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March 10--  Three of Toombs County's six volunteer fire departments are consolidating.

The new North Toombs County Fire Department includes the departments from East Toombs, Normantown and South Thompson.  

"Like everything else, consolidation is a good thing if it's done for the right reason," according to Toombs County Commission Chairman Buddy West.

The chairman says East Toombs Chief Johnny Moser made the proposal to the county commission.  "They are combining forces and manpower.  They've recruited about 17 new members at South Thompson.  It's for efficiency to be able to better cover the unincorporated areas of the county," West says.

The other three departments in the county are Cedar Crossing, Marvin Yancy and New Branch.

The County Commission agreed to buy the departments just over $8,000 worth of pagers and radioes at its meeting Tuesday.

It also approved contracts with the cities of Vidalia, Lyons and Santa Claus for the Toombs County Board of Elections to conduct elections for those municipalities.  County manager Doug Eaves says each town will pay a base rate of $8,000 for each election plus labor costs at each voting precinct.