FLEMINGTON — Flemington Village subdivision residents soon may have a grocery store within blocks of their homes.
Flemington City Council members approved at their Aug. 9 meeting a variance request from Genesis Engineering for a proposed grocery and retail space at East Oglethorpe Highway and Flemington Village Boulevard.
The property consists of 10.6 acres with 588 feet of frontage on Oglethorpe Highway. The planned grocery store will be 47,250 square feet. The plan includes a 2,660-square-foot space for a possible restaurant, and 8,400 square feet for retail shops.
A 4-foot setback encroachment into a 30-foot parking and driveway setback variance was approved. Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission Zoning Administrator Gabriele Hartage said the reason the engineers want to push everything closer to Highway 84 is to avoid having to reengineer an existing ditch.
The grocery store and the outparcel are planned to have two entrances off Flemington Village Boulevard and a right-turn-only access and exit from Highway 84.
Developers told council members they would like to get started as soon as possible and hope to be mobilized on the site by the end of the year.
City of Hinesville Chief Financial Officer Kim Ryon presented a proposal that would allow Hinesville to use the city of Flemington’s infrastructure funds toward the purchase of a new fire engine.
She said the city recently purchased a new engine, but the fleet is in need of more upgrades. Ryon said Flemington would be acting as a financing agency for Hinesville.
“What we would do over the next five years is, we would run an amortization schedule at 3.5% interest and we would reduce your operations expenditure,” she said.
Ryon said the new engine is expected to cost $500,000.
“And our repayment through the reduction of your operating expense would be $537,107,” she said.
Ryon said the proposal is still in the preliminary stages, is being vetted and undergoing legal review. She said the city of Hinesville will retain title of the engine so they can insure and operate the vehicle. The proposal has been reviewed by Flemington city attorney Craig Stafford.
After some discussion council voted to move forward with the proposal. Councilman Larry Logan suggested someone from the Hinesville Fire Department come to Flemington meetings once a quarter and provide updates on calls within city limits.
The Hampton Inn at 1148 E. Oglethorpe Highway is getting bigger and getting a face-lift after mayor and council approved the design concept to add 27 more hotel rooms and redesign the exterior façade. The owners also purchased additional property behind the hotel for more parking.
Flemington is considering an amendment to its street excavation ordinance to exempt the following from requiring an excavation permit:
• Subdivisions with approved plans.
• Other types of projects with approved plans and which require a maintenance bond at completion.
The ordinance would require the above projects to comply with the work and record drawing requirements in the ordinance.
Liberty County Sheriff ’s Office Deputy Sgt. Anthony Gallob reported six calls of domestic violence. He said it was an increase, but the calls were from the same households, and officers have worked to correct the matter.
Gallob said he’s worked with grant specialists from his department and the Hinesville Police Department to secure funding to help offset costs to host community events. He reported creating a Facebook page called City of Flemington Community Involvement and using the Nextdoor app, so residents of the city could receive real- time notifications.
Gallob said there are plans for the city to host a citizens’ workshop academy. He said it incorporates what people may expect from a citizens’ police academy and will include lessons from EMS, firefighters, and other first responders.
Council members approved a business license for Christopher Glover’s lawn maintenance company at 1113 Old Sunbury Road.
A request for a homebased gun-cleaning company at 225 Sapwood Way was tabled. Hartage said the business owner picks up the guns from clients, cleans them and returns them. Hartage said the woman is working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to get the required permit she needs from them. Mayor and council decided to wait until ATF gives her approval before voting on her license.
Prior to closing the meeting, mayor and council talked about opening their lines of communication. Councilwoman Rene Harwell asked to be kept better informed on meetings the mayor might be having with other entities regarding projects in the city so the council would be better prepared to discuss those with their constituents if needed.
Councilwoman Leigh Smiley reminded the group that they are a team and they should all remain in the loop so they can answer public questions and be ready to render a decision in the case of a vote. They all agreed it was vital to maintain an open line of communication so the mayor and council are all aware of potential expenditures on projects, impact fees and city business.