BROOKS COUNTY -- The Brooks County commissioners, in regular session Tuesday, unanimously approved a motion to evenly split garbage collection fees with Onyx for residents needing financial assistance.

In a workshop session, County Administrator Glenda Cofield mentioned that so far the office has received 25 applications hoping to qualify for such assistance. She also mentioned that if the county completely funded those 25 residents, it would cost the county about $4,300.

Commission Chairman Wayne Carroll said that he never knew the county was considering footing the entire bill, adding that he thought splitting the bill with Onyx would be better because the county could then help more people. He recommended the commissioners help 50 residents, and arrange to pay 50 percent of the bill. Onyx would pay the other 50 percent. This would cost the county the same amount of money.

Commissioner James Spencer asked what criteria would make a person eligible for the financial assistance.

Cofield answered that the person had to be an Onyx customer, be at least 65 years old, or disabled, and meet certain income requirements. The person would also have to provide the number of people living in the house with that individual.

"Their concern is how much garbage they would be picking up," Cofield said.

In other business, the commissioners approved by a 3-1 vote a motion allowing convenience store operator Patel Nileshkumar to sell beer and wine at his establishment, Brooks Beverage, located at the corner of Highway 94 and Troupeville Road.

Commissioner Andrew Thompson voted against the motion, and Commissioner S.L. Jones was not present at the meeting. This was Nileshkumar's first time applying for such a license. No one from the audience spoke against the motion.

To contact reporter Marie Arrington, please call 244-3400, ext. 254.

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