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Boyles steps in as interim director of Statesboro's engineering department
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    The City of Statesboro has a new man at the helm of the city’s engineering department as Jason Boyles takes over as interim director for Maz Elhaj.
    Boyles, a seven-year veteran of the city and most recently an assistant city engineer, will fill the interim position for six months. City Manager Shane Haynes said if the interim position works out, Boyles would be considered for the permanent position.
    “(Jason) has a challenge before him but we feel very confident he’ll be able to meet that challenge,” Haynes said.
    Haynes said the change was a difficult decision, but one that was made after the city council raised concerns about the inability of the engineering department to finish projects on-time and under budget.
    Elhaj will continue as assistant city engineer, a position he previously held, and will be involved with the city’s cemetery expansion project as well as the downtown streetscape project.
    “After a lot of consideration and with Maz having a lot of talent and serving the city so well for 13 years, we didn’t want to lose that talent,” Haynes said.
    In other news, the city will be keeping the millage rate at 6.358 mills, the same as last year’s rate. Officials said the tax digest has grown by 5.7 percent, but that growth has come from new development not reassessment of existing property.
    Haynes will also be taking the next 30 to 45 days to look into the alcohol ordinance policies in other college towns throughout the state of Georgia. Once his research is complete, he will report back to the city council. At that point, the council is expected to make long-anticipated changes to the alcohol ordinance, which could open the door to a Sunday sales referendum for certain establishments.
    Lastly, the city’s planning department will hold a Community Visioning Workshop on Sept. 29 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Honey Bowen Building on Fair Road. As part of Statesboro’s Comprehensive Master Plan, attendees will be invited to participate in exercises to determine how Statesboro will grow in the future. The mayor and city council encourage all citizens to attend. For more information call (912) 764-0666.