numbers at all,” he said.

But Stevens was concerned with the price difference from what was originally budgeted for the project, $319,510, according to the meeting agenda.

The board decided to wait until its August meeting to determine whether to accept the bid.

Green infrastructure

Liberty County has been picked to be a pilot community for a grant project under the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division’s Coastal Management Program, which is based in Brunswick.

Starting in October and over the next five years, DNR will research how green infrastructure, such as using vegetation in parking lots, could reduce flooding in Liberty County.

“And hopefully through this project. we can demonstrate how these techniques can really help the community become more resilient to flooding,” said Kelly Hill, coastal resource specialist with the Coastal Resources Division.

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