VALDOSTA -- Lowndes County commissioners pledged $5,000 to the Triple Crown Hometowns program designed to convince retirees to relocate to South Georgia.

The project is sponsored by the Chambers of Commerce in Lowndes, Brooks and Thomas counties as well as Valdosta State University and has received pledges from 24 local businesses for $61,500 in addition to $33,000 in grants to promote the area as a retirement destination.

The Commission also voted to issue a letter of support for the program, and Commission Chairman Rod Casey said courting the retirement community made good economic sense.

"I think we should do what we can do to attract retirees," he said. "We need to work on our amenities like golf courses and other things retirees like, but we've got great weather, great health care and a great location on I-75 and close to I-10. It's a great place to retire. Senior bring a lot to the community. They have a low crime rate. They pay their taxes on time and they volunteer."

Program coordinator Allison Stokes said she would also be promoting the project with other local governments.

In other business, the Board:

Unanimously approved a request to apply for a $75,000 grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund in order to upgrade the improvements under consideration for the proposed Naylor park;

Unanimously voted to accept infrastructure for the Kingsgate Subdivision;

Unanimously approved entering into a mutual aid agreement with the Georgia Emergency Management Association;

Unanimously approved a change order for the Twin Street paving project to give Rountree Construction additional time to finish the project;

Unanimously approved a proclamation for Public Safety Telecommunications week to be held April 8-12;

Learned the county was not selected for a Greenspace Wildlife Recreation Grant;

Approved a request for the Public Works Department to apply for a Scrap Tire Enforcement and Education grant, and

Went into executive session to discuss property acquisitions.

To contact reporter Bill Roberts, please call 244-3400, ext. 245.

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