While problems of poverty linger throughout the area, some disadvantaged residents will soon receive a helping hand from Liberty County and the state.
The Georgia Department of Community Affairs awarded nearly $300,000 to the Liberty County commissioners, who plan to use the grant to rehabilitate homes in dilapidated communities in the unincorporated area, chief financial officer Kim McGlothlin said.
The money will allow the county to participate in the Community Housing Investment Program, which will aid the people in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods by bringing their houses up to code, grant coordinator Carmela Moore said.
“We will focus on the McIntosh, Sunbury and Briar Bay areas along with other communities within the county,” she said. “Some of these people are living in houses that are unsafe and unsanitary, and we are going to help bring their homes up to code.”
In other news, solid waste director Dave Sapp is trying to facilitate a new trash collection system that would help clean up the county, and his plan may even save some money for Liberty County residents.
Sapp is currently focused on 107 houses in the unincorporated area, and he wants to offer them a polycart service (similar to that of Hinesville's) to create a more efficient trash collection system
However, he needs 800 residences to make the new system function properly, and he hopes Riceboro and Midway will help ensure it will be cost efficient.
This plan would also eliminate the three remaining dumpster sites in the county, he said.
“Those last three dump sites are very problematic for the county. They are illegally used by contractors and people from other counties,” Commissioner Marion Stevens said. “People vandalize them and light them on fire, and they are just an overall eyesore for the community.”
Meanwhile, McGlothlin and her financial team are finishing up a three-year state reporting mandate called GASBY 34.
Under this mandate, the infrastructure of the county (dating back to 1980) is being inventoried to assess how much its worth, she said.
This way the citizens will have a clearer idea on how the county uses its revenue on minimal and major expenditures, which includes construction and reconstruction efforts, she noted.