The Long County Board of Commissioners spent much of a recent meeting discussing issues that could provide more activities for youth.
First on the agenda for the June 7 meeting was a public hearing pertaining to First Baptist Christian Academy baseball coach Henry Gene Reynolds, who wants to build a dorm and two ballfields close to a forested area in Long County. The school wants to house 40 disadvantaged athletes.
The land is currently zoned agriculture forestry, and the school wants it rezoned commercial/neighborhood commercial. However, several residents in the surrounding area are opposed to the building, including Kent Hall, Jose Fuentes, Stanley and Joyce Harris, and Emmett Patterson.
Reynolds was requesting 315 feet for the ballfields and dorms. It was recommended that he use the Long County Recreation Center, but he said it was not big enough. One commissioner pointed out that the recreation center’s land covers 320-360 feet.
Melissa Green, one of Reynolds’ representatives, was on hand. She said the fields can border the wetlands in that area.
"Mr. Reynolds’ intention is to use the North Macon area as the frontage, and the ballfields are the more commercial aspects be on the main highway," Green said.
Reynolds said he wanted to make sure he was following county guidelines. Under current zoning, the dorm can be built, but not the ballfields.
In another matter, Revis Boyd asked the commissioners for easement rights for a drainage ditch. The ditch is in the Ludowici city limits, but it cannot be covered without the city’s permission.
"I checked with different agencies about this matter," he said. He said that if something cannot be done, he would revoke the easement rights.
The county apparently dug the ditch before Boyd owned the property but does not know who owns the easement now. The city will determine what needs to be done, according to county officials.
He added that he is trying to work with both the city and county, but is being denied access to his own property. He also thinks strong pipes will serve a purpose not only for him, but the community at large. He also said that if there are no pipes, he will cover it up.
Mischelle Orsini of the Crawford subdivision came before the committee to discuss drainage and flooding issues.
"The Crawford subdivision is really flooded, and you need a boat to get to your house," she said.
A neighbor of Orsini’s said she has been in contact with engineering corporations in both Brunswick and Savannah and to go after the insurance company and take legal action. The committee is working to resolve the issue. Crawford is private property.
Jeffrey Mitchell of the Road Department continued his campaign to get a home for the Long County Community Kids Center.
"At this time, we are currently at motion with Long County BOE Superintendent Dr. (Robert) Waters and having the paperwork done," Mitchell said.
Brian Bray, vice president of the Community Kids Center, said "We’re striving to do better for the county and for the youth."
Appointments were made, including Ray Howard as the non-public representative for the county on the Coastal Regional Commission, Robert Long to the Long County Forestry Board and John E. Johnson Jr. to the Long County Board of Assessors. Billy Rogers was hired as a full-time truck driver/operator, and Bonnie Stevens was hired as a full-time cook for the Long County Senior Center.