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County takes step toward detention center

The need for a new county detention center has been recognized for a long time and has been discussed extensively by the Jeff Davis County Commission and sheriffs — current Sheriff Preston Bohannon and several that served before him.
Several years ago, the commission purchased the former Woody Folsom automobile dealership on the north side of the Lumber City Highway as the site for the facility and continued to acquire funds to construct the building.
At last week’s County Commission meeting, the commissioners took the next step and approved advertising to request bids on building the facility as designed by an architectural firm.
It’s another step in the process but the biggest step thus far.
Much of last Tuesday’s meeting was spent discussing roads including altering the county’s long held requirement that roads brought into the county’s road system include 80 feet of right-of-way. Commissioner Vann Wooten requested that River Run Road and Leslie Road be brought into the road system but not with 80-ft. right-of-ways.
During new/old business, Wooten said he understood the 80-ft. right-of-way for major arteries but felt that that much right-of-way was unnecessary in subdivisions where he felt 30 ft. was adequate
Long-time commissioner Ricky Crosby explained the reasoning behind the 80-ft. designation was that the only way the Georgia Department of Transportation would help with funding road paving and resurfacing was if that much right-of-way was present.
Other commissioners felt the 30-ft. right-of-way would not leave enough room for ditching the roads and, without proper ditching, the roads would not survive.
Commission Chair Brad Crews said that 80-ft. may be too much but 30 would not be enough.
Wooten persisted and finally made a motion to bring down the minimum right-of-way to 40 ft. but the motion failed to get a second and the matter was tabled.
In other road action, the commissioners discussed, at Wooten’s request, to bring River Run Road and Leslie Road into the system; approved a request from Olin Wooten to begin proceedings to close Morris Road off Hulett-Wooten Farm Road; heard Olin Wooten’s request to give two roads to the county in the Blackburn District for maintenance; and agreed to begin proceedings to close Piney Grove Church Road in the Ocmulgee District, a portion of Bill Thompson Road in the Altamaha District, Bradford Lane off the Douglas Highway, and a portion of Ursrey Road.
In other action, the commissioners ….
…. heard from downtown developer Rory Chaney who requested more time to meet requirements for applying for a grant to help finance further improvements in the downtown area.
…. heard from road department employee Greg Schell who asked that the commissioners keep the department on four 10-hr. days work schedule rather than returning to a five 8-hr. day schedule.
…. heard from a citizen requesting homestead exemption increases and senior citizens exemption for school taxes.
…. updated the lease agreement with the Snipesville Saddle Club to allow for event liability insurance rather than full liability coverage.
…. dropped the security deposit for rental of county facilities if alcohol is served as long as the county is held harmless.
…. approved a proclamation presented by Assistant District Attorney Jan Kennedy declaring Crime Victims Rights Week.
…. tabled a request to purchase a new lawnmower for Towns Bluff Park until the commission could find out what the Sheriff’s Department planned to do with a lawnmower recently seized in a drug raid.
…. heard a report from County Administrator Oakley Perry on several matters including a financial update, saying the county was in good shape financially.
…. authorized Commissioner Hank Hobbs and Perry to deal with a request to put a wireless cell phone tower at Satilla Park.
…. approved appointing Hobbs to assist Crosby in policing dilapidated and abandoned mobile homes.
…. met in closed session to discuss personnel and returned to an open session to approve hiring a recreation department employee.

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