Dougherty commission honors public works, renews storm lobbying contract

Dougherty commission honors public works, renews storm lobbying contract
(Source: WALB)
Public Works crews prepping for tree planting in Radium. (Source: WALB)
Public Works crews prepping for tree planting in Radium. (Source: WALB)
Radium Springs area. (Source: WALB)
Radium Springs area. (Source: WALB)
Chairman Chris Cohilas (Source: WALB)
Chairman Chris Cohilas (Source: WALB)

DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Dougherty County's Commission Chairman Chris Cohilas said Monday there are "no guarantees" when it comes to the community receiving federal storm recovery dollars.

Right now, close to $65 million is in the hands of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, awarded to the state as federal aid after several major disasters in 2017.

Monday, the commission approved renewing a $15,000 monthly contract with Cornerstone, a lobbying firm.

Cohilas said the county needs a voice at the table, as the state agency considers how best to divide up the federal funds.

"There is no update. We have no guarantees, whatsoever. We are just thankful for the state for making the request. We are working with them, partnering with them and we are very thankful to the Governor for considering our needs," said Cohilas.

Cohilas said keeping a "sustained voice" at the state and federal level will only help Dougherty County get as many resources as possible.

Also at Monday's meeting, the commission recognized National Public Works Week and honored two deserving public works employees.

Chairman Cohilas recognized Bruce Thomas as Supervisor of the Year and Chris Owens as the Public Works Employee of the Year.

Thomas and Owens, along with his co-workers, helped to re-forest parts of the county that lost thousands of trees during a massive EF-3 tornado in 2017.

Cohilas commended their efforts in the Radium Springs area, a community that was heavily damaged in the tornado.

"We did a lot as far as reforestation and planting trees. We worked hand in hand with Keep Albany Dougherty Beautiful and Judy Bowles in that tree planting project last October. Since then, we worked with Radium Elementary and plant trees. So, we  are doing what we can to try to make an impact and revive, so to speak, the Radium area," said Thomas.

The men were selected by their peers at the county Public Works department.

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