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Plaza owner, neighbors work to resolve concerns
Bert Webb talks at the meeting. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle
The ongoing saga involving Liberty Square in Long County appears to be headed toward  resolution.
Plaza owner Bert Webb spoke during the Ludowici City Council on Tuesday, addressing complaints from neighboring homeowners Mike McCall and Katherine Griffin.
According to Webb and the  minutes from previous council meetings, problems pertained to drainage, lighting and a tree.
Webb contends she’s done  everything that has been asked of her, and expressed concern about whether she would be facing more issues in the future.
“I want to work with you to get this resolved,” she said. “If my business is causing any problem, I will work to rectify the problem, just as I would expect anyone to correct a problem if it was being done to me.”
Based on comments made by Webb and Councilman Donald Combs, there had apparently been some miscommunication among Webb, McCall and Griffin regarding the properties.  
McCall and Griffin never formally addressed the forum.
Councilman Frank McClelland Jr. said, “It is obvious that there was a lack of communication between you, and I think if the three of you sit down together, you can work this out.”
The council offered a room for the three to sit down in private and discuss the matter.
The trio emerged a half hour later, but with little to say.
McCall and Griffin were asked whether they had anything to say about the matter but both declined comment.
But Webb said she felt the problem had stemmed from miscommunication and had been resolved. She did not provide further details.
In other business, the council voted to change the health insurance benefit for city employees.
Currently, each employee has a $300 combined network and non-network deductible, and pays a $15 co-pay and $15 for generic drugs.  
With the changes, the deductible will be $1,500 network and $3,000 non-network, the co-pay would increase to $40 and the new fee for generic drugs would be $20.
According to Councilman Jim Fuller Jr., the change is a result of the city’s current financial difficulties.
“I hate to have to do this, but it is either make cuts here or lay somebody off, and we don’t want to do that.”
City Clerk Tarra Warren voiced displeasure about the issue, saying “People aren’t going to be able to afford to go in the hospital. We don’t have any retirement and now we don’t really have any insurance.”
McClelland said he hoped the change would be temporary.
“Nobody wants to do this. If the city starts getting in a better situation, we’ll look at changing it back,” he said.
According to Fuller, the change will save the city $278.95 each month for every insured employee, resulting in a total of $3,347 for the year.  
Warren said there are about  15 employees who currently are covered.  
The change is schedule to take effect Sept. 1.
The council also decided to have Fuller and city attorney Richard Phillips review all the city’s insurance and see if any cuts could be made.
Also, the council amended the city’s building ordinance to include public hearings after sketch plat reviews are available for new subdivisions.
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