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Mandy Cochran is Grady General’s employee of the year

Mandy Cochran is Grady General’s employee of the year
Mandy Cochran is the 2014-2015 Employee of the Year at Grady General Hospital. The honor was announced during the hospital’s annual employee picnic recently.
Cochran began working at Grady General Hospital in 2010 as a speech language pathologist in the hospital’s rehabilitation department, where she still works today.

City gets less money from state for paving, but nearly seven miles of streets will be resurfaced

The city of Cairo will receive less state money to assist with street resurfacing in fiscal year 2015-2016, but that is not stopping the city council from tackling an ambitious street resurfacing project.
On Monday night the city council authorized Mayor Bobby Burns to execute the Georgia Department of Transportation Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) application.

Council eliminates cap on package stores in Cairo

The Cairo City Council voted 3-2-1 Monday night to lift a restriction on the number of liquor stores within the corporate limits.
Previously, city code restricted the number of package stores to one for every 3,000 residents, which based on the city's population, allowed up to three locations.

Council forced to delay fire truck purchase until financing is set

A possible kink in the city's plan to pay for a new fire engine resulted in the Cairo City Council tabling action on awarding a bid for the new vehicle.
The 2015-2016 operating budget includes $450,000 for a fire truck and $60,000 for equipment.
Cairo City Manager Chris Addleton had proposed financing the purchase and paying the debt with Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax revenue earmarked for public safety equipment.

Council opts for larger capacity ground storage tank at airport

The city of Cairo will soon invest just over $500,000 for a new ground storage tank for the new water plant being constructed at the Cairo Municipal Airport.
Bids for the project were opened on July 9 and presented to the city council Monday night for its consideration.
As an alternate bid, the bidders were requested to bid on a 750,000 gallon capacity tank in addition to the 500,000 gallon tank.

JDA just months away from paying off $450,000 loan

A $450,000 Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) that was obtained by Grady EMC for the Grady County Joint Development Authority will be paid off in September, authority members were told this week.
The loan was made to the JDA in Oct. 2005 and was a zero interest loan that the authority used to complete the former Higdon Furniture Co. project.

VFD Chief Phillips proposes aggressive three-year plan

Grady County Fire Chief Richard Phillips outlined for the Grady County Commission on Tuesday an aggressive three year plan for the Volunteer Fire Department designed to lower the cost of fire insurance for county homeowners.
In order to reduce the Insurance Service Office fire class for the county Phillips says a minimum of four VFD substations with class A pumpers will need to be constructed and equipped.

Water and sewer line to be laid beneath Tired Creek Lake

A major infrastructure project at Tired Creek Lake was approved by Grady County Commissioners Tuesday night.
In preparation for water and sewer service around the lake county commissioners are pushing forward with the installation of pipe for future water and sanitary sewer underneath the lake bed and crossing the lake from east to west.

Bennett says assessors may address low values in some classes

The Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts recently released the 2014 sales ratio study and Grady County's ratio is among the three lowest in the state.
Grady County commissioners this week met with Grady County Chief Appraiser Susan Bennett and members of the Grady County Board of Tax Assessors to discuss the state's findings.

County commissioners look to maintain tax rate

Grady County commissioners are looking to hold the line on the ad valorem tax rate this year by setting a tentative millage rate of 13.265 mills last Thursday night.
Commissioners will set the final millage and formally adopt the 2016 operating budget at a called meeting on Thursday, July 29 at 9 a.m.
The tentative budget approved last week totals $11,977,550, which includes a three percent raise for county workers.

Suit filed against the city by a probationer is settled

A class action suit filed in April against the City of Cairo, Red Hills Community Probation LLC, and Margaret Crutchfield has been settled, according to attorney K. Todd Butler, who was representing the plaintiff in the case.
Butler said a court order was issued late last week to dismiss the suit and the city's insurance provider agreed to paying a gross settlement of $25,000 to T.W. Green Jr.

New way of taxing new vehicles means less sales taxes for schools

The removal of ad valorem taxes on new vehicle purchases is not only having an impact on the overall tax digest for the county, but it is also impacting the collection of Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Taxes, according to Grady County Board of Education Finance Officer Dan Broome.

Projected cost of new construction at Southside comes in high, savings sought

The estimated cost for construction of a new administrative building and classrooms at Southside Elementary School came in higher than school system officials had projected and now options to lower the overall cost are being evaluated, according to Grady County School Superintendent Dr. Kermit Gilliard.
Finance Officer Dan Broome said Tuesday that the school system did not want to spend more than $6.5 million on the new construction at Southside, but that the estimates received from a cost estimating firm Architect Ray Finger submitted his plans to for evaluation came in at over $7 million.

County’s tax digest drops more than $10 million

Grady County's tax digest decreased by over $10 million from 2014, which means a mill of tax will bring less tax revenue than in the past.
However, Grady County Board of Education members expressed a consensus to maintain the current school tax rate at 14.20 mills and dip into the school system's cash reserves to balance its 2015-2016 operating budget.

Childs urges commissioners to improve look of garbage sites

Grady County Commissioner Elwyn Childs says he wants to see the county do more to keep dumpsites clean.
"We've got a good county, a beautiful times. At times we have an ugly county. We've got the trashiest people in the world, I guess," Commissioner Childs said Tuesday.

School board favors Gilliard’s plan to hike supplements for teachers and coaches

When the Grady County Board of Education gives final approval to its 2015-2016 spending plan later this month there will be additional money in the budget not only for teachers, but also for athletic coaches.
Grady County School Superintendent Dr. Kermit Gilliard and Finance Officer Dan Broome outlined proposals Tuesday night to increase local teacher supplements and also increase supplements for athletic coaches.

Contract for Southside auditorium renovation is approved

The cost to renovate and restore the historic auditorium on the Southside Elementary School campus has been reduced and on Tuesday night the Grady County Board of Education authorized the board chairman and superintendent to execute a construction contract.
Board members met this week during a called meeting with Thomasville architect Raymond Finger to discuss the construction contract with Barber Contracting Company of Moultrie.

Baker and White are only two to apply for school board seat

The deadline for applications from candidates interested in filling the vacancy created by the recent resignation of Grady County District 5 School Board member Dave Dumas was at 4 p.m. last Friday, and only two candidates made application for the post.
As The Messenger reported last week, John White, an Office of Family Independence administrator with the business operation unit of the Department of Family and Children Services, had applied and, on Friday afternoon, retiring Cairo High School faculty member and veteran girls basketball coach Lucy Baker submitted her application.

Drinking and driving could prove to be a toxic holiday cocktail

The July Fourth holiday is typically the busiest travel period of the year. The 78-hour holiday period begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 2, and ends at midnight on Sunday, July 5.
During this period, the Georgia State Patrol will be conducting concentrated patrols and road checks throughout the state.
“Troopers will be out in full force, aggressively targeting motorists who put lives in danger by driving impaired, speeding, and not buckling up,” said Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety.

Grady’s unemployment remains among the lowest in the region

Jobless numbers released last week by the Georgia Department of Labor indicate a slight uptick in the unemployment numbers for Grady County in May.
Labor Department figures show the county's unemployment rate stood at 6.4 percent, up from 5.9 percent in April but down from 7.5 percent in May 2014.

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