Ludowici City Council modified the city’s land development code at its March 10 meeting and learned the following week that a requested easement for the proposed McDonald’s/Flash Foods had been approved.
Code Enforcement Officer John Bradley asked City Council to adopt proposed changes to the code.
He said the changes would include increasing the distance between homes and wetlands. The previous setback was 125 feet, and the new requirement would be 200 feet.
A primary reason for the request was to keep homeowners from having to buy flood insurance, Bradley said, adding that the code changes would also incorporate solar regulations. He said that, currently, there are only four people in Long County who would be affected.
Mayor James Fuller said that even though the code would be changed, ultimately, City Council still had the final say on all decisions in regard to the code. After a brief discussion, the modified code was approved unanimously.
The council also discussed several options to assist in collecting past-due water bills. Initially, the panel considered establishing a late fee but decided to hold off on that. After some discussion, the panel said that if a person fell two months behind on the bill, the household would have its water turned off, no questions asked. Mary Hamilton said it is important for residents to understand that, no matter the circumstances, this policy would be enforced.
The council also gave Police Chief Robert Poppell the authority to hire two part-time officers. He said one of his part-time officers was leaving and that having two would give him more flexibility to call in a part-time officer when he needs one. He said that the part-time officers are only called in when additional help is needed, and only paid for time on the clock.
Fuller had a lot of praise for Poppell and the current officers.
“I think we got a mighty good police department right now,” Fuller said.
On Thursday, Fuller told the Courier that Ludowici received more good news regarding the proposed McDonald’s/Flash Foods project. He said the city learned March 18 that the Department of Transportation had approved a required easement for the project and that the quick deed had already been written up and sent to Waycross developer Cowford Holdings LLC.
“This is another step towards us getting our McDonald’s,” Fuller said.