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Film crews may need permits
CVB wants city to require permits before crews can shoot in Hinesville
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Looking to avoid a tragedy similar to the 2015 death of a film crew member in Wayne County, the Liberty County Convention and Visitors Bureau is asking that those looking to film in Hinesville be required to get a permit.

Leah Poole, director of the LCCVBureau, presented a draft of an ordinance requiring the permits to the Hinesville City Council on Thursday.

"This (permit) does not negate any authority the city of Hinesville has as far as permits, property use," Poole said. "It would require productions for TV, commercial or movies to register with the CVB. We don’t want to find ourselves like our neighbors in Wayne County."

In 2015, the director and producers of a film production in Wayne County were indicted and charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass, after camera assistant Sarah Jones was struck by a train and killed in February 2014.

The film was supposed to be a biopic about rock musician Greg Allman called

"Midnight Rider."

Producers said they were given permission to film on train tracks, CSX railroad property. A train approached during filming. The railroad said the crew had not gotten permission.

Two members of crew pled guilty and one was found guilty.

Poole said the permit is to make sure film crews follow the rules and that the CVB is aware of their presence.

The CVB also helps with location scouting and coordinating with police and emergency vehicles during filming.

There will be an application fee. The cost has not yet been decided.

Student filmmakers would also have to apply for a permit.

Recently, Liberty County had a number of shows and movies shot in the area, such as "The Fireball Run" a life-sized trivia game that filmed at various locations in the county, "Ben and Ara," "My Brother’s Keeper" and "Live by Night" on Hampton Island. A home improvement reality show, "Moving with the Military," will start filming in June, Poole has said.

Homeless survey

The city conducted the annual homeless point in time Count Jan. 23 and presented its findings to the council Thursday.

The Department of Community Affairs requires each county in Georgia to do an annual point in time survey of sheltered and unsheltered homeless people. The survey serves as a way to gather information on Georgia’s homeless population to improve services.

Kristin Bryant, program coordination of the Homeless Prevention Program office, said five teams of five to six people went out to areas identified as frequented by the homeless.

Volunteers went out between 7 and 9 p.m. "to engage the homeless and certify them as homeless," Assistant City Manager Kenneth Howard said.

"The first area is downtown, the gazebo was the focus," Bryant said, "and that is where we found the most."

Other areas included around the Walmart Supercenter and Shuman Center.

The teams also helped with Bryant County’s count.

They found homeless people at gas stations off Highway 17 and Interstate 95, where an encampment was also spotted, but the team was not able to contact with anyone there.

No one was found at J. F. Gregory Park at that time.

"Overall we found 12 unsheltered individuals that were living in the woods, gazebo and cars," Bryant said. "We were able to house several. We housed five that were living on the street."

Transitional housing and rapid re-housing clients are people considered homeless because they are living in properties not considered their own, Bryant said. There are 75 sheltered people in the Kirk Healing Center, domestic violence shelter and Hinesville properties that house people in need.

The total number of people considered homeless in the county was 87.

Road work

Road improvements on Airport Road should be complete by the fall, Edwards said.

Edwards gave updates on construction projects, such as the widening of Veterans Parkway, which is scheduled to finish by spring 2018 and the completion of preliminary plans for the realignment of Old Sunbury Road to Highway 84.

Police cars

The city will buy 10 police vehicles from J.C. Lewis Ford for $249,323. They are four Ford Taurus and four Ford Explorers for patrol, and one Explorer and one Taurus for administration.

J.C. Lewis came in with the lowest bid, under the city’s budget of $263,850.

Appeal settled

The council approved settling an appeal filed by property owners REN, Inc., over the value of land declared condemned, which was purchased by Hinesville for $64,600. The owners appealed to the Liberty County Superior Court.

Billy Edwards, city manager, said based on the owner’s appraisal the city needs to pay an additional $25,400, for a total $90,000.

The property is near Central Avenue.

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