The Long County Commission approval of a rezoning request Tuesday brought out concerns about the growing pains experienced by the rapidly developing county.
The commissioners voted to allow John Shuman to build a gas station and convenience store near the intersection of Horse Creek Road and Elim Church Road.
Several residents of the area told the commissioners they opposed the rezoning because it would increase traffic at the intersection.
One speaker said, “We have been building housing projects left and right; Long County can’t survive on housing projects. We need businesses wherever we can get them . . . We need to slow down these housing projects until we can get some businesses.”
The planning commission had recommended approval of the rezoning and the commissioners agreed in a narrow 3-2 split vote with Commissioners Robert Parker and Clifton DeLoach voting no.
After a long closed-door session that the commissioners said was exempt from Georgia’s open meetings law, they returned to public session and voted to roll back their sick leave policy to a previous regulation providing up to 80 hours of sick leave annually.
The commissioners agreed to a proposal by the Long County Development Authority for funding a deceleration lane accessing the industrial park on Highway 84. The county and the authority will partner to pay portions of the cost with most of the money expected to come from a state One Georgia grant.
If there is a vacancy on the Long County Department of Family and Children Services, then the commissioners named Ray Howard to fill it. Commissioner Mike Riddle said he was told by DFCS officials that there was a seat that “had not been being filled.” Other commissioners had not known of a vacancy but voted for Howard’s appointment.
The commissioners did not take up an agenda item about the employee compensation study done for the county by the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Center.
The study examined the positions of all county employees, analysed them and proposed appropriate pay for each job. Chairman David Richardson said the pay plan would be considered at the next meeting.
The commissioners heard the first reading of a new soil, sedimentation and pollution control ordinance. County Administrator Frank Etheridge told the commissioners that the new ordinance was mandated by the state. Formal approval will be scheduled next month.
Parker can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.