2006-11-15 / Front Page

County Commission addresses Ag Center complaints

By Deborah Bennett

Neighborhood complaints concerning groups renting the Jenkins County Agriculture Center surfaced during the Tuesday, Nov. 7, meeting of the Jenkins County Commissioners.

Wade Parker, Jenkins County Extension Service coordinator, reported that complaints about those using the facility were becoming more frequent with the Millen Police Department responding on several occasions. Complaints from citizens living near the center ranged from playing music too loudly to activities continuing into the early morning hours.

Parker proposed several additions to the policies governing the use of the Ag Center including: prohibiting the sale of advance tickets or taking money at the door for admission to events being held at the center; ceasing all activities at 12 a.m.; forfeiture of deposit if the police respond to complaints; denying use to repeat offenders; and increasing the user fee from $100 to $125.

The new policies were approved as presented with the commissioners to review the overall policy concerning the use of the Ag center.

Chairman James Henry reported that only about half of the logging companies operating in Jenkins County were obtaining logging permits, which are free of charge. It was noted that failing to obtain logging permits was a way of delaying payment of the timber tax. The possibility of fining those who do not obtain logging permits through the Jenkins County Magistrate Court was discussed.

"I just want you to be aware of the problem," commented Henry.

A delay in making a decision on a previous request from the North Jenkins County Volunteer Fire Department (NJCVFD) drew complaints from commissioners Floyd Chance and Tommy Lane.

At a previous meeting, the department had asked the commissioners to consider contributing approximately $7,800 in matching funds as required by a Homeland Security Grant secured by the department. The grant was used to purchase a tanker truck that will be available for use countywide.

Chairman Henry reported that the county attorney was at that moment involved in a meeting with the county fire chief and personnel from NJCVFD, and he felt the matter should be tabled until the attorney's recommendation could be obtained. When Chance and Lane continued to complain about the delay, the county attorney and fire chief were called and asked to meet with the group in executive session. A decision was still not made following the session.

In other matters, the group approved the low bid of $38,700 from Royal Refrigeration of Claxton for providing an air conditioning unit at the Jenkins County Courthouse.

The preliminary proposal for Phase II of the Carlton Oaks Subdivision off U.S. Highway 25 South was approved following a lengthy discussion of possible dumpster sites to accommodate future residents. A site was not decided upon, and commissioners Chance and Domingo Green opposed the motion to approve.

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