Countywide fire protection got a boost Thursday when the Liberty County Commission voted to buy property near the intersection of Islands Highway and Fort Morris Road for a fire station.
The commissioners agreed to an $80,000 price for the 2.6-acre site purchased from the Heritage Bank.
County Engineer Trent Long reported that had already been doing surveying and planning for the East End Fire Station. The central location of the new fire station should bring a reduction in property owners’ fire insurance rates, as well providing timely response to fire or medical calls.
Long has also been working on the Miller Park site on Highway 84. County fire headquarters is planned for Miller Park. The county owns an acre of land at Miller Park.
Don Masisak, transportation director of the Coastal Regional Commission, presented a report on programs serving Liberty County.
The largest portion of ridership was for nutrition, he said. The second largest group—14 percent—was riders seeking education. Adult day care accounted for 13 percent of riders on the CRS buses.
Nine percent of bus riders used the trips for medical appointments. Social and recreation uses tied with the category of other at nine percent. Other trip purposes included shopping, visits to government agencies and personal reasons. Employment accounts for 4 percent of CRC bus trips.
The trip purpose analysis included 19,141 trips.
Masisak said the average age of riders in 2019 was 54 years; 2018-52 years, 2017-53 and 2016-61. The average trip distance was 6.3 miles.
County Administrator Joey Brown said county departments were completing their budget presentations and commissioners will begin hearing them at an all-day session May1. Budget presentations will also be held immediately before the commissioners’ regular meeting at 6 p.m. May 7.
Two other budget work days may be needed before the commissioners’ midmonth meeting on May 16.
The commissioners proclaimed the National Day of Prayer on May 2. There will be an observance on the steps of the Historic Liberty County Courthouse.
April 14 – 20 was proclaimed Publix Safety Telecommunications Week, honoring the officers who answer calls and dispatch emergency responders and then help make sure the officers, firefighters and other remain safe.
Circuit Chief Public Defender Bandon Clark presented the proposed budget for his agency for the next fiscal year. Allocations are made according to a formula based on the number of cases in each cases in each county and the county’s population. Clark reported that Liberty had accounted for 51 percent of misdemeanor cases in the circuit, an increase over past figures that usually fund about 40 percent.
Long County, almost the least populated county in the circuit (Evans is least) accounted for the second largest number of misdemeanors, 9.1 percent. The public defender’s budget was an increase of three percent.
The commissioners named David Floyd to again head the county’s summer food program.
Parker can be reached by email at email@example.com.