A portion of Holmestown Road, from Westfield Road to Highway 119, will be renamed “Freddie Walthour Sr. Road.”
The Liberty County Board of Commissioners approved the request to rename part of the road after Walthour, who was the second African-American to sit on the county Board of Education and a local businessman.
Walthour died Aug. 8. He has been described as humble, kind, a hero, dependable and inspiring.
“He was a prominent businessman in the Holmestown community,” Commissioner Gary Gilliard said. “Right at that intersection, he had a gas station and laundromat. He was well-known and well-respected.”
Commissioner Marion Stevens, former county commissioner Edna Walthour, Gilliard and Holmestown community leaders formed a committee dedicated to renaming the road. According to county ordinance, 60 percent of landowners along a road must agree to rename it, Gilliard said, and landowners signed the petition.
Commissioners Chairman Donald Lovette said it was a “quite fitting tribute do this for him.”
Stevens said there needs to be road improvements at the intersection, such as realigning the roads and installing a stop sign. He suggested having County Engineer Trent Long talk to the Georgia Department of Transportation to ask about possible funding for the improvements.
Lovette said he was happy to see the commissioners “recognize the life and legacy of Mr. Freddie Walthour.”
The ceremony for the road dedication has not yet been scheduled.
The commissioners approved a bid by East Coast Asphalt LLC for road improvements on Lewis Frasier Road, for $274,392.96 with a 10 percent contingency. Improvements include asphalt overlay, rebuilding existing shoulders, double yellow striping and road widening. The project is funded by the GDOT Local Maintenance Improvement Grant Program.
Commissioners also approved a bid from Swindell Construction Co. Inc. for $31,440, to make James Brown Park more accessible for people with disabilities. Keith Causeway of T.R. Long Engineering P.C. said the county hopes to have the improvements completed by next soccer season.
Melissa Jones, Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission planner II, presented the Hinesville Subarea Land Use Map for the 2040 Liberty County Comprehensive Plan. Hinesville was divided into three areas — west, middle and east —where community meetings took place to receive input from residents. Jones reviewed some changes to the map and said downtown Hinesville “is truly a mixed area” because it’s a place where people can live, work, play and worship.
An application for an emergency mobile home placement was approved. LaTesha Cleary lost her home and requested a permit to place a mobile home on her parents’ property. Cleary said she is trying to earn a doctorate to better herself and her family, and needed a space where her children can feel safe. The permit is for 12 months and can be extended at the end of that time.
Commissioners approved a Liberty County Drug Abuse Treatment and Education fund request for Save Our Children, an educational drug abuse program dedicated to reducing drug use by providing information through activities, group counseling and monitoring youth. Director Linnie Darden Jr. said the funds can help with transportation and providing other supplies for the program. The organization will receive $5,000, the maximum amount the county is allowed to allocate for DATE fund requests.
Lovette signed two proclamations for April — National Donate Life Month and National County Government Month.
Donate Life Month raises awareness for the need of organ, eye and tissue donation, honoring those who’ve donated organs and encouraging people to sign up on Georgia’s Donor Registry (www.donatelifegeorgia.org).
National County Government Month encourages citizens to participate in events that celebrate the county and its history. Events include the #nofilterneeded Geocache Adventure, information booths at the Farmers Market and upcoming Earth Day event and community cleanups.
Youth attended the beginning of the meeting as part of National County Government Month to see how commissioners conduct business for the county. Eric Hollis, director and mentor of Bridging the Gap, a youth mentoring program under the Hinesville Housing Authority, talked about the program reaching young men and women in the community. Ashton Akins, a senior at Liberty County High School and president of the young men in the program, said they learn about life goals, responsibility and serving their community.
First Presbyterian Christian Academy student John Killough opened the meeting with prayer and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Jordan Gilliard, also an FPCA student, read an essay on the history of Liberty County and its cities.