Reenactment of Sherman’s March to the Sea 2014

Reenactment of the 1864 Civil War battle in Sandersville, Georgia. 2014
AKA, Sherman’s March To The Sea.

Fall Line Artists Guild Displays Art in Commissioner’s Office

FLAGcIn an effort to bring original local art to the public, the Fall Line Artist Guild (FLAG) has partnered with the City of Sandersville and the Washington County Board of Commissioners to display member artwork in a public setting. Because FLAG does not currently have a permanent home, the City of Sandersville and the Washington County Board of Commissioners have agreed to allow FLAG members to display works of art in their respective offices.

All artwork will be refreshed on a quarterly basis, so there will always be new artwork on display. Artwork can be listed for sale with interested buyers contacting the artist directly. Prints may also be available.

Since both City Hall and the Commissioners’ office are located in close proximity, a person wishing to view FLAG artwork could do so during a lunch break. With that being said, both locations will be open during normal business hours.

The Fall Line Artist Guild is a nonprofit organization working to promote the visual arts in Washington County and surrounding counties drawing artists and patrons from these areas of Georgia as members. Our mission is to serve the artistic community. Membership is open to anyone young or old wishing to support the arts in the fall line area.


150th Civil War Anniversary

On November 26, 1864, General William Tecumseh Sherman and thousands of troops advanced on the rural town of Sandersville, GA, leaving the devastation and charred ruins of Atlanta and the rural countryside in his wake along the infamous March to the Sea. By Gen. Sherman’s order, his army was permitted to openly and liberally pillage any area in which they met with hostility, burning buildings, and destroying livestock and crops.

Now, history will repeat itself on Nov. 7 County’s Civil War. Union and Confederate forces will once again collide, fighting in the streets along the historical route of the Federal Army, culminating in a skirmish on the Town Square. Gen. Sherman will be issuing orders, taking the town and making his headquarters at Confederate Captain William Gainer Brown’s home, now the Brown House Museum.

The Washington County Chamber of Commerce, the Washington County Historical Society, and the 39 for a look back in history. A bus tour of Sherman’s March will kick off the events on Saturday, Oct. 25 Cemetery at 7 pm. on Saturday, Nov. 1 during The Great Conflict. The Grand Opening of the Civil War Art Exhibit by local artists begins at 4 pm. on Monday, Nov. 3 exhibit will feature works depicting events that occurred during Sherman’s Occupation in the county. Thursday Nov. 6 the Brown House, listening to Living Historians explain the way of life for both soldier and civilian during the 1860s.

Other activities on Saturday, Nov. 8 Regimental String Band at 9:15 am. on the Square, followed by a clash between Confederate and Union forces at 10 am. Narrations and historic vignettes based on written accounts by local citizens will give insight to the effects of war at home.

The event hosts are pleased to announce an historic first for our area and possibly, for the State of Georgia. Mr. Adam Adolphus will conduct the first Roll Call of Honor for African American Soldiers in Confederate Service from Washington County, based on his research in African­American genealogy studies.

The Brown House Museum will be open for tours from 11 am. to 5 pm. Period craft and military demonstrations will be held on the grounds. Food vendors will also be available. Later in the afternoon, a period style Ladies’ Afternoon Tea will be held at 4 pm. for ladies in authentic dress. Musical entertainment will be provided by the a cappella trio, Three Fold Chord. Mrs. Brenda Dobson will present “Substitutions during the War,” explaining the ingenuity of those impacted by the embargo.

The evening highlight will be the Blue/Gray Ball at Forest Grove Plantation from 8­10 pm. This event is open to the public. Tickets are $10.00 per person, and may be obtained by calling the Chamber of Commerce. Children are welcome and those under 6 years of age are free. Period attire or Sunday to formal attire are appropriate. Sunday morning, an open­air, non­denominational church service will be held at Forest Grove Plantation at 11 am with Rev Joey Young speaking. The Confederate and Union camps will be open for the public to tour. At 2 p.m. in the afternoon, a full complement of both Confederate and Union infantry, artillery and cavalry will meet on the battlefield in a display of 19 children under 6 are free. Gates open at 19 am. Make plans to join us for this historic national event. For more information, you may contact The Brown House Museum at 478­552­1965 or the Washington County Chamber of Commerce at 478­552­3288. Check out our websites at or

Groundbreaking Held for New Jail


By Elizabeth Jordan
Staff Reporter

The groundbreaking for the new county jail was held on Sept. 16 on Kaolin Rd. in Sandersville.

“It’s always good when you can see dirt moving around on the ground concerning a project that’s been underway in people’s minds and thoughts and in the planning process for quite some time,” said Chamber of Commerce President/Executive Director of the Washington County Industrial Development Authority Charles Lee.

Voters approved the continuation of the one percent special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) in 2013 with the jail as the level one project to receive monies from the penny sales tax.

When discussing the new jail, Washington County Sheriff Thomas H. Smith began by thanking God for allowing everyone coming together.

