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Long animal shelter survives scrutiny
Organizers looking at land in Liberty
0612 MOMS rescue
Making of Miracle Stories animal-rescue center volunteer Bob DeVries promised the Long County Commission that he would make monthly reports on the organization's attempts to move from a residential area.

A Long County animal shelter that has drawn the ire of neighbors on Hugh Gordon Lane again survived scrutiny by the Long County Commission last week.
Making of Miracle Stories animal-rescue center volunteer Bob DeVries said the non profit opened the center 29 months ago in a joint effort with Carpathia Paws. It’s goal is to find homes for abandoned pets that would otherwise be euthanized. He said they have saved nearly 2,800 animals.
DeVries said the current location is temporary, and the group hopes to obtain 10 acres in Liberty County.
In an email to the Courier Tuesday, DeVries said the group is talking with Liberty County Administrator Joey Brown, Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas and others as it seeks a permanent facility.
Despite the current center servicing Long and adjoining counties, he said they had been threatened with being shut down.  
The facility is in Commissioner Dwight Gordon’s district.
“I didn’t say that I would shut you down, but something has to be done,” Gordon said at last week’s meeting. “I think you’re doing a good job, but people are unhappy out there.”
The center has been under fire since November because of complaints about excessive barking.
Gordon asked when the center would move. DeVries said as soon as possible, but that it didn’t make sense to move to a temporary site.
No action was taken. DeVries said he would report monthly progress.
In other business, Sheriff Craig Nobles also asked commissioners to consider two new purchases that he felt would benefit the county.
The first is for a GPS tracking system for people who could easily get lost, such as Alzheimer’s patients. Nobles said the contract for the service is $3,800 and that once the county is online, patients likely to get lost can be tracked if they have corresponding bracelets.
Nobles said it normally takes about a half hour to find a lost person using the service. The cost for a lost person without the system is more than fee for the service, he added.
His second request was for a $25,400 license plate reader for a deputy’s cruisers.
The readers can tap into information about the owner, such as whether he has any outstanding warrants, tag and vehicle.
Nobles said one of his cruisers used a tag reader in a trial, and the vehicle generated $58,000 in tickets. Of that amount, $38,000 was designated for Long County.
Commission Chairman Robert Long said that they would consider both items.
Long County/Ludowici Fire Department Chief Richard Truman told commissioners he recently learned the Insurance Services Organization ratings for Long County were 5 in Ludowici and 9 in rural areas. According to earlier reports, both ratings were 5.
An ISO evaluation was completed in 2004. But authorities reportedly misunderstood the system, resulting in the incorrect information. Truman said he was trying to lower the rural rating to at least a 7 to help cut homeowners’ insurance rates.

In other business:
• Commissioner Gerald Blocker, who oversees the fire department, EMA office and sheriff’s department, said he is working on a storm plan for the county. It requires residents to place E-911 address markers at their homes or face fines.
• GEMA Director Darrell Ballance asked permission to request a grant for $60,000 with a 25-percent match to improve radio communications.
• Long County EMS Director Robyn Todd reported that her units responded to 107 calls in May.
• Commissioners OKed developer Bill Nutting continuing Phase 2C of the Crawford subdivision.
• Commissioners heard requests from Mel Gordon to create a historical society and approve the initial cleaning of the Ludowici Train Depot.

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