The Long County Commission has agreed to buy a building in Ludowici to bring 911 service back to the county.
At its March 3 meeting, the commission voted to buy the old The Heritage Bank office on South McDonald Street for $130,000.
Chairman Dwight Gordon said the commission is considering ending the contract with the Wiregrass E-911 Center in Darien and establishing its own 911. He said he and the other commissioners believe they could provide service at about the same cost as the contract. The McIntosh County center is going to cost $292,000 in the coming year, he said.
Gordon estimated the equipment for center would cost $200,000. But despite the initial costs, having the center in Ludowici, the money spent would stay in Long County. He also said the proposed center would bring jobs.
The chairman said that in addition to the building housing 911, he hopes it would also have room for the code-enforcement, fire-chief and emergency-managment director offices.
The Wiregrass E-911 Center in Darien opened in 2010 after three years of joint planning between McIntosh and Long counties. When the center opened, there were to be nine jobs — four filled by McIntosh County and four filled by Long County. The center’s director was to be at-large.
Gordon said the promise of jobs to Long County has not worked out. He also said Long County emergency responders have told him it’s hard to get good information on addresses from the center and that has affected the response times.
He hopes moving the center back into the county will resolve that problem.
In other business, Long County 4-H coordinator Lisa Overbey told commissioners that club members have worked on projects, including the cornerstone 4-H, showcasing students’ talents in portfolios and presentations. She said 18 members competed in Toombs County on Feb. 28 and 11 attended the Southeast District competition in January in Eatonton.
“We feel these students should be recognized for their outstanding efforts and achievements,” Overbey said. “We ask you to join in to congratulate them.”
Nineteen 4-Hers who competed, attended the meeting. After Overbey’s presentation, the commissioners congratulated the students and took a picture with them.
In other business, the commission:
• voided contracts to provide water to Bay Meadows.
• informed B.C. McCray that the county did not have the funds to pave Smith Cox Road.
• authorized the coding of all county ordinances.