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January 24--  The Toombs County Commission is providing $200,000 in sales tax revenue to help build an amphitheater complex in downtown Vidalia.

At its January meeting, the commissioners voted three to one to approve the request from Vidalia to help with the $750,000 project.

Commissioner Darriel Nobles voted against the measure and said he was afraid it would open the floodgates to similar requests from Lyons and Santa Claus.

Commission Chairman Blake Tillery believes the project will benefit the county as well as Vidalia.

"We're obviously trying to work with all the cities including Lyons, Vidalia and Santa Claus.  We hope this will be an economic engine to bring more people to downtown Vidalia.  What we want on the county level is more sales tax dollars because that means less property tax dollars and I think all of our residents want that.  That's why we think this may be a good investment," Tillery said.

The chairman also noted Vidalia is assisting the county with paving of the Ezra Taylor Road, a county road which provides access to a recreation complex owned by the city.

"The city has already voted to give us $350,000 toward the paving of that and they also donated their right of way.  That's another issue where we hope there will be some economic development out in that area.  As teams come in to play softball or whatever they're doing out there, those folks are going to have to eat and to have a place to stay.  That contributes to the sales tax base of the community and the more we make on sales taxes the less we have to have in property taxes," he said.

After the meeting Tuesay, the commissioners held a briefing for property owners on the Ezra Taylor Road who are being asked to provide right of way for paving of the road.

The commission also approved a resolution in conjunction with the county's three towns calling for a new five-year Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum during the May 20th primary election.  The current special purpose sales tax expires the end of this year.