By KRYSTAL RINER
Tis the season to be thankful, and the Houston County Board of Commissioners were just that at Tuesday nights meeting.
The commissioners were presented with an award won by the landfill for excellence in landfill management from the Solid Waste Association of North America.
Public Works Director Robbie Dunbar noted to the commissioners that out of 55 operating landfills in Georgia the Houston County landfill was the recipient of the honor.
Dunbar said the facility has won awards in the past as well and contributed the honors to the hard working employees at the landfill.
Commission Chairman Tommy Stalnaker said, “We are so thankful to have such dedicated employees that take such pride in our county.”
Commissioner Walker said the landfill employees at the meeting, “You guys are apart of the Houston County team and we appreciate your hard work.”
Dunbar said Houston County would now submit an application for a national award.
In other business, the commissioners voted to provide “match money” for a grant they received from the Georgia Department of Transportation. Houston County was approved for $549,553.54 from GDOT thought the 2013 LMIG Grant. Stalnaker noted that the county would be required to provide a 30 percent match ($164,866.06) to qualify for the funds.
He said the “match money” would come from the 2012 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.
The county plans to improve 8.98 miles of roads with the money.
Those roads include: Cohen Walker Dr, Granville St., Harner Rd., Wimbish Way, Wexford Circle, Peachtree Blvd, South Spring Dr, Horseshoe Dr, Covey Dr, Jennifer Blvd, Water Dr, Cardinal Ridge, Tanager Lane, Falcon Crest and Cliff Point.
Also on Tuesday night, the Commissioners voted to approve a new contract with Southern Health Partners to manage the medical needs of the inmates at the Houston County Detention Center. The contract totals $760,800.
Commissioner Tom McMichael said that the new contract is mandatory because of requirements that will begin in 2013 requiring the installation of electronic medical records in all detention facilities.
As part of the contract Southern Health will contract directly with a physician to serve as medical director at the facility saving the county the full cost of the contract it currently has with a local physician.