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Senator Williams Gets Assurances
Thursday, 08 January 2009

January 8--  Senator Tommie Williams of Lyons is working to keep state budget woes from costing jobs in the local area.

After talking with the Department of Corrections this week, he's still confident the Montgomery Correctional Institute in Mount Vernon will remain open.  "In conversation with the liaison with the legislature, he told me Montgomery County will remain open and the governor is not looking for additional cuts out of the Department of Corrections," he said.  The department recently got a new Commissioner and Senator Williams has plans to meet with him in the future about the prison, meanwhile, he says "as it is now, the Montgomery County Correctional Institute will remain open."

Senator Williams met with the Department of Natural Resources Thursday in Atlanta and reports discussions about privatizing Little Ocmulgee State Park in McRae are off the table for now.  "The contract on the golf course has been renewed with Ray Gentry who has been running that golf course for a long time.  I was told by the Commissioner they have no plans to privatize at this point.  The park and the golf course are loosing about $400,000 a year, so we need to make some adjustments and we'll look at that again in the future, but right now we'll operate as we always have," he said.

And while the Department of Transportation is running a multimillion dollar deficit, Senator Williams says he's been promised money is available to buy right-of-way for the U.S. One four-lane project north of Lyons.

"I had a very stern conversation with the DOT Commissioner and she assured me that in this year we will begin purchasing right-of-way from I-16 south to Lyons.  It's about a $30 million project and I'm going to insist that she lives up to what she told me," he reports.

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