A proposed solar farm that drew some vocal opposition at the Long County Commission’s Jan. 8 meeting seems to be backing off its plans for the 140-acre site off Smith-Berry Road.
Innovative Solar Systems was requesting several land use actions to develop a solar power generation facility on the land being leased from the Dasher family. The company planned to submit the Long County site in response to a request for proposals issued by Georgia Power for solar power farms. Chuck Scragg, interim executive director of the Long County Development Authority, told the commissioners Jan. 22 that Innovative had not met Georgia Power’s deadline for proposals.
Tax revenue from the project had been estimated at $125,000 for the first year of operation but the company had been expected to ask for some tax relief in return for their investment of more than $20 million.
Citizens speaking at the Jan. 8 meeting expressed concern about property values near solar farms and the possibility of hazardous materials being used in the project.
The commissioners talked about various infrastructure problems and possible solutions, including the possibility of a moratorium on subdivisions and related zoning actions. The question of a moratorium is expected to be on the agenda of the commissioners’ Feb. 5 meeting.
Road and drainage problems in subdivisions continued to be on commissioners’ minds Tuesday. Referring to the troubled Vickers Hill Subdivision, Commission Chairman Robert Parker said, “We discussed this while we were out there.” Commissioner Mike Phillips has said the county owes some help to the taxpaying residents of the area.
The Vickers Hill Subdivision was completed in 1996 by Bill Nutting’s Georgia Coastal Land Co. but Long County has never accepted the subdivision’s infrastructure for maintenance.
Other subdivisions to be considered include Burnt Pines, Crawford and Calvary.
Commissioners also discussed giving a parcel of property back to the Long County School System, on which sits an access way for the new school building that houses McClelland Elementary and Long County Middle schools.
“We need to deed that (parcel 4) back to them as soon as possible,” said Commissioner Mike Riddle.
In late 2017, the school system deeded parcel 4 to the county – so the county could try to acquire additional funding from the Georgia Department of Transportation in order to connect the access way to Elim Church Road thereby alleviating traffic concerns. The county commission was unable to acquire that additional funding, according to County Administrator Frank Etheridge. The school system eventually paved the access way to the new school using school system funds.
The commissioners spoke with representatives of Excelsior Ambulance Service which operates the county’s emergency medical transport. Excelsior plans to provide an ambulance to make non-emergency calls to sick, elderly and infirm residents. The additional ambulance, to start in March, would follow up on calls where patients do not need to go to a hospital but should be checked on the next day.
Parker can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.