Midway’s new city hall is getting closer to reality with a $1 million bond issue approved by the county Public Works Authority and the plans and maps sent to the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission for review.
Funds from the Special Local Option Sales Tax will be used to pay off the bonds for the city hall multi-complex building to be constructed near the intersection of Islands Highway and Charlie Butler Road.
The city council voted in 2011 to set a new city hall as a top priority.
Mayor Dr. Clemontine Washington said that about 40 volunteers had done a good job removing storm debris and cleaning up Midway’s Cay Creek Wetlands Interpretive Center.
Volunteers are being recruited for another cleanup from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Midway’s mayor pro tempore, Levern Clancy, volunteered to work on getting repairs for the potholes on Butler Street.
In a 2-1 vote the council adopted an amended hotel-motel tax ordinance.
Councilwoman Melice Gerace asked, “Where is the actual ordinance that we are amending . . . that’s what I need to see.”
Washington replied that Midway needed the measure in place now and that a diligent search had been conducted but officials could find no copy of the ordinance.
Clancy and Councilman Curtes Robertson voted yes; Gerace voted no.
Councilman Stanley Brown did not attend the regular meeting Monday.
Engineering firm hired
The council voted to contract with T.R. Long Engineering for general city engineering services, assistance on Georgia Department of Transportation’s Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant projects and Midway’s application for a new groundwater withdrawal permit.
Wants a choice
Midway resident Albert “Buddy” Clark, asked the council to be more active in recruiting businesses to locate in the Midway area. Clark said he had lived in Midway since 2004 and, “Nothing has changed in Midway, even in the Midway area.”
He said Midway now has two pizza places, two financial institutions, two dollar stores, two barbecue joints and seven convenience stores. Many Midway area residents drive to Hinesville to do their grocery shopping, he said, and others go out of the county to Richmond Hill.
Gerace pointed out that Midway also has three liquor stores. She added that large companies like grocery chains do sophisticated studies including traffic and demographics before choosing a site for a store. They have not chosen Midway.
Clark said Midway’s population had grown enough to attract a grocery store.
In a written statement Clark said grocery stores, if allowed to compete with the Midway IGA, “will bring overall food standards up and prices down. We would like a choice.”
All council members said they were open to new businesses for Midway and the mayor said, “We have never stopped a grocery store. We would say yes to having a new store.”
Washington added that all business must comply with zoning and similar regulations.
Clark presented the mayor and each councilmember with a written statement of his views and a petition with 14 pages of signatures attached.
Clark said copies of the petition had been circulated by different people in different places and that he had not counted the signatures.
Most signers are from Midway, but some are included from Riceboro, Sunbury, Fleming, Richmond Hill and Isle of Wight.
Monday’s council session was delayed about five minutes; with Brown absent the members had to wait for Roberts to arrive to make up a quorum of three.