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Sign ordinance moratorium extended again
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Hinesville City Council again decided to extend the sign ordinance moratorium for an additional 60 days in order to come up with a new written ordinance.
The extension will give council members time to review the recommendations from the sign ordinance review team and time for city attorney Linnie Darden III to review the new written ordinance.
In other action, Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas and the council agreed to take future construction action under a piece of Seminole Drive property after learning at yesterday's city council meeting the plot sits on faulty underground corrugated metal pipes.
Councilman Keith Jenkins initially expressed concern about the property, which lies in his district, at the Sept. 4 meeting.
An investigation of the corrugated metal pipes by Paul Simonton of P.C. Simonton and Associates found the pipes are so deteriorated, large sections are missing along the bottom and at the joints.
Water also is eroding the driveway, road and the earth under the pavement.
Jenkins wants the council to come up with a repair plan. He described the driveway’s movement and said the concrete is beginning to give in.
"If you take the opportunity to look at the property ... the dirt is pulling itself from the road," Jenkins said. "I think it's our responsibility to go out and take care of it."
He is worried a large crater may appear underground that could combine with the effects of weak pipes and high-volume traffic to cause a road collapse.
Thomas said he also visited the site and agreed with Jenkins. He pointed out problems in the waterflow of the property's concrete ditch.
Thomas, who has worked in construction, said all the dirt supporting the driveway is being eroded by water and could cause problems. He also felt some “give” to the concrete driveway.
"When we get to the point where the concrete is now, something is going to happen to that thing very quickly," he said.
Councilman Bobby Ryon agreed with replacing the pipes on the Seminole Drive property, but wanted to know how the council would justify it against other properties in the neighborhood.
"I agree we should change the pipes, but
we'll have a roomful of people here wanting a corrugated pipe change," Ryon said.
Jenkins said the council could address that situation when the time comes and stressed the Seminole Drive property needs immediate attention.
"What I'm looking at is the water flow in one particular area," Jenkins said.
But the city worked on the whole area's pipe system and could be liable for damage elsewhere, according to Thomas.
Simonton assured everyone at the meeting that the current pipe problems do not stem from poor original construction, but the type and age of the pipes.
"I don't think the city really did anything wrong when they did work," Simonton said. "The bottom line is pipe being there longer than anyone expected."
He said it was probably only a matter of time before many of the metal pipes needed replacing.
"I would not anticipate this being a one-time deal," Simonton said of the pipe change. "I don't know about the driveway issue."
After discussion, council unanimously approved creating an improvement plan. Thomas gave City Manager Billy Edwards the responsibility of coming up with a plan.
Mayor and council also were updated on the coming downtown justice center, slated to undergo construction later this year.
"As we all hope the Justice Center is about to come out the ground," Liberty County Planning Commission Sonny Timmerman said.

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