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Sales Tax Revenue Down in Vidalia
Tuesday, 14 July 2009
July 14-- Sales tax collections for the city of Vidalia are down.  At the July meeting of Vidalia City Council, Finance Director Bill Bedingfield reported a 2.94% reduction of  Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax collections. Bedingfield says the decrease is likely to continue into 2010, but will not threaten the progression of city projects that are funded by the Special Purpose Tax.

"We're happy that we're only down 2.94% right now. But, we've been making the necessary cuts on the expense side of the ledger to make sure that we will make the funding necessary for the current projects we have on the books," says Bedingfield.

The city council has suspended the  business license for the local nightspot, Club Spice, on Highway 292 West in Vidalia. Major Roger Callaway with the Vidalia Police Department said six complaints were filed over the July 4th weekend against the club. Further discussion of the suspension will take place pending an investigation by the Vidalia Police Department for alleged illegal alcohol and drug activity at the facility.
In other news around the area, the merger of Swainsboro Tech and Southeastern Tech was completed Tuesday after a ceremony at the Vidalia campus.

STC President, Cathy Mitchell, says both schools will save around half a million dollars through the merger by cutting back on certain positions.

"An example I can give you, is the business office on the Vidalia campus had about 12 people and the business office on the Swainsboro campus had about 10. Through attrition, we're down to about 12 people in the business office now. So, we will be able to do the same amount of work, hopefully, with 12 people that 22 were originally doing," explains Mitchell.
Mitchell also says the greatest advantage for both schools will be the greater diversity of programs that will now be offered to all students.

"The benefit will be that more money will be put back into the classroom. We will have more money to hire instructors because we will have fewer administrators. Also, we will have more of a diversity of programs for the students. For example, we have a commercial truck-driving program on the Vidalia campus, but not on the Swainsboro campus. At the same token, we have a forestry program on the Swainsboro campus, but not on the Vidalia campus. So now the students can have the benefits of both of these programs," says Mitchell.
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