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Rincon honors award winners
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Rincon City Council members paid tribute to its honorees for the 2011 Humanitarian Awards and its winners in the annual Fourth of July parade.

Roger Macomber was honored with the Mayor’s Choice Award, having donated approximately 30 acres of land to the city. Part of the donation is what is now Macomber Park, home to some of the city’s baseball, softball and soccer fields.

Bernard Martin was given the Community Service Award. Martin is a disabled Army veteran who has worked with the Savannah chapter of the American Red Cross for eight years. He has gone to several states — Alabama, California, Ohio, Mississippi and Texas — to aid disaster victims, and he also has served on the city’s planning and zoning board and Fourth of July committee.

The Military Service Award went to Valdee Exley, who served in the U.S. Air Force for 2 1/2 years and received two Bronze Stars in World War II.

Rincon Police Cpl. Jose Ramirez was honored with the Public Service Award. On the Rincon force for three years, Ramirez organized relief efforts for victims of the Alabama and north Georgia tornadoes. Ramirez and other members of the Rincon Police Department filled a 40-foot container with clothes, bottled water, nonperishable food, baby items and other household necessities for those in need.

The Shining Stars won first place for their entry in the Fourth of July Parade. Effingham Theatre received second place, and Effingham Christian School won third place.

Certified public accountant Donald Caines of Caines, Hodges, Pace and Corbitt also reviewed the city’s annual audit for council members.

“Overall, the general financial position is strong,” Caines said. “The cash position is strong.”

The city collected $130,000 more in taxes and had a $98,000 increase in intergovernmental funds collected, mostly through special purpose local option sales tax. Fines and forfeitures also were up.

General fund expenditures were down, Caines said.

“We spent a lot of money out of SPLOST doing things we need to do out of SPLOST,” he said.

He also noted that revenue from impact fees was down substantially.

“Impact fees, as you can imagine, were down,” Caines said, “as you might expect from the economy.”

Council members also approved the first reading of an ordinance establishing a 10 percent add-on fee to fines. As part of the service delivery strategy agreements between the county and the cities, the cities are expected to adopt a 10 percent surcharge to cover the cost of housing inmates at the Effingham County Jail, rather than paying a per diem charge per prisoner.

“We’re working on approval of the exact language,” city attorney Raymond Dickey said.