Jason Baker thinks Bryan County could do a better job of providing recreation facilities for its residents and told the county commissioners that at their August 12 meeting.
"I feel an incredible burden for the youth of south Bryan County and Richmond Hill, Baker said. "I feel they need a facility that is specifically designed and managed to give them a place to be after school and during the summer. And this multi-purpose recreation facility would have full-time hours and an open schedule would do just that."
Baker continued, "We have youth that are being isolated in their homes or on their screens because there is nowhere for them to go or anything for them to do. I am here to speak on their behalf.
"I am the man I am today because, in part, because of a North Carolina Recreation Center. I've had many people who have helped me along the way but only one community recreation facility that I can directly credit with helping me to being who I am today.
"A full-time recreation center that provides numerous services for a nominal fee will make a substantial difference in the community. We are growing substantially and have more and more youth with no place to go after school and during the summer. Additionally, we live in an incredibly hot environment. An indoor facility would be an ideal location to provide these opportunities, Baker said.
The youth advocate also said we need a facility that handles more than indoor and outdoor recreational sports, although they do an excellent job at providing those services, he said.
"We are diligently working on some services like the gym and other things. We know we need them here so we are working on a lot of things" Chairman Carter Infinger told Baker.
Another resident, Shawn Rosenquist, told the commissioners he was unhappy with the way the planning and zoning staff handled a county-initiated rezoning request for multiple properties along Highway 144. He said the rezoning was being delayed until the October planning and zoning meeting because of the concerns of one family. He felt that was unfair and the planning department was complicit in helping the family get the rezoning delayed.
The rezoning process was begun to correct a mistake in the county zoning records.
Both comments by Baker and Rosenquist were noted by the commissioners but because they came during the public comments portion of the agenda, no action was taken.
Other county business included:
- Adopting a modification to an existing GEFA load. The modification would extend the completion date of the proposed wastewater treatment facility and land application system projects at the Interstate Center from April 1, 2020 to November 1, 2020.
- Approving an amendment to the land use element of the county's comprehensive plan to allow commercial growth in certain areas of north Bryan County.
- Approving a rezoning request from Verdell Jones for her property on Highway 17 from AR-1 to R-2. She wants to subdivide the property for her two daughters.
- Awarding a contract to Griffin Contracting, Inc. for $623,794.25 for site work at fire station #1.
- Adopting a rollback millage rate of 8.561 mills for 2019.
- Signing a mutual aid agreement between the Bryan County Fire Department with the City of Claxton Fire Department and a similar agreement with the Georgia Forestry Commission.
- Approving a preliminary plat to amend the final plat of the Belfast River Landing Subdivision. The preliminary plat would remove a 1.77 acre portion of the recreation area and amend the lot lines of existing lots 13 and 14.
- Awarding a contract to Griffin Contracting, Inc. for $711,250.98 for Belvedere Road land application system, phase 2.
- Awarding a contract to R. B. Baker Construction for $271,265.00 for the construction of Hendrix Road.