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August 15--  Four of Toombs County's six volunteer fire departments are now operating under the auspices of the county's Emergency Management Agency.

EMA Director Lynn Moore says the reorganization took effect August 1st and places fire departments in Normantown, East Toombs, South Thompson and New Branch under EMA.

He reports two other departments, those serving Cedar Crossing and the Marvin community, have decided to incorporate and operate independently.

{mosimage}Meanwhile, the Toombs County Commission voted Tuesday to allocate $14,000 in Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax money to pay for a used fire truck which is being assigned to the Normantown Fire Department.  Firemen Leon Hayes (left) and Robert Tillman are shown with the new vehicle.

The commissioners also voted to use $46,000 in sales tax revenue for striping of 28.5 miles of county roads and $2,000 for an ambulance radio.

Results of the annual county audit show the county has an on-hand balance of $7.5 million dollars which will be used for county operations the next 12 months.  Auditors say it costs an average of $700,000 a month to run the county and Chairman Buddy West noted the county has no need to borrow money to meet year-end expenses which he said was common practice a few years ago.

The Commission is also starting a search for a new county manager to succeed Doug Eaves who resigned earlier this year.  Commissioners Jeff McCormick and Louie Powell are leading the effort.  Powell says they will coordinate the search with incoming chairman Blake Tillery and commissioner Wendell Dixon and will use referrals from the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia as part of the effort.