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Stimulus funds adding city police, firefigter
Mayor pro tem delivers State of Hinesville address
Charles Frasier
Charles Frasier - photo by Courier file photo
More police officers, a firefighter, road work and other projects are coming to Hinesville, thanks to the federal stimulus money.
That is the message Mayor Pro Tem Charles Frasier gave in a State of Hinesville Address at the Chamber of Commerce Progress Through People Luncheon Thursday. He delivered the message in place of Mayor Jim Thomas, who was scheduled to speak, but who was in Washington, D.C., lobbying on behalf of the city.
Thomas and other officials decided on the trip in the last few days, after learning the Army is reconsidering whether to assign a fifth brigade to Fort Stewart’s 3rd Infantry Division.
So in his place, Frasier spoke to local businesses owners and representatives about other city happenings.
Topping the list of a string of city projects fueled by stimulus funds, Frasier said the city recently got word it can create more public safety positions.
“We’re going to hire five more officers with the stimulus funds,” Frasier said.
He also said one more position with the fire department will be created.
Road projects are also on the city’s plate of awaited improvements and developments. In the coming months, he said, they’re anticipating the completion of the Memorial Drive project, widening of Airport Road and work on Frank Cochran into Fort Stewart.
Frasier was also excited to announce a complement to the new road projects — a public transit system.
“We hope to bring about operation by November,” he said.
Other major city construction projects, not necessarily tied to stimulus money, but on the forefront of the council’s mind include planning for a new library (possibly in conjunction with a new Armstrong Atlantic State University Liberty Center campus), continuing work with Irene B. Thomas Park, the construction of a new city hall, as well as others.
“We were successful in getting a VA clinic,” he said. “We’ve found a 20,000 square foot building.”
In financial matters, Frasier reported the city’s finances are solid and that growth is continuing.
“We’ve had a 31 percent city revenue increase since 2004,” he said. “Our budget is balanced and is financially sound.”
Frasier said another priority for the council is lobbying on behalf of the city for resources and money.
“We go to Atlanta and Washington a lot, and people ask why do you go?” Frasier said. “If you’re never seen, you’re never heard.”
Frasier said the council will keep the public updated on details surrounding the 5th BCT’s pending arrival as he gets them from the mayor who was expected to return to Hinesville on Thursday.
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