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Progress Comes With Growing Pains

Growth oftentimes can be painful.
Few people will doubt that the enormous growth of Beasley Forest Products, a.k.a. The Beasley Group, has been a tremendous asset to Hazlehurst and Jeff Davis County. But with the influx of new jobs, the every-growing tax base and expansion of opportunities comes growth pains.
Ask any of the neighbors of the Uvalda Highway plant who have been dealing with noise polution, increased big truck traffic and encroachment brought on by the ever growing expansion of the company’s footprint.
That’s the cost of growth.
All that was made evident at last week’s meeting of the Jeff Davis County Commission as, during public comments, Jack Yawn whose home is in the shadows of Beasley’s Uvalda Highway plant expressed his concerns about the effect the plant is having on J.A. Yawn Road which bisects parts of the hardwood manufacturing plant.
Yawn told commissioners that speeding semi-trucks create dangers and are tearing up county roads and “Jake Braking” raises the noise levels in the residential neighborhoods around the plant. He suggested the county should develop a jake-braking ordinance as have some communities across the country.
At times the noise from the big trucks rattles the windows in his home.
In other action, the commissioners ….
…. heard again from Bill Wasmund who has been seeking school tax abatements for senior citizens in Jeff Davis County.
…. approved amending the local Alcohol Sales Ordinance to bring it in line with statewide regulations by eliminating prohibition of alcohol sales within certain distances of parks.
…. heard an update from Eddie Bush of the Road Department on the department’s dealing with recent heavy rains which damaged numerous roads. Bush shared that there are a lot more beavers in the county lately as the beaver dams built near certain roads were causing damage. He said their are a half dozen or more such dams that road department employees can break up and the next day the beavers have the dams repaired. In the past, the commissioners have paid beaver trappers $25 per beaver tail turned in to the county but trappers began turning in tails from beavers trapped over a wide area of south Georgia rather than just in Jeff Davis County.
…. approved adjusting the Piggly Wiggly tax bill to account for an incorrect inventory turned in for tax purposes.
…. agreed to set the commission’s 2023 meeting schedule for the second Tuesday of each month, except for March when the meeting will be moved to the third Tuesday to alleviate a meeting conflict.
…. discussed the future of the fairgrounds complex, the need for a workshop with the Extension Office and Elections Office, rumble strips needed on a recently paved road, roadside trash pickup, the need for a joint meeting to discuss purchasing policies, and the progress toward getting a larger water line to the Thompson Hardwoods site.

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