PERRY -- In a show of unity, the Houston County Commission honored longtime Bibb County Commission Chairman Sam Hart at its meeting Tuesday.
Hart was joined by his wife and commissioners Joe Allen, Lonzy Edwards, Gary Bechtel and Bert Bivins.
Houston commission Chairman Tommy Stalnaker thanked Hart for his work in bringing the two counties together to reach common goals, such as working toward solving encroachment around Robins Air Force Base. Both Bibb and Houston have been involved in an effort to buy nonconforming properties in the crash zones.
No community is an island, Hart said.
He went on to say he would like to see the Middle Georgia area work together more.
Although Bibb County is combining with the city of Macon at the end of the year and Macon Mayor Robert Reichert will take over as head of the combined government, Hart said he still planned to be around.
Also at the meeting was former Houston commission Chairman Ned Sanders, who attended his first meeting in three years.
Sanders said a few words acknowledging Hart and his achievements.
Commissioners gave Hart a framed proclamation along with a few gifts.
Houston receives GEMA grant
The Houston County Commission unanimously accepted a $250,000 grant from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency for evacuation and shelter equipment.
Fire Chief Jimmy Williams, Houston Countys Emergency Management Agency director, said the equipment would also be available for day-to-day use for road closures and big events such as the Georgia National Fair and the Fourth of July fireworks show.
The funds cover a 3/4-ton pickup truck, an all-terrain vehicle used to pull a 32-foot flatbed trailer with 10 mobile LED traffic boards, and two traffic computers.
Also approved was an additional $20,815 for design work to complete the engineering of Phase 3 of the Carl Vinson Parkway improvements from Elberta Road to Dunbar Road.
The previous contract with Stantec Consulting Services was for $98,280. The new cost will be $119,095.
In addition, commissioners unanimously approved an extra day off on New Years Eve for Houston County employees.
Commissioner Tom McMichael said the act would do a lot to boost spirits. Its the little things we can do that goes a long way, he said.