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Vidalia Proceeding With Rec Area Project
Monday, 09 February 2009

February 10--  The Vidalia City Council has given the green light for the city to start work on a new recreational complex on the Ezra Taylor Road between Vidalia and Lyons. 

Rec Department Director Tommy Sasser says Phase One of the project will include two softball fields and the infrastructure for the future complex containing multiple fields including soccer, tennis courts and a swimming pool, a fishing area and exercise trails.  McLendon Construction will do the work for about $875,000.  Sasser hopes the first phase will be finished by April of next year.  Completion of the entire project is expected to take years.

Meanwhile, city fathers got some discouraging revenue reports at their Monday night meeting.  Collection of sales tax revenue was down about 18 percent in November, 2008 compared November, 2007.  The city has yet to receive the state allocations from this past December and January.

Hotel/motel taxes are also down about four percent, and the city is planning to audit at least three local motels to make sure everybody is paying their fair share.

And, according to city records, people are buying more booze.  Alcohol tax collections in January were up 18 percent over January of last year.

At the same time, Vidalia Police Chief Frank Waits reports the overall crime rate in Vidalia was down last year.  The only two areas to show an increase were robberies, which more than doubled, and aggravated assaults which only saw a slight increase.  Felony arrests were down and there were fewer armed robberies, burglaries and rapes.

The city council has approved an additional $50,000 to remove abandoned houses in Vidalia.  Since the program started a few years back, Vidalia has spent $239,000 to remove 134 houses which were eyesores in the community.

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