2017-03-16 / Front Page

Board approves grant application for wing expansion of gymnasium

By JANE ELLYN AARON
staff reporter

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners voted to submit an application for a Community Devel­opment Block Grant (CDBG) to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for the purpose of expanding the Walker Norman Gymnasium at the Curry Colvin Recreation Complex.

The addition is intended to be used as a facility for the senior citi­zens within the community.

Groundwork for this expansion – which will mirror that of the right wing’s classrooms inhabited by East Georgia State – was laid by the former commission, also chaired by Walker Norman at the time.

“When the gym was built, we slid it over with the anticipation of doing this at some point in time,” Norman said.

The project is on track for the April 1 application deadline, and is a $750,000 CDBG, according to Planning and Zoning Director Roby Seymour, who noted that it is completely grant money, and no matching funds are required, with minimal other funding to come from the county.

In other business, the board voted to amend a United States Depart­ment of Agriculture (USDA) ap­plication for the water expansion project, which was previously designated to service the north end of the county.

“We will get the same amount of customers that we would going to the north end of the county. The difference is that we’ll be spending $1.8 million instead of $3.3 mil­lion,” Seymour said. “It’s a signifi­cant reduction in loan and grant, so we feel the numbers just work out a lot better, and until we can get some more support at the north end of the county this is the option that we’ve got, which I believe is a very viable option.”

The project has been in motion for several months now, and since the county applied for USDA funding for the previous expense of $3.3 million, the amendment is necessary to continue with the project.

“We would like to continue to go into Montego Point, continue work on two new wells, with two rehabilitated wells, which would give us double the production that we currently have – we have four wells now and this would give us eight – and what we would do is cut the north end of the project completely out, and instead go to New Petersburg Road,” Seymour said, noting, “we’re still looking at ways and other places to go later on down the road.”

The project would also include 500 new meters to replace the old, hand-read meters that are often-time inaccurate.

According to Seymour, this ex­pansion will not affect water rates for customers, while the previous expansion would have been an ex­cessive increase.

In other business, the commission voted to give $1,000 – to be taken from the hotel and motel tax fund – for both the annual Jeff and Sheri homecoming and the annual Little Roy and Lizzie Show, which will take place this spring.

The board additionally voted to sign an intergovernmental agree­ment with the City of Lincolnton regarding the Board of Elections.

In a Public Works Department report, Director Seymour noted that it served 1,454 water custom­ers, 153 sewer customers, and 607 availability customers for a total of $65,251.33.

Regarding The Department of Planning and Zoning, Seymour reported that five licenses and 14 renewals were issued for $1,250, and one “special use” zoning was issued for $500.

The director likewise informed that repairs have been made to Chamberlain Ferry Road and Plan­tation Point Road, but noted that Soap Creek Bridge construction has halted for the time being.

“The Soap Creek Bridge is at a standstill right at the moment, and we found out just the other day the reason it’s at a standstill is because of the waterline,” Seymour said. “They’ve had a geologist come in, and originally they were going to bore under the lake and replace our water line, and they found that there’s an enormous amount of rock under the water, so they’ve gone back to the table and are trying to redesign the bridge, and possibly hang the waterline on the bridge and have the waterline go down the causeway.”

Seymour raised concerns at this plan with DOT, because contrac­tors will work on the waterline, but leave once the job is completed. Should the line bust, and because it’s up on the roadway, the county would be responsible for the repairs, which are “very costly,” according to Seymour.

The director explained that he is in negotiations with DOT to provide a warranty to cover such an incident, should the entity pursue this avenue for the waterline replacement.

In other business, Finance Direc­tor Traci Bussey reported that “sales taxes dropped by 25 percent [for January], usually if we have an off month, it’ll pick up next month.

“It could be an issue with the department of revenue, and I will check with them to see if they have any specifics regarding it,” she said.

Throughout the month of Febru­ary the Office of Emergency Ser­vices answered 135 calls to service which included transports, EMS NPU, fire, rescue, and EMR, with an average response time of eight minutes.

Additionally, OES Director Casey Broom reported that his office host­ed a meeting with the Department of Public Health, as they are preparing for a mock epidemic response drill within the next few months. The office will also host the Emergency Managers Association of Georgia (GEMHSA) regional meeting.

Recreation Department Director LaTrellis Glaze reported that bas­ketball season is now over “after a great March Madness Tournament, that was hosted in Lincolnton with 8-9 teams.

“First place went to our Red Dev­ils coached by Jonathan Crook and Will McWhorter and second place went to our Clippers, coached by Kendrick Henderson and Randy Cullars – it was a job well done by both coaches and players,” Glaze said.

The director also informed that Little League opening day is April 15, and 172 children have signed up to play. This year’s Little League president is Bethany Beggs, and Kelli Robertson is serving as vice president.

Last, Glaze was re-appointed as the director of the Lincoln County Recreation Department.

The next meeting of the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners will be held at the courthouse on Thursday, April 13, at 6 p.m.

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