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March 22--  A Savannah design firm has been selected to help Toombs County come up with options regarding the county courthouse and detention center.

At its March meeting Thursday, the Toombs County Commission named Hussey Gay Bell & Deyoung International headed by former State Senator Eric Johnson to take on the project.

County manager John Jones says the next step is to meet with the company and make some decisions on the scope of the plans, "What do we need to look like for the next  50 years?  The current courthouse was built in 1964.  We're out of space and we've got to see what our options are.  Do we need to add on to it or build somewhere else and that includes the jail, too. We have a 123-bed facility and we're running most days at near capacity.  We've got to do something to increase that capacity or find another way to house prisoners," he said.

newsomeThe commissioners honored a 40-year employee of Toombs County, Charles Newsome, for his service at the county landfill. (L-R) Commissioners Jeff McCormick, Wendell Dixon, Chairman David Sikes, Charles Newsome, Commissioners Alfred Cason and Darriel Nobles.

A third of the Sheriff's Department vehicle fleet is being replaced at a cost of $357,871.00.  Woody Folsom Automotive is providing six trucks, three cars and a van while Brannen Ford is supplying two used Crown Vics.

Southeastern Center Line of Vidalia won a contract for $102,838.75 for striping of just over 26.5 miles of county roads including five miles on Aimwell Road.

Progressive Landscaping got a contract for $44,815 to construct a park in Normantown.

Central Fence Company in Swainsboro was awarded $24,528 to build a fence around the new county public works building while Southern Davis of Vidalia got $7,570 to provide office furniture for the building.'

County EMA Director Lynn Moore informed commissioners the county has submitted claims to the federal government for $115,000 regarding work accomplished during Hurricane Irma.  He expects the county will be reimbursed about 85% of that amount, however, no one knows when the money will be received.

Citizens were reminded this Saturday is tire amnesty day at the Toombs County landfill.  Private citizens may turn in old car and truck tires at no charge on Saturday.