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      Lee County renters torn over lack of upkeep

      In Tuesday night TMs Lee County Commission meeting, the Chamber of Commerce spoke to commissioners about backing the T-SPLOST or Transportation Special Local Option Sales Tax.

      However, it didn't take much persuasion to get commissioners on board with supporting the T-SPLOST.

      Lee County needs commercial development to survive. We only retain 20 to 21 cents out of every dollar, says Ed Duffy, Lee County Commission Chair.

      He says the county will gain 25 cents out of every dollar if the T-SPLOST passes in July. That's money that the county is in dire need of putting to use.

      Alison Singletary, the Board Chair for the Department of Family and Children Services in Lee County, says she's in need of some extra dollars.

      Singletary approached the board with a request to have maintenance upgrades to the building she's renting from the city but when the board suggested she wait until the next fiscal year, she objected.

      The next two years budget is $44,000 for maintenance and repairs but we've spent that on maintenance for the building, says Ed Duffy.

      Singletary stated that as a renter she's required to have regular upkeep on her facility and it doesn't matter whether or not the landlord has the money or not and commissioner Dennis Roland agreed which made Duffy reconsider.

      I'm going to look at the DFACS building with our maintenance director and I TMm going to get a first hand view of what's going on, says Ed Duffy.

      A tight budget is one reason why Duffy along with others in Lee County are pushing for the T-SPLOST. Their hope is that funds will be freed up in other areas. They say transportation is the key to growth.

      It's just about creating jobs and maintaining the jobs that we have and when I say jobs I TMm talking about people that work at McDonald TMs hamburger as well as the professional like lawyers and CPAs, says Winston Oxford, Lee County Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Director.

      The T-SPLOST goes up for vote on July 31st.