Wed., March 17, 2010 2:34pm (EDT)

Columbus' GBI Crime Lab May Stay Open
By Edgar Treiguts
Updated: 4 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
Crime work at the GBI lab in Columbus may continue beyond March 31st. (photo courtesy R.Gessner)
Crime work at the GBI lab in Columbus may continue beyond March 31st. (photo courtesy R.Gessner)
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab in Columbus may be spared the state budget ax—at least for this fiscal year.

That’s because the city of Columbus has agreed to pay up to $66,000 to fund the lab through June 30th.

Columbus mayor Jim Wetherington says the plan to keep the doors of the west Georgia lab open came after talks with the Lieutenant Governor’s office.

Wetherington says state leaders initially asked for $200,000 from the region to fund the lab next fiscal year...something he says was not possible.

"...But then I got a call from the Lieutenant Governor’s office that said the Lt. Gov was going to make a strong effort to put monies back into the GBI’s budget to fund the labs, and then I took a different view.”

Wetherington hopes the 19-county region can help share the cost of lab funding through June, but acknowledges the poorer counties may not be able to help.

The GBI labs in Moultrie and Summerville are still slated for closure the end of this month.