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Council OKs Veterans Parkway plan
Mayor signing proclamation for W4WW1
Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas signs a proclamation Thursday declaring Dec. 8-14 as Wreaths for Warriors Walk Week. Also pictured are W4WW secretary Connie Parks, W4WW co-founder Bruce Muncher and W4WW Vice President Susan Ammon. - photo by Photo by Randy C. Murray

Hinesville City Council members on Thursday approved the Veterans Parkway Overlay Study following a presentation by Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission Director Jeff Ricketson.
Ricketson reminded the council the master plan was six months in developing and included three public workshops and two workshops with council members. He said the intent of the study was to empower stakeholders and property owners within the parkway district to share their vision and develop standards and ordinances to guide development.
Councilman Kenneth Shaw had questions about buffer requirements along the parkway corridor, and Councilman Keith Jenkins had concerns about specific development. Mayor Jim Thomas encouraged the council to recognize that the study is a guide, not a detailed floor plan.
“We’ve still got a lot of work to do before we move forward,” Thomas said. “The council still needs to sit down to further develop this plan. What we wanted to do was define our plan for Veterans Parkway. Now, we have an outline to work with.”
Prior to the council meeting, Thomas met with members of the Wreaths for Warriors Walk committee in the Hinesville Room to sign a proclamation declaring Dec. 8-14 as Wreaths for Warriors Walk Week. He signed the proclamation while surrounded by W4WW secretary Connie Parks, W4WW Vice President Susan Ammons and W4WW co-founder Bruce Muncher.
The proclamation recognizes the sacrifice made during the last decade by 466 3rd Infantry Division soldiers in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Eastern redbud trees serve as living monuments honoring the heroes of the Fort Stewart-Hinesville community. The proclamation encourages Hinesville residents to support the fallen soldiers and their families by attending the Wreaths for Warriors Walk wreath ceremony at noon Dec. 14 at Cottrell Field.
Also Thursday, Assistant City Manager Kenneth Howard reported on revisions to the city’s Local Maintenance Improvement Grant. There was a $280,000 gap in funds needed to complete the Central Avenue realignment project. He said the Liberty County Board of Commissioners agreed to provide $100,000 toward that project, leaving a shortfall of $180,000.
The council approved Howard’s recommendation to fill the remaining gap with LMIG funds for the Central Avenue project and use the rest of the funds for road resurfacing. The expected total cost for the Central Avenue realignment project is $1,428,124. Howard said that project is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2014.
The council agreed with an LCPC recommendation to disapprove a request for a special permit to allow a piece of property on North Maple Drive to be used as a church.
Council members approved a resolution to allow the Lexington Homeowners Subdivision Association to move the subdivision’s entry way sign. Part of that resolution included deeding a small parcel of right-of-way land to the homeowners association to use for relocating the sign.
The council approved renewal alcoholic beverage licenses for 12 local businesses and new licenses for Locos Grill & Cantina in the former Bassano’s Italian Eatery and the Coliseum, 718 E. Oglethorpe Highway. They also agreed to hold a workshop at 3 p.m. Tuesday at city hall with City Attorney Linnie Darden III to discuss the recently passed referendum to allow Sunday sales of package alcohol.

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