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County to name playground for rec dept. supporter
Mike Carreker volunteered at LCRD for 28 years

The Liberty County Board of Commissioners on Thursday unanimously approved a request by the Liberty County Recreation Department board to dedicate a playground in honor of former rec department board member Mike Carreker.

LCRD Recreation Director Jimmy Martin presented the request, stating that the playground at Liberty Independent Troop Park currently is undergoing renovations. He said that the plan is to complete the playground and hold a dedication ceremony in early spring.

“Mike provided outstanding volunteer service to Liberty County for 28 years prior to his death in March of last year,” Martin said, noting that Carreker coached T-ball and youth baseball prior to his appointment to the LCRD board. “I can’t imagine a better person you could put forth as a role model for the county.”

According to his obituary, Carreker succumbed to cancer March 4, 2014.

“As long as I was here and working — and, of course, when my kids played ball — Mike was involved,” said District 6 Commissioner Eddie Walden. “He was not about a district; it was ‘What’s going to be best for Liberty County,’ at all costs.”

Martin said that the rec board’s recommendation was unanimous. The playground that will be dedicated in Carreker’s honor is located “directly behind the Hinesville swimming pool,” Martin said.

SPLOST referendum

Commissioners also discussed the upcoming Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum.

County Administrator Joey Brown said that he had informed the county’s Chief Registrar and Board of Elections Supervisor Ella Golden of the commission’s decision to hold the SPLOST referendum in November.

Brown said that the preliminary election schedule looked “exactly the same” as last year’s.

According to the schedule, the county’s municipalities will hold a meeting to draft, negotiate and sign the intergovernmental agreement this spring. Brown said that the projects list also will be determined at that meeting.

Brown said that the election will be held Nov. 3 — the same day that five of seven Liberty County municipalities will hold local elections.

Brown noted that Chatham County has held a special, called election in conjunction with a city election before, and he said that he and Golden, along with the registrar’s IT department, would be working with Chatham officials regarding the issue of “different precinct voting areas.”

The county’s goal is to program the voting machines so that citizens may vote in both their local municipality’s election and the county’s special election at the same location.

The only municipalities not holding local elections this year are Flemington and Midway, Golden said.

Other business

The commission also approved the Riceboro Sub-area Land Use Map, as presented by Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission Executive Director Jeff Ricketson.

The LCPC is formulating the Liberty County Comprehensive Plan, which will guide “the development of Liberty County and its communities during the next 25 years,” according to a news release.

In an effort to receive input from local residents, the planning commission is holding monthly meetings in each of the county’s 12 sub-areas before updating its sub-area land-use maps.

The next meeting will be held Jan. 22 at the Dorchester Village Civic Center. Citizens are invited to attend the meeting, scheduled from 6-7:30 p.m., to give input regarding the Sunbury/Islands sub-area.

The public also is invited to attend a “Turn on the Tap” ceremony for the new Liberty County rural water system, Brown said.

The ceremony will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 23 at the Miller Park well site in Midway.

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