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Record center bid under budget
Eddie Walden
Commissioner Eddie Walden - photo by Courier file photo
Liberty County commissioners approved just under $700,000 to remodel the records center, coming in under budget, which was $1.2 million of taxpayer money from SPLOST reserved for the project.
“The good news is you’ll see with the price it leaves some allowance in the fund to buy some solar units,” County Administrator Joey Brown said.
The records center’s roof has been in serious need of repair for some time, he said.
Rusty McCall, representing the project’s architect, presented plans to replace the roof, install air conditioning units and add 6,000 square feet of space.
Tippins-Polk construction in Statesboro will be the contractor and McCall estimated at least three weeks before the project would start.
Concerned about unfinished work, Commission Chairman John McIver asked McCall if he had working experience with Tippins-Polk.
“We have checked around on him and the main way we checked on him is called his competitors because they are working for me right now,” McCall said. “And they spoke well of them… he’s clean.”
Commissioner Eddie Walden asked about the building’s features.
“I know when that building was retrofitted before we spent a lot of money on the doors,” Walden said.
The state fire marshal approved plans for steel, fireproof doors, according to McCall.
Commissioners all voted to accept the bid.
In other business, commissioners approved another organization’s request for grant money from the Drug Abuse Treatment Education fund.
Will Darsey of Darsey, Black and Associates, LLC asked for $5,000, after acknowledging the new fund guidelines that cap amount requests.
“I would step back my request if the drug court needed the money first,” Darsey said.
The approval carried unanimously.
Commissioners also heard a request from Lew Waldrop to use the estimated 103 acres of open fields at the old airport for a model aviation flying club. 
“We won’t need all of that,” Waldrop said of the acreage. “Our club is kind of at a stalemate right now because we don’t have an area to fly right now.”
The club has been using a pasture in Long County.
Construction of communication tower is in the works, according to Brown.
Waldrop understood the county’s plans to use the field in the future and said the club only wants short-term use.
“Most of us work, so during the week it won’t be used,” Waldrop said, mentioning $2.5 million of liability insurance.
McIver asked if Waldrop has approached Walthourville.
“Looking at the map I think you’ll be pretty close to the city of Walthourville,” McIver said, expressing concern about noise.
Waldrop estimated 70 to 75 decibels of noise.
“However, the distance we’re talking about and the flight patterns…I mean we had an airport out there. We’re certainly not as noisy as those guys were,” Waldrop said.
McIver said the board will consider the request and consult with the county attorney.
“I think this is probably something good for the community,” McIver said.
“I think it’ll be an additional release, especially for folks who are looking for something to do,” Waldrop said.
“There’s an additional caveat,” Waldrop said. “Our club would be willing to do some of the maintenance upkeep around the area.”
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