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Liberty Square neighbors bring concerns to council

POSTED: July 3, 2007 5:02 a.m.
Two people who live next to the Liberty Square plaza on McDonald Street voiced complaints about a potential safety hazard to the Ludowici City Council during its regular meeting June 12.
Mike McCall and Katherine Griffin said as a tree in the ditch between the plaza and their homes had died as a result of work done with the plaza, and they were concerned that it could fall on their homes.
It was noted the tree was on the plaza’s property.
The residents also said an agreement was made when the plaza was built that a privacy fence would be placed between the business and the homes, and it had yet to be done.  
Griffin told the council a drainage problem that was supposed to have already been addressed, still existed. She said when there is excessive rain, her property floods as a result of runoff from the plaza.
Both residents requested the council require Bert Webb, owner of the plaza, to remove the tree and install a privacy fence. Griffin also asked the council to address the drainage problem.
According to Mayor Myrtice Warren and the consensus of the councilmen present - excluding Gwendolyn Davis, who was not a member of the council when the plaza was constructed, they also understood a fence was to be erected at the location.
When asked about the complaints, Webb said, “This hasn’t got anything to do with a tree or anything else, it has to do with control. I have done everything I have been asked to do regarding this property, and they are just being hateful now and it’s just not right.”
According to Webb, the tree is on her and McCall's property. She also said there never was a requirement for her to put up a fence, she had only learned about it this past month.
She said that, according to Councilman Jim Fuller, the only requirements regarding the ditch was that she maintain it and plant some grass seed. She noted she's done both of those things.
According to Councilman Donald Combs, Webb agreed to put up the privacy fence in exchange for McCall allowing water and sewage lines to be run across his property to the plaza. He also said those stipulations were documented in the minutes from the Aug. 8, 2006 city council meeting.
After discussing the issue, it was determined City Attorney Richard Phillips would contact Webb’s attorney to try and resolve the problems.
In other business:
• The council approved increasing water and sewage bills for residential customers. The change would be reflected on customers' Aug. 1 bill.
According to Municipal Court Clerk Cindy McClelland, the base fee increase for water is $1 as is the base fee increase for sewage. This will be for usage of up to 5,000 gallons of each.
The increase will be 10 cents more for water usage exceeding the 1,000 gallons base allowance, and an additional 20 cents for every 1,000 gallons exceeded on sewage.
Additionally, there also will be a $1 increase to the garbage pick-up fee.
McClelland said, "A typical bill will be $41 for anyone who doesn't go over the 5,000 gallons allowed for each, water and sewage."
• The council also discussed increasing commercial rates, but the issue was tabled until the July meeting.
• Long County Code Enforcement officer John Bradley recommended amending the city’s Building Permits Ordinance.
The county currently handles all permits and inspections that are done in the city, and Bradley recommended aligning theirs with the county.
The council voted to make the change, basically allowing a public hearing on all new subdivisions once a sketch-platt approval had been given on a project.
Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.

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