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Government center public meetings planned

It won't be long before residents of McDuffie County will be extended the opportunity to attend public meetings to discuss the possibility of local officials using a portion of sales tax money to fund a proposed city/county government center in Thomson.

Members of a special steering committee that met last Thursday to discuss various aspects of the project OK'd the public sessions.

The steering committee has been meeting for more than two months to discuss the City of Thomson-McDuffie County Government Center.

Prior to voters deciding the fate of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax V on Sept. 16, hundreds of brochures are expected to be distributed to residents and local business people within the county by members of the Thomson-McDuffie County Chamber of Commerce, according to Government Center Project Manager Jud Bryant. The brochures are aimed at better informing prospective voters about what SPLOST V is and a brief plan on how local elected officials plan on spending such funds, if approved.

Thomson City Administrator Don Powers, who serves as vice-chairman of the steering committee, said he believes the brochures will better educate those voting on the "yes or no" question.

During last week's steering committee meeting, those present were shown two different plans that have been drawn up for the proposed joint government center. Later that night, Thomson Mayor Kenneth Usry revealed the plans to members of Thomson City Council.

Those attending this past Tuesday night's commission meeting at the courthouse also got a chance to see the plans and view some renderings of what the building and grounds would look like - although the plans are subject to being "tweaked" even more before a final plan is agreed upon by steering committee members, Mr. Bryant said.

Present plans call for the new government center to include a courthouse - one with raised architectural columns out front and a sloped roof rather than a pitched roof.

McDuffie County Sheriff Logan Marshall, a member of the steering committee, said he would rather see the building have a sloped roof instead of a flat roof because of leaking problems experienced at the county law enforcement center.

The committee meets again at Thomson City Hall on Thursday, Aug. 7 at 4 p.m.

Web posted on Thursday, July 17, 2008

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