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Richmond Hill DDA gets $150,000 from city to finish 2019 work
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The Richmond Hill City Council approved $150,000 at its meeting Tuesday for the Downtown Development Authority to complete its adopted 2019 Work Program.

    That program, in part, includes:

    - Painting the light poles on Highway 17 black and then installing 12 place making signs.

    - Additional training for DDA staff.

    - LED conversion of streetlights on Highway 17.

    - Developing a work program.

    - Pursuing the possibility of a "restaurant week." 

    "This was a line item already budgeted and you have a report in your packet about that request," planning and zoning director Scott Allison told the council.

    DDA chairperson Georgene Brazer thanked the council for their ongoing support. 

    "That money we asked for is a beginning to show tangible results and that's what it's all about. You've seen our story of Richmond Hill with our mural in J.F. Gregory Park. We're working on several others. We are really going to be on the map. I ask you to support us and see our wayfinding and street signs. To see our wonderful crepe myrtles going down Highway 144 (Ford Avenue) and know we are beginning, with your help, with you leading us.

     "So, I hope you will approve our new budget," the chairperson said.

    Brenda Krokoski and Tura Sandt got a commitment from the city council to working with the Bryan County Commission and the Bryan County School Board to research the possibility of putting an aquatic center in South Bryan County.

    Krokoski and Sandt are leading a groundswell of community support for an aquatic center that would support the needs of the local swimming community.

    Mayor Russ Carpenter and Councilwoman Tara Baraniak said the city would participate, along with other county government entities, in the hiring of a pool consultant to see what kind of aquatic center the area would need and could support.

    Krokoski said in addition to benefitting the local swim groups, an aquatic center would benefit the county economically in two ways. First, since swim teams, and others, drive out of the county, she said, to train in larger pools, it would keep money in the county and having such a center would allow swim meets to be held her, bringing in money from visitors. 

    Seeded by a $250 donation from county commissioner Steve Myers, the group produced and is selling car stickers that show support for the building of an aquatic center in Bryan County.

    "Build it and They Will Swim," the sticker says.

    The council also recognized several groups and people: 

    - Mayor Carpenter presented a proclamation recognizing April as National Autism Month to Stanley, Melissa and Carter Hurd.

    - Recognized Annesah Dalal and Calie Peterson as Gold Scouts, the Girl Scout equivalent of the Boy Scouts Eagle Scout achievement. Peterson built a paver patio for a garden classroom at the RHMS and Dalal built a display case for the art room at RHHS.

    -  Recognized both middle school boys' and girls' soccer team at their council meeting Tuesday night. For the third year in a row the middle school girls' team took the region soccer title and have gone undefeated during that period. The boys' middle school soccer team was also recognized for going undefeated this year, outscoring their opponents 39-6.

    Other council action included:

    - Approval of a contract with the Georgia Department of Corrections to furnish prisoner labor for city grounds maintenance.

    - Approving the hiring of three new city firefighters.

    - Approving a change to the city ordinance addressing registration in city hotels and motels. Allison said it would bring registration requirements into line with commonly-accepted registration practices.

    - Approving the request from the Richmond Hill-Bryan County Chamber of Commerce to use J.F. Gregory Park October 18-20 for the Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival and to allow beer and wine sales at the festival Oct. 18-19.


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