THOMASVILLE — The 2021 Thomas County Commission chairman has a variety of projects in mind for this year.
In his second year of heading the county governing board, Phillip Brown expressed pride in county property taxes not being raised in recent years.
"We've been able to manage the taxpayers' money real well," said Brown, who was elected to the commission in 2010.
County government spends within its means, he added.
Thomas County has 400 miles of roads Brown wants to continue to upgrade. This year, about $2 million of special purpose local option sales tax revenue is budgeted for upgrading road surfaces, restriping and bridge maintenance.
"We have paved a lot of roads in the last 10 years," Brown said.
The chairman hopes the fire station to be built on U.S. 319 South this year will enhance the area.
"That area is growing. We hope it will grow more businesses," he said.
The county's public shooting range that opened in late 2020 must be run like a business and make money to pay for itself, Brown said.
"It's going to take time," he said.
The commission wants to bring range ponds up to standards and open them to the public.
Another shooting range being planned by the commission will provide Thomas County Sheriff's Office personnel a facility for firearm qualifying.
"That's in the making," Brown said.
Most county facilities, he said, have been replaced or upgraded.
Compared to other counties, Thomas County is in good financial shape — a situation Brown attributed to a good manager, department heads and employees.
County employees will receive raises this year. Brown said good pay is required to keep employees.
"In order to do that, you've got to pay them," the chairman said, adding that it is not wise to train employees and have them leave for better pay.
Concerned about COVID-19's impact on the community, Brown encourages residents to take advantage of the COVID vaccine.
"The general public needs to take that shot," he said.
Brown is a proponent of diversity.
"We want diversity in Thomas County," he said. "We want balance."
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820