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County gets $750,000 for new health building

By Walter Geiger Lamar County has been approved for $750,000 in community development block grant monies to construct a new center to house the local health department. The department is currently located in the dilapidated former Barnesville Academy facility. The new center will be built on county-owned land at the corner of Redbud and Academy drives. Though the grant has been approved and a check will be presented at ceremonies in Savannah Oct. 4, receiving the money is just a start. Much remains to be done. ’We have to finalize our architectural plan and seek bids for the construction. The grant has a two-year window and we are planning a two-year process. We are expecting additional funds from District 4 Public Health and some in-kind help from several other groups – especially the City of Barnesville. We will also put some county funds into it to complete the new building but we will be as frugal as possible,’ commission chairman Charles Glass reported. This was the first year the cap on CDBG grants was raised to from $500,000 to $750,000 and Lamar applied for the max because of the costs associated with health center construction. ’With the grant money and the other support pledged for the project, we plan to construct a first rate building. The building will be designed for the specific use of the health department rather than having to fit them in an existing building,’ Glass continued. Glass credited Wanda and Ivan Minks for their help in overseeing the grant application process.

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