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Long Commission asked to ponder needs
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A corner in the Long County Courthouse shows signs of water damage. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle
During their Aug. 7 meeting, Long County commissioners heard several requests from different departments, all having the same “theme” — additional funding.

Recreation department

Recreation department director Shawn Mills made several requests involving long-term  and immediate needs. Long-term needs included additional paved parking, an icemaker, new uniforms and a larger budget.
Immediate needs mentioned by Mills included electrical work, a popcorn machine and a computer for the office.
“The growth in the number of kids, has almost tripled in the last three years. Parking should be better, with the land cleared (land was cleared and smoothed out for parking next to the facilities), but we still need help,” Mills said.
Commissioners approved $2,000 for Mills to address  immediate needs, and informed him the other items would be considered during next year’s budget.    
They also approved five new members for the recreation board. Joey Harrison and Matt Lester were approved to serve  four-year terms, and David Stapleton, Malieta Milton and Bubba Howard were approved for two-year terms.
Mills also told the commissioners the recreation department would be selling all snacks and refreshments at the concession stand.

Sheriff’s department
Sheriff Cecil Nobles appeared before the commissioners and requested two more deputies and an additional investigator. He also requested raising the salaries of all deputies with the county.
“Crime is getting worse and worse in the county, I predict we will send twice as many to prison this year as we did last year, and we need more men,” he said.
Nobles also thanked the commissioners for funding the purchase of two more vehicles, and said he hoped to purchase more from a grant he hopes to receive in October.
According to Nobles, the grant could be as much as $370,000.

Magistrate and elections
Chief Magistrate Judge and Election’s Superintendent Marie Middleton also made several requests, including the upgrading of a clerk’s position in her office from part-time to ful-time.
According to Middleton, she works the employee an average of three days a week now, and with the larger workload, there was a need to change the position to full-time.
Middleton also requested replacing two computers in her office. She said she needed four, but she was going to try to get two through the State Technology Fund.
“Our computers are so far behind, and not up-to-date, we really have to get some new ones,”, she said.
Commissioners said they would look into getting the two computers.
Middleton also requested changing the location of the Rye Patch voting precinct from its current location on the road to the fire department on Darwell Long Road.
“That district has more voters vote than any other in the county, and with all the people who are out there now. They don’t have the room during elections,” she said.
Middleton and Commissioner Mike McGowan, who represents that district, voiced concerns about the safety of the current location.
“It’s really dangerous. When everyone is out there voting, people fly down the road, not slowing down. We really need to look into moving it where the traffic is not quite as heavy,” McGowan said.
Commissioners decided Middleton would discuss the matter with Fire Chief Darrell Ballance, and see what the feasibility was of modifying and adding on to the fire station to use it as a voting precinct.

Superior court clerk
Clerk of Superior Court Frank Middleton made the last of the financial requests for the day. His involved following up on roof repairs made at the courthouse this past month.
“I want to thank you for taking care of the roof, but there still is some damage inside which needs to be taken care of, if we can do it,” he said.
According to Middleton, the damage was located in all four corners of the building.
Middleton also told the commissioners there was a need to appoint people to the board of equalization.
The commissioners said both issues would be taken under consideration.
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