The Liberty County Board of Commissioners heard a petition from JC Vision and Associates, Inc. at its mid-month meeting Thursday.
According to Dana Ingram, executive director of the nonprofit organization, the metropolitan statistical area of Hinesville-Fort Stewart saw the 12th-highest growth in serious delinquency rates, out of 381 MSAs nationwide.
“This is something that we’re not talking about in the community,” Ingram said in a follow-up interview. “Georgia only has 14 MSAs, and we’re No. 1. Why are we not talking about and addressing this issue?”
Ingram beseeched the county for help in advertising her organization’s services, which are free of charge.
“A person may come in with a mortgage default; we will go ahead and speak on their behalf to the lender,” she said. “Nine times out of 10, they’ve already tried with their lender. They don’t know the lingo … and they’re not able to get that loan modification.
“With our help, we can go directly to the lender, we speak directly to the lender and are able to get that loan modification,” Ingram continued.
Ingram said that her organization also can help clients by directing them to — and helping them apply for — various government assistance programs that they may not be aware of.
County Administrator Joey Brown said that he would look into possible avenues of advertising, which could include county-issued paystubs or a link on the county’s website.
Ingram said that she has been trying to speak before the Hinesville City Council for some time, to no avail.
“I think this is really something that needs to be put before the city council so that we can identify what we, as a city, can do to overcome this,” she said. “I can only do so much — I’m putting band-aids on the problem.”
Information on JC Vision and Associates may be found at www.jcvision.com or by calling 912-877-4243.
The board heard a monthly finance update from county chief financial officer Kim McGlothlin.
McGlothlin informed the board that at the end of May, two departments were over budget — risk management and juvenile court. However, she said that other departments coming in under budget would make up for the overage.
County engineer Trent Long updated the board on several county projects, including restriping at MidCoast Regional Airport.
Long said that due to several large contracts available in north Georgia, contractors have been less than eager to jump on the relatively small restriping job.
District 1 Commissioner Marion Stevens asked Long whether making the project bigger would entice more contractors to take the job.
“If you made it a little bit bigger, it may make it more attractive,” Long said. “But, it’s tedious work. It’s not a small job as far as the amount of paint goes.”
Long said that the restriping project is worth approximately $10,000. The commission agreed to look into other jobs that could possibly be attached to the bid to entice a contractor to sign on.