“If it wasn’t for Him, none of this would be possible today; we need to give Him the credit, and not us,” said Sheriff Smith.

Smith went on to thank the people of Washington County; he also commented that the penny sales tax is the fairest tax.

“People from out of town who come to Washington County to shop, they help towards this facility,” said Sheriff Smith.

Prior to the groundbreaking, Lee explained that the Washington County Development Authority owned the property where the new law enforcement center/jail will be located.

“We were able to give that land back to the County for the development of this project,” said Lee.

Chairman of the Washington County Commissioners Horace Daniel commented that the area is a “wonderful site” for the new jail, adding that at one point they were considering purchasing property for $500,000.

Daniel went on to say that he appreciates the people of Washington County working together.

“Nobody likes to pay taxes, but what would you have if you didn’t?” questioned Daniel. “If you didn’t have any taxes, you wouldn’t have any roads fit to ride on.”

In regards to the role of the Washington County Public Facilities Authority, Lee stated that the estimated $16 million project will be financed through bonds.

However, Sheriff Smith added that the project is expected to come in under budget. He noted that this is taxpayer money, and vowed to spend less than $16 million if at all possible.

Sheriff Smith explained that the new jail will be a “super pod” to hold approximately 229 inmates. The current jail can house 52 inmates.

“We’ve been under a lot of pressure with inmates overcrowding – having to sleep on mattresses on the floor, and luckily the Federal government has not gotten involved yet and ordered us to build a jail,” said Sheriff Smith, praising the County Commissioners for being proactive, rather than reactive.

Rusty McCall, architect for McCall & Associates further discussed the new facility, saying that the jail committee reviewed five different proposals for the project and ultimately selected Dublin Construction Company.

The Jail Assistance Division from the Georgia Sheriff’s Association provided the Washington County Sheriff’s Office with a needs assessment. With that assessment, it was determined how many beds were needed to serve the county well into the future.

“The jail that we’ve planned, although there were many things that were wanted, there were some things we had to take out or reserve for later to keep the project in budget,” said McCall.

President of Dublin Construction Company Tom Hall followed on McCall’s comments saying that Dublin Construction has built several jails in surrounding counties.

“We look forward to a successful project,” said Hall.

Sandersville Mayor Pro-Tem Jeffery Smith focused on the group effort and the collaboration of the municipalities and the county.

“Anytime a project of this magnitude does not get accomplished without a group effort,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Smith. “I tell people all the time that bricks and mortar are great, but your real asset in your community is your people – we have some of the best people in leadership positions in this county and in our City and I think that’s what sets us apart.”

Smith continued his discussion by saying that time marches on, and change will always occur.

“Jails are not pretty; they’re not flashy; they’re not sexy, but they’re a necessity,” said Smith. “One thing that will kill your community is when you don’t feel safe in your home.”
Smith went on to say that Washington County is moving in a forward direction that will prosper the county for the next century.

Community Development Block Grant


The County of Washington, has received a (Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) / Employment Incentive Program (EIP) / Redevelopment Fund / CHIP /grant of $ 500,000.00 from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), which administers the program on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

“Strong, vibrant communities help attract companies to the state,” said Gov. Nathan Deal. “The projects funded by this program will ensure successful economic development and enhance the quality of life for all Georgians. By leveraging this funding with private investment and local funds, these communities are able to maximize the opportunities offered by the CDBG program and keep Georgia the nation’s top state for business.”

Washington County will utilize this grant for to upgrade the Washington County Heath Department.

“The annual Community Development Block Grant awards are one of DCA’s most well-known, competitive and far-reaching programs, touching cities and counties in every corner of the state,” said Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Gretchen Corbin. “We appreciate the vision and hard work that went into each application and look forward to working with these communities as they lay the groundwork for future growth.”

The grant award was presented to the Washington County by Commissioner Gretchen Corbin and was accepted on behalf of the Washington County by Commissioners Horace Daniel, Edward Burten, Melton Jones, Larry Mathis, and Frank Simmons in a ceremony hosted by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs in Savannah on September 5, 2014. A total of 82 awards totaling over $39.7 million were presented to cities and counties around the state.

Public Hearing Notice

(Project Completion Public Hearing)

Washington County has completed its FY 2011 Community Development Block Grant Project.

The following activities were completed:

The county completed the flood and drainage improvements in the following target area:  located off of SR 242 and includes Circle Drive, Barlow Lane, and Lawson Lane. The project benefits one hundred percent (100%) of the 113 residents, 88 or 78% are low to moderate income households.

Washington County will hold a PUBLIC HEARING on September 29, 2014 at 11:30 a.m. at the at the Washington County Commissioners Office, 119 Jones Street, Sandersville, Georgia, for the purpose of discussing the completed activities and receiving citizen comments. A copy of the final quarterly report is now available at Washington County Commissioners Office for review.

