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January 14--  A big challenge facing the Toombs County Board of Commissioners in 2019 is what to do about overcrowding at the county courthouse and jail.

davidsikesAccording to Commission Chairman David Sikes, "It's come to a head.  We're out of space.  We have about 20,000 square feet in our courthouse and the feasibility study we commissioned in 2018 came back and said we need 60,000 square feet."  There's also the issue of a 1960's vintage heating and air system in the courthouse basement, "It's an underground system and I don't how it has continued to run, but to replace it would be a million dollars.  That's just not feasible for us to do in a courthouse we need to replace."

The county jail is also overcrowded and has the Commission looking at options, "We actually have six options, three for the courthouse and three for expanding the jail.  The issue we have to look at is what's the best way to pay for it.  Expansions cost money and we don't want to burden the taxpayers any more than they're already burdened.  We're going to work hard at that and see what we can do to practically pay for this," the chairman said.

In 2018 Chairman Sikes reports a number of projects were completed while at the same time balancing the county budget, "One of the things I'm most proud about this past year is another balanced budget.  We were able to lower the millage rate and still have a balanced budget and I commend the Commissioners for the job they've done and continue to do.  We've got a new addition to the board, Tommy Rollins, who is an extremely business-minded and people-minded man, and we're glad to have him on board.  I feel he is going to be great."

Among 2018 accomplishments:

* Completion of a new public works building and removal of the old building near the courthouse to make space for more parking.

* A new park was built in Normantown.

* Improvements were made to the county Recreation Department football and softball grounds and parking area near Toombs Central.

* A third of the Sheriff's Department vehicle fleet was replaced.

* Pendleton Creek Road and the Bud Jordan Road were paved, the Lyons-Center Road was widened and 25% of the paved roads in the county were re-striped.

* A new ambulance was placed in service for the county EMS and four transport ventilators were purchased for the ambulances.

* Joined the cities in initiating a comprehensive transportation study in order to develop a long term transportation plan for the county.