Ludowici has made several improvements during the last year, and according to Mayor James Fuller, more are planned for the future.
“We have made several improvements to our water-and-sewage system, some of our streets, and to some of the areas like our park, just so the people have a nice place to go and take their kids and grandkids,” he said.
Fuller said that when he took office in January, one of his top priorities was getting the water-and-sewage system up to standards to meet the needs of the current and future population. He said that for a small city like Ludowici, the only way that this can be done is by attaining grants.
“We just don’t have the money to do the work that is needed,” he said. “When you talk about the costs for projects like the work done on our sewage ponds, and for work on streets, we do all we can, but the reality is that to get this work done, we have to qualify for grants.”
Fuller said the city has been awarded a $500,000 Coastal Development block grant for water-and-sewage repairs; it also is in the process of getting a second $500,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Fuller said that getting the water and sewage up to capacity is critical if the city is going to attract businesses.
“Everyone knows we need more business, but if you can’t provide them with water and sewage they’re not going to come,” he said. “We just got a Family Dollar store in the city, which is good, but what we also did was make water and sewage available to the two lots right next to it, so if another business wants to move into those spots, now the lots are ready.”
Fuller also said that the city has worked well with the Long County Commission on several projects, and that its help has been appreciated.
“In all of my 30 years that I have been either working for the city or now serving as mayor, no group of commissioners have worked with the city like this bunch has,” he said. “Without their help, and I want to say especially Bobby Walker’s help, we wouldn’t have had some of the work completed that we have been able to do.”
Streets that either have been paved or had other improvements include McQueen, Main, South Railroad, Walker and Macon, as well as Mill Pond Road. Fuller also said that several areas have been cleaned up.
Fuller said improving the look of the city and adding recreational facilities also is important. He said that in recent months a fence has been placed around Friendship Park and new playground equipment, benches and grills have been purchased. New basketball equipment and small bleachers have been added to the park on Main Street, and the Ludowici Well Pavilion and Long County Community Garden have been cleaned up and are being maintained.
“We want to make our city a better place, and take care of the things that we have,” Fuller said. “Take, for example, Friendship Park. We have the new playground equipment in there, and two more pieces still coming, but we also are having our police department monitor it to make sure no one is in there drinking or doing something they shouldn’t be doing.”