All citizens are invited to attend this hearing. Persons with special needs relating to disability access may use the Georgia Relay Service for the hearing impaired at 1-800-255-0056 or contact County Administrator, Chris Hutchings at (478) 552-2325 prior to September 24, 2014.

Public Hearing Notice


Washington County will hold a public hearing on Monday, September 29, 2014, at 11:00 a.m., at Washington County Board of Commission Chambers, 119 Jones Street, Sandersville, Georgia, for the purpose of discussing the approved activities of the County’s Community Development Block Grant Program. On September 5, 2014 the County was awarded a grant in the amount of $500,000 to renovate the existing 1958 Washington County Health Department in order to accommodate the patient and staff needs and provide a safe, code-compliant facility.

Items to be discussed at the Hearing include:

• The amount of funds received and a description of the activities
• The amount of funds available for each activity and the amount of funds that will benefit low and moderate income persons
• The plan, if applicable, to minimize or prevent displacement of persons and the plan to assist persons who may be displaced.
• Fair Housing laws, and the City’s plan, if applicable, to further Fair Housing.

The public is invited to attend this Hearing to become informed of the project activities. Persons with special needs relating to disability access may use the Georgia Relay Service for the hearing impaired at 1-800-255-0056 or contact Chris Hutching, County Administrator at (478) 552-2325 prior to September 24, 2014.

ACCG Health Promotion & Wellness Grant

<Click here to view the Press Release

Georgia DOT Announces Milestones of First Eighteen Months of the Transportation Investment Act

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) released the status of the Transportation Investment Act (TIA) along with a companion video through the first 18-months of the program’s tax collections today.  Eighteen months marks the mid-point for Band 1 projects required to begin during the period of January 2013 to December 2015. Forty-two percent of the 269 projects in Band 1 were let to construction by the end of June 2014.


Through June 2014, tax collections in the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA), Heart of Georgia Altamaha (HOGA) and River Valley brought in nearly $200 million extra dollars for transportation projects in the first 18-months.  Local governments in the Regions received $50 million of the total revenue to use as discretionary funds for any transportation related needs in their communities.  These funds are helping GDOT provide work for 17 Georgia construction companies and 29 consulting firms.


“I am truly pleased with the progress we have made to this point,” State Transportation Board Chair Jay Shaw commented.  “The TIA Program is a great opportunity for these Regions, and to see the projects starting all around us is very gratifying.  Myself, and many of my fellow Board members supported the Transportation Investment Act for the benefits we hoped it would bring to our areas, and we are really seeing it now – projects starting and finishing, local contractors working, economic development – it is all happening.”


GDOT and local governments in the Regions have let to construction a total of 114 projects during the first 18-months, and GDOT forecasts letting an additional 79 projects through December 2014.  The 114 projects let through this June represent construction contracts valued in excess of $140 million.  Revenue collections of nearly $200 million were accumulated from the one-cent tax with $91.2 million in the CSRA; $66.4 million in River Valley; and $42 million in HOGA, funding TIA projects.


“We are a little more than halfway into Band 1 of the program, and there is significant construction activity in all the Regions,” said State TIA Administrator Mike Dover.  “Once collections began to accumulate and we analyzed what the actual revenue from the tax was going to look like for the first few years, we were able to clearly identify strategies to effectively deliver these needed projects for the citizens.”


A few of the larger TIA projects under construction in the first 18-months of the program include:


US 27 Widening in Randolph County          $30 Million

46 Resurfacing Projects-HOGA                    $2.3 Million

Old Petersburg Road Columbia County     $34 Million

Eastman Bypass Dodge County                   $6 Million

Deepstep Road Washington County          $1.7 Million


Tax collections over the 10-year tax period from the passage of TIA in the CSRA, HOGA and River Valley Regions, allows projects to leverage additional funds from other sources to advance projects that previously had no construction funds identified prior to the TIA.  The approved investment lists in these Regions include projects that have been seeking funding for years that are now possible as a result of the transportation tax in those areas.


The 871 projects on the voter approved investment lists include new roadways, bypasses, bridges, safety enhancements, signalization upgrades, interchange reconstructions, multi-use facilities and resurfacings.  Additionally, local governments are able to use the 25 percent discretionary funds for other transportation related projects in their community.


More information on the all the TIA projects and events, visit the TIA website at  The new video TIA Progress Report – First 18 Months is available for viewing here:

Online Registration At WCRD

Online Registration Is Available at Washington County Recreation Department
Washington County Recreation Department is proud to announce that online registration is available to its participants. The links are posted on the Washington County Recreation Department Facebook page under the “About” section and on the website under the Parks and Recreation Department. This will offer the public the opportunity to set up family accounts and register for program offerings without driving to Kaolin Park. There will be a $2 convenience fee to do this; however, you will save the cost of travel. Look for the link at the specified locations. You may still register at our offices at Kaolin Park if you so choose. If you have any questions, or need help registering for a program, contact WCRD at (478) 552-0013. We look forward to helping you and your family stay fit!