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City Council votes to put off signing of agreement for wireless grant
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    The city council voted Tuesday to put off for a month the signing of an agreement with VC3, a technology consulting firm putting together a business plan for the deployment of a wireless system in Statesboro.
    The motion, floated by Councilman Will Britt, delayed making a final decision on the matter until the first council meeting in May.
    During the discussion, Britt said he was concerned with the financial numbers provided by Karl Edwards, COO of VC3, and didn’t want to risk agreeing to pay the consultant’s $72,000 fee without making sure the wireless system would be able to pay for itself.
    On the other hand, Mayor Bill Hatcher said he is satisfied with the presentation made by Edwards and is confident in his ability to successfully develop and implement the business plan. Hatcher said the Edwards and VC3 are also consulting for Milledgeville, which received a WCG grant last year.
    Council members will seek out additional information and give it to interim city manager Chris Addelton, who will collect it and present a packet to council at the May meeting.
    In order to receive the $323,298 grant from the Wireless Communities Georgia program, the city has to match 50 percent of the funds, meaning the city will put in just over $160,000 to install the wireless system.
    In other business, the city’s finance department staff was awarded the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the 2008 fiscal year by the Government Financial Officers Association. City Clerk and Financial Administrator Judy McCorkle said the award was the result of a team effort.
    “We want to say thank you to the entire finance staff,” said McCorkle. “While everyone is taking time off during the holidays, they’re up here working on budget and finance reports .”
    This is the fourth year in a row the city has received the award, McCorkle said. Of 530 cities, Statesboro is only one of 15 Georgia cities to receive this award and one of only 10 Georgia cities to receive both the presentation award and the Excellence in Financial Reporting Award for the city’s comprehensive annual financial report.
    Also, the Statesboro Police Department will purchase some emergency equipment with grant money shared with the city of Sandersville, which would be used to direct the flow of traffic in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency situations.
    At the end of the meeting, the mayor and clerk executed the SPLOST agreement with the Flying J Corporation. In order to do so, the city agreed to waive the capital cost recovery fee for the truck stop company since Flying J took the highly unusual step of guaranteeing the SPLOST money it will generate. These monies will be used to pay off the loan the city is taking out in order to run the water and sewer infrastructure down to the intersection of I-16 and US 301. The guarantee insulates the city from possibly having to dip into the general fund should the truck stop no generate the volume of business that the Flying J predicts.

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