The Long County Commission again Tuesday confronted a seemingly permanent problem with infrastructure maintenance in subdivisions, but a motion to fix some of the streets drew only a single vote.
County Commissioner Clifton DeLoach said there were safety concerns caused by flooded streets in the Burnt Pine and Crawford subdivisions and moved that the county take responsibility.
“This is our fault, we should accept them,” he said, “We let these subdivisions slip by us.”
County Attorney James Smith agreed that “at some point in the past the county messed up,” but said he was concerned about the precedent that would be set by county action now.
DeLoach said, “These developers come in here and build subdivisions and walk away and leave us with problems.”
Commission Chairman Mike Riddle said, “We talk about this every month...” and seconded DeLoach’s motion but when votes were counted DeLoach’s was the only yes vote.
The commissioners approved by a 3-1 vote the final plat for Phase II of the Way Station subdivision being developed by Jason Smiley. Commissioner David Richardson voted no; Riddle, DeLoach and Commissioner Willie Thompson voted yes.
County Finance Director Bernice Johnson reported that “We’re in good place with the budget,” after the commissioners held two all-day work sessions going over the budget line by line. One more budget meeting will be necessary; it is planned for Thursday.
The commissioners reappointed James Howard to the board of assessor. The county is looking for people interested in serving on the Long County Development Authority.
A July 11 commission action awarding a contract for lawn care at the recreation department was rescinded. Officials had discovered an error in their report of bid amounts. The contract was awarded to Long Lawn Care, which submitted the low bid for $30,225.
Allen Burns, executive director of the Coastal Regional Commission praised the commission for their action in staggering their terms so that some experienced commissioners will remain in office. He added that Long County should consider changing to a county administrator model of government and electing a commission chairman at large.
The commissioners made a change in the health insurance coverage so that new employees will be covered after 30 days instead of 60 days. Riddle said there was no additional charge for making the change.
The commissioners held a closed door “executive session” said to be for discussion of personnel matters and possible litigation. Although raised voices were easily audible through the closed conference door, after the executive session no action was taken except to vote to pay the county’s bills.