ALBANY — Dougherty County Commission Chairman Chris Cohilas took back his place Monday as presider during the commission’s weekly meetings.

At the same time, he came with a report from his recent trip to Washington, D.C.

Cohilas said an executive summary is expected from Cornerstone, which is lobbying on Dougherty County’s behalf. He said Georgia is the first state to have reached an agreement with U.S. Housing and Urban Development, which is expected to provide a boost for ongoing storm recovery.

“We should be getting information on how that can be stepped down soon, and how that will be allocated,” Cohilas said.

The commission chairman said $600 million has been earmarked for the U.S. Economic Development Administration for Hurricane Michael recovery, with $200 million expected for the EDA’s regional office in Atlanta.

It is not yet clear what types of projects will be eligible for the funding. Cohilas said Dougherty officials would meet with representatives from the Atlanta office to get them engaged in the community’s needs.

“Cornerstone is following this very closely. They should be getting us an update,” he said. “There are good funding opportunities out there.”

Cohilas said there were some discussions with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to talk about methods for overall economic development, to which he said the techniques being used in southwest Georgia are not dissimilar to what other areas are doing.

The chairman also said some of the discussion centered around Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany and its efforts to build on energy efficiency. He noted that partnerships with the county have helped the base earn a reputation for taking a lead in the Department of Defense’s efforts for fuel efficiency.

“Because we are doing things to participate with MCLB, that is a good investment,” he said.

The installation is the county’s largest employer at around 4,000 jobs, and Cohilas said opportunities for growth are expanding.

The commission unanimously approved:

♦ A resolution providing for the acceptance and execution of a stormwater facility maintenance agreement between Georgia-Pacific Wood Products LLC and the county;

♦ A resolution providing for the acceptance and execution of an amended and restated utility easement agreement between Georgia-Pacific and the county;

♦ District 6 Commissioner Anthony Jones to serve as the county voting delegate at this year’s National Association of Counties’ annual business meeting on July 15 in Clark County, Nevada;

♦ Appointment to the Joint Board of Adjustments and Appeals, for one joint appointment to fill an unexpired three-year term ending Oct. 1. Arwena Jones was appointed. All joint appointments must be ratified by the city of Albany;

♦ Appointment to the Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful board for an unexpired three-year term ending Dec. 31 to replace incumbent Shalonda Heard. KADB recommended Scott Carroll, a certified Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training instructor, who was appointed;

♦ Selection of the new logo for Dougherty County. A proposal for a new seal for official documentation is expected in the coming weeks.

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Staff Writer

I'm a 2007 graduate of Georgia Southern University, and I've been a reporter for The Albany Herald since 2008. I cover news related to health care, Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, SOWEGA Council on Aging and other areas as assigned.

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