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Development authority doesn't want hunting on its property
LCDA office
The Liberty County Development Authority is on Highway 84 in Hinesville. - photo by File photo

The roof on a seven year old operations building owned by the Liberty County Development Authority needs to be replaced and could cost more than $20,000. The item was presented during LCDA’s monthly meeting Monday morning in Hinesville.

"We had some roofing contractors come out and take a look and essentially they said that it needed to be replaced. That it wasn’t—we couldn’t really repair it as it was," said Carmen Cole, director of administration and finance for the LCDA.

Four proposals from contractors to replace the roof and a recommendation was presented to the board. Cole added that the staff was still trying to find in their files whether there was a warranty on the building, which was built by CH2M Hill.

"So we may hear back that there is some sort of warranty on this building, not certain… But in the event that it’s not, we would like to have you guys go ahead and approve one of these contractors to get the work done because we are working currently with a potential client to lease that building," Cole said.

State Rep. Al Williams, D-Midway, who also is the LCDA’s vice chairman, asked how old the building was and Cole said that there was a certificate of occupancy from 2009.

The roof would not be completely taken off, Cole said. Instead, a new roof would be laid over the old one.

The board decided to delay a decision until the warranty issue was resolved. Board Secretary Brian Smith said that since the board has all the information about the issue, they can do a call-in meeting later if they needed to discuss the roof matter.

Illegal hunting stand

While a contractor was putting up security gates he found a deer hunting stand on LCDA property. Cole said they do not know who built it but wanted to let the board decide what to do.

Williams asked why it was a problem to let person use a hunting stand on LCDA property.

"For the same reason that we stopped allowing hunting on our property is that we never know when we’re going to be out there on the property Mr. Williams," said Cole, adding that a hunter could potentially accidentally shoot someone while firing at game. Members of the board discussed the liabilities of having trespassers and hunters on their property.

Williams said that he did not have a problem with hunters as long as they were doing the right thing. Board member Graylan Quarterman said that while he loves to hunt, he is more respectful of property lines and has an issue with someone who knowingly crosses a property line.

"I think that this next door neighbor knew that he crossed the property line and I think that should be taken down off of our property," Quarterman said.

County attorney Kelly Davis told the board that the safety of LCDA staffers was the primary reason for the ban on hunting on LCDA property. He said the LCDA had tried to allow hunters on to the property, but coordinating with them to make sure they were not on property when LCDA staffers were there proved to be difficult.

"So let’s first notify the gentleman that his property is on our property. Try to maintain the good neighborly relations," said LCDA member and Liberty County Board of Commissioners Chairman Donald Lovette. He added that he is more concerned with what Davis said about the safety of staff than accommodating hunters on their property.

Smith said that he is a big hunter, admires the stand, and would love to let everyone hunt on the land.

"But the problem that we have is now that we’re on notice and the newspaper’s sitting here and if this comes out, everybody in the county has the same right this guy has to go and put a stand on our land," Smith said. "And there will be no way that we can control it or monitor it and then there by it is unsafe for everybody, not just our staff but even the hunters themselves."

"I don’t even know who this is, I’m not making an accusations here, but I do think that we probably need to do exactly what Mr. Lovette said and try to be a good neighbor and say, hey look, you know our stuffs posted,’" Smith said. "We have a policy, we don’t allow hunting and that’s where we are currently."

Smith added they need to give the stand’s owner an opportunity to remove the stand within a certain period of time.

The board agreed, and voted 4-1 to ban hunting on LCDA property, with Williams opposing.

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