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City council: townhomes, parades, parks

POSTED: November 8, 2017 7:51 a.m.
Ted O'Neil/

Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival committee member Bonnie Proctor is asked by Mayor Harold Fowler to serve as grand marshal for this year's Christmas parade during Tuesday night's city council meeting.

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The Richmond Hill City Council addressed several issues in a relatively short 25-minute meeting Tuesday night.

The council began by officially asking Bonnie Proctor, who has been involved with the planning committee for the Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival since it began, to serve as grand marshal for this year’s Christmas parade.

“I’m not usually at a loss for words, but I am now,” Proctor laughed.

The city then recognized David Krupp of Troop 486 for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout.

The council also approved a preliminary plat for a 38-unit townhome development on Harris Trail between Brisbon and Port Royal Roads.

Assistant City Manager Scott Allison said the plans call for a maximum of five units per building and a minimum of 40 feet between buildings on the 6.5-acre parcel and noted that the development will meet the city’s revamped ordinances.

“So in other words, infrastructure before development,” noted Councilman Russ Carpenter, echoing a familiar theme that the city has embraced for new construction.

Finally, the city approved spending $30,000 in SPLOST money on further upgrades to Sterling Creek Park, with Councilman John Fesperman casting the dissenting vote.

“I know people would like to have more parks, but I think there are some other parks that need improvements, too,” Fesperman said. “My understanding is that Sterling Creek is only averaging two people per day. Is this a case of we have to build it in the long run before they’ll come?”

Carpenter said there is no long-run for a good park without spending money on it, noting that the money would be used for additional trails and deepening the lake on the property for fishing.

City officials also think the park is averaging more than two visitors a day and that equipment to monitor traffic there had been off-line due to technical difficulties. Councilman Johnny Murphy noted that a recent cross country meet there hosted by Richmond Hill High School drew more than 200 visitors.

“We postponed working on the park because of Hurricane Matthew, but we had already agreed to this work and the money was allocated,” Councilwoman Jan Bass said.

City Manager Chris Lovell also noted that the upgrades were a continuation of work that had to be postponed due to Hurricane Irma.

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