MOULTRIE -- The county commission allocated $19,371 to remediate explosive methane gas that is building up at the public landfill.

The county's environmental consultants Geosciences-TTL have reported vapor concentrations of vinyl chloride and benzene at levels that could contaminate groundwater. Ten passive methane gas vents will be installed down to depths of 20 feet below surface -- the estimated bottom of the landfill -- around the perimeter with a concentration at the north side where methane levels are highest.

The corrective action plan the county intends to try is the less expensive of two remediation alternatives presented by Geosciences. Additional remediation might be necessary. This passive method doesn't address any groundwater contamination that may have already occurred.

In other county business:

- Technical and Maintenance Supervisor Terry McMullen reported to the board that repairs to the courthouse are progressing and should be finished on schedule before Thanksgiving.

- Grant writing consultant John Wheeler expounded on grant options from the Community Home Improvement Program (CHIP) and the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for repair and upgrade assistance for low-income homeowners excluding mobile homes. The county is exploring grant funding to offer its residents. Wheeler appeared before the board at the request of Commissioner Luke Strong.

Citizen Michael Morton stood in protest of the use of government funds to assist individuals in this manner. Morton said he believes that it's not the government's job to do so, and such aid programs destroy the desire of private entities and individuals to help out their fellow man.

- Paul Burke of the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA) honored Commission Chairman Max Hancock for his service on the board from 2001 to 2005, two of those years as chairman. GEFA provides low interest loans and grants to local governments. Over the years, GEFA has approved nearly $2 billion in projects, Burke said. During Hancock's term, he was involved in the review and approval of a half-billion dollars in assistance.

Burke presented Hancock with a plaque and a commendation from Gov. Sonny Perdue for Hancock's service. Hancock, a Democrat and appointee of former Gov. Roy Barnes, commented that Perdue was gracious to keep him on the board.

- The commission granted a resurfacing project of Hillcrest to Tallokas Road to the low bid from Scruggs Co. of $52,911.02.

- The board approved use of the agricultural complex for the annual firefighters' banquet Oct. 15. The board waived the rental fee because the Volunteer Fire Association is a county agency.

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