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January 4--  City leaders in Lyons are hoping 2018 is the year they can make Toombs Corporate Center north of the city more competitive when it comes to attracting new industry.

willisnesmith2Mayor Willis NeSmith is hopeful the city can add capacity to its North Wastewater Treatment Plant, "We think we can handle a one million gallon per day plant and that's what we're looking at right now." 

Bids for a 1.5 million gallon capacity plant came in way above budget, so the city engineer is looking at cutbacks, "The million-and-a-half plant is just way too much for us, so we're cutting back and going with a million gallon plant.  If we have to cut back with that, we can still refurbish the plant and still have enough capacity, however, we really have to look to the future for the industry that we can get to come in.  That's why we need to look at the one million gallon plant and I think it's feasible, but we've really got to cut some numbers on it.  It's all about jobs and that's why we're here, to get it done," he said.

The other stumbling block is the availability of more natural gas for industries that need it,"The two things they are really looking at is natural gas and the water and sewer.  The natural gas line is something the Development Authority is working on.  It's a regional thing and is something we've all got to work on and we're going to bust it to get our sewer plant upgraded," Mayor NeSmith said.

The city is also rebidding a community development project that came in too high for street improvements on Stewart Avenue.

Last year the city was able to improve traffic near the Toombs County High School with construction of Parker Street Extension and lane changes on Bulldog Road where it intersects with Highway 280.

The mayor is also pleased with successes in 2017 regarding the Tales of the Altamaha folk play, free admittance to the Real Squeal BBQ and Music Festival which boosted attendance and revenue, and a banner year for Southeast Georgia Soap Box Derby participants who brought home three world championship trophies from the international race in Akron, Ohio.

"We ended up very well.  We've had a good bit of accomplishments this year and that's the one thing all of us on the council want and that's quality of life.  We want a good police force, we want to try and keep taxes low and give our citizens good infrastructure with good water, sewer and roads, just everything we can do," he observed.

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