City Council Hears of Broadband Window and Land Use Update

Published 2:42 pm Monday, February 26, 2024

The Executive Director of the River Valley Regional Commission, Jim Livingston, addressed the City Council. Livingston mentioned that they cover an area the size of Delaware, and that the largest community in the Regional Commission after Columbus was Americus.
He talked about how the region’s rural nature left it with specific needs. Livingston told how the organization worked to identify Federal and State grants. “This past year we were able to leverage your dollar investment into us into $86 dollars back into this community, Sumter County, and then to the region. We do that through our programs that we administer.” He mentioned that they had expertise in learning the complex requirements to spend federal money. Livingston mentioned they supported the Area Agency on Aging, work force development, and helped facilitate Meals on Wheels. Livingston mentioned they also worked in planning in government services. Livingston also mentioned a federal challenge to broadband maps. This would allow Americus to report areas with issues with broadband service. While a government body has to facilitate the challenge, he urged the council that there was a limited 30-day window to report citizens that had insufficient broadband.
The Americus City Council heard about updates to their future land use plan. The plan will be sent to the River Valley Regional Commission for review.
Council member Nelson Brown mentioned an educational presentation on Black Churches in the community that would be shared next month. Brown mentioned it would involve ministers and congregants.
Afterward the council discussed RMS transit system. Brown mentioned hearing complaints about the service. Methods for receiving surveys were discussed. Mayor Lee Kinnamon showed support for a mailed survey.
Mayor Lee Kinnamon also reported that a delegation from Sumter County went to the State Capitol to meet with agency heads and legislators. “It was a delegation that represented [the] unity of Sumter County, from both the County Commission, from the School Board, from the City of Americus Staff members, Miss Powell, Middle Flint, OneSumter, Chamber of Commerce, private non-profits and also our government agencies, [who] all participated with a united front.” A resolution was signed by representative Mike Cheokas commending Sumter County for its contributions to the State of Georgia.