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Byron seeking incentive funds to help create jobs

Telegraph correspondent

BYRON -- City Council approved measures Tuesday that likely will see $360,000 come to the city to create 132 jobs for roadway and water infrastructure improvements related to the coming Peach Regional Health Center.

The city is seeking funds through the state’s Employment Incentive Program. Robert Smith of the Middle Georgia Regional Commission, which is coordinating efforts to get the grant, told the council that state officials likely would go along with the request.

Smith gave council members the project estimate in dollars and workers needed.

The city previously sought the grant, but Smith said state officials asked to see cooperative agreements between Byron and Peach County before moving ahead in the process. Those agreements have now been finalized, and Tuesday’s action by the council moves the request back to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs which oversees the EIP.

Byron surrounds the unincorporated Peach County location of the new medical facility.

In seeking the grant, Mayor Larry Collins expressed the city’s commitment to the roadway and sewer improvements project the grant will pay for and to owning and maintaining the public sewer infrastructure to be developed at the project site around the medical facility.

Smith and Collins said the grant required no matching funds from the city.

In other matters, Councilman Farrell Bass recommended an addition to Tuesday’s council agenda to hear from Rusty Adams.

Adams recounted to the council details of his termination from his part-time and volunteer role at the fire department in May.

Adams said he is appealing his firing to the council after being told he had no standing for appeal because he was not a full-time employee.

Adams said he thinks there were irregularities related to the handling of his appeal and the revision of department appeal policies. He asked that council members look into his case.

The council said it would look into the matter, referring it to its public safety committee for review and recommendation.

Contact Michael W. Pannell at mwpannell@gmail.com.

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