By Marla Ogletree

The Charlton County Board of Commissioners met Thursday, February 4 for its regularly scheduled meeting.

During the meeting, the board approved a resolution endorsing the concept of a countywide 911 Emergency Telephone Service called “Charlton 911” and committing to the eventual implementation of such a program on the earliest date feasible for the completion of the service.

An amendment to the budget was made in order to complete the renovations to the Probate Office, which were authorized last year. The changes were made to make the office more handicapped accessible. The project was delayed due to materials and was not completed until this year. No funds from last year’s budget were used and no invoices show last year’s date. Therefore funds needed to be moved within the budget to complete the project. Funds were also moved for the $12,106.46 payment to Georgia Southern for the training of Deputy Jonathan Chancy. 

The commissioners discussed the possibility of a conflict of interest for the Community Development Block Grant – Mitigation application (CDBG-MIT) for Eston Prescott Road. No conflicts were declared. 

Changes to the Financial Policy Proposals discussed at an earlier workshop were made. No vote was needed as the changes still need to be reviewed by all commissioners before a motion to approve is made. The purpose of the changes is to include practices done by employees, which may not be listed in the policy.

County Administrator Hampton Raulerson is working with the Nassau County Stormwater Engineer to create a proposal for Charlton County to address the construction of buildings in low-lying areas without the proper preparation for possible flooding. There have been issues before, which create issues for building/home owners as well as the county. The focus would be on drainage for the entire county. Commissioner Drew Jones expressed concerns for a blanket policy as all areas are not equally affected by flooding. Commissioner Alphya Benefield suggested the board identify problem areas in each district to bring before the board for discussion at the next workshop. Commissioner Luke Gowen stated the county is headed in the right direction in fixing the flooding.   

The board unanimously approved the reappointments of Commissioner Jesse Crews to the Recreation Board (Commissioner Crews abstained from voting) and Gary Tippins to the Tax Assessors Board. 

The commissioners heard from the St. Marys Riverkeeper, who updated them on the condition of the river. The report, which is available online, shows there has been a spike in pollution due to the heavy rains late last year, but overall the water quality still appears to be good.

Before concluding the meeting, Commissioner Gowen updated the board on the Camp Pinkney project, which is currently waiting on engineers.

The board will meet again, Thursday, February 18 in the BOC conference room.