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Ezra Taylor Road Paving OBE
Monday, 03 August 2009

August 3--  Any plans to pave the Ezra Taylor Road between Lyons and Vidalia are being shelved.  At a workshop meeting of the Toombs County Commission, it was reported the state Department of Transportation plans for a U.S. One By-pass have it running parallel to the Ezra Taylor Road and make paving it "overcome by events."  Several years ago Toombs County agreed to pave the road to improve access for a new recreation complex being built by the city of Vidalia.

Officials say Senator Tommie Williams of Lyons is trying to get the DOT to get the project started within the next two years.  The by-pass has been on the drawing board for years and has shared the same fate as the four-laning of U.S. One from 1-16 to Lyons.

Commissioners also report they expect the DOT to resurface the Lyons-Center Road in the next 18 months.

Meanwhile, Toombs County Manager Doug Eaves informs commissioners it is illegal for the county to provide space for non-profit organizations without charging them rent at current market rates.  This could impact the local Red Cross Service Unit in the Ross Bowen Building and the Family Intervention Center in the Grady Street Building, both in Lyons, and the Habitat for Humanity office on Morris Street in Vidalia.

Commission chairman Buddy West says the county may need the space more than the rent money.  He believes overcrowding in the courthouse could be relieved by using space owned by the county but currently used by outside agencies. 

Toombs Commissioners are also considering options regarding funding of recreation programs.  One of the options would reduce the amount of funding the county provides to Lyons and Vidalia for recreation and require the cities only use the money for capital improvements, not maintenance and operations.  Other options would be a joint recreation program with the cities for all residents of the county, and another would be a county recreation board serving only the unincoporated areas of the county.

On the revenue front, officials are working on the county's 2010 budget against a backdrop of falling revenues in 2009.  Eaves says overall revenue collections this year are down 15 percent and sales tax revenue is down nearly six percent.

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