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County to help fund city drainage project
BOC meeting youth program
Last week Liberty County officials recognized county departments and area businesses that participated in the county’s Summer Youth Program. (Photo/Denise Etheridge)

Hinesville City Council Member Keith Jenkins approached the Liberty County Board of Commissioners Aug. 15 to request funding to assist with continued drainage improvements on Sequoia Circle. The board approved the $50,000 funding request, which would be taken from monies allotted to Commission Chairman Donald Lovette and District 5 Commissioner Gary Gilliard for infrastructure contingencies. Both Lovette and Gilliard reasoned that their constituents are impacted by drainage issues that originate on Sequoia Circle, especially after heavy rains. 

Jenkins said the project will be completed in eight phases. He said time is of the essence in completing drainage improvements because the cost of materials continues to rise.

Phase 2 of the Sequoia Circle project includes installing drainage pipe and inlets along the south side of Sequoia Circle between Seminole Drive and Highway 84, according to Jenkins. Sequoia Circle is located within Arrowhead Subdivision. The neighborhood was constructed in the 1980s with open ditches and corrugated metal pipes that have deteriorated over time, Jenkins explained.

Jenkins thanked the commission, saying this project has been on his “to-do” list for more than eight years.  Local engineering firm P.C. Simonton and Associates is overseeing the project.

Liberty County Administrator Joey Brown updated commissioners on TSPLOST. 

TSPLOST is one penny sales tax for transportation would fund the construction of a freight connector, known as the proposed Hinesville Bypass, to help alleviate traffic flow.  Officials previously said the estimated cost for the project is $26 million, to include acquiring right-of-way, and funding utilities and construction.

County officials are pushing for the TSPLOST referendum to be placed on the March 2020 ballot.

The county must set aside 30 percent, or an estimated $10.5 million, of a projected $35 million in TSPLOST revenues for Statewide Strategic Transportation Plan projects, according to Brown. 

The county is working alongside the Georgia Department of Transportation to identify which county projects might qualify as SSTP projects, Brown said. Generally those roads that are considered major collectors would qualify, the administrator said.

“The [SSTP] is now being updated through the year 2050 with the latest demographic information, transportation needs assessment, and upcoming public involvement activities,” according to  “The [proposed plan] includes growth trends and projections, economics, existing conditions, future needs and an investment strategy for transportation in the state.”

In other county business:

• The commission approved fire protection agreements with the cities of Walthourville and Riceboro at an increased cost of $16,000, up from $12,000.

• Captain James Ashdown with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office thanked county commissioners for their support in redeveloping the LCSO’s shooting range. Earthen berms were strengthened and heightened from 20 feet high to about 37 feet high, Ashdown said. Multiple law enforcement agencies use the shooting range, including city police departments and military law enforcement personnel, he said. 

• Brown briefed commissioners on upgrades the Georgia Department of Natural Resources is making to the Sunbury Boat Ramp. DNR should begin making improvements within 60-90 days, he said. There will be angled parking for vehicles and boat trailers, handicap parking, a sidewalk, boat storage, new restrooms and overflow parking once an old house on the property is demolished, according to Brown.

The commission will meet at 6 p.m. Sept. 3,  on the second floor of the Courthouse Annex in downtown Hinesville. 

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