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Two Appling parks to get upgrades

Posted: May 6, 2012 - 12:04am  |  Updated: May 7, 2012 - 10:46am

Twitter @DonnieFetter

Two Appling parks soon will get some upgrades.

Columbia County commissioners authorized nearly $100,000 in improvements at the Eubank Blanchard Community Center and the Lonnie Morris Sr. Park during a Tuesday meeting.

Eubank Blanchard Community Center, 6868 Cobbham Road, will get a quarter-mile asphalt track, a picnic pavilion, irrigation system, fence for the ball field, repainted basketball court and additional improvements worth more than $72,000.

The Lonnie Morris Sr. Park, 1951 Appling Harlem Highway, also will get a picnic pavilion, irrigation system and other upgrades worth nearly $27,000.

With the commission approval, county Construction and Maintenance Services Director Matt Schlacther said he soon will take bids for those projects. Commissioners then must approve the bids for work on the parks to start.

Money for the upgrades is coming from sales tax discretionary funds of Commissioner Bill Morris, whose District 4 includes the two parks.

Also at the meeting, commissioners voted to add flashing signs warning motorists of potential hazards near three intersections and a sharp curve.

Intersections receiving overhead warning beacons are Ray Owens and White Oak roads, William Few Parkway at Chamblin Road, and Harlem Grovetown and Louisville roads. A curve on South Old Belair Road near the intersection on South Belair Road will get a road-mounted warning beacon.

The beacons should be in place within 45 days, said Schlachter.

Commissioners also voted to lower the speed limit on Ray Owens Road to 45 mph for a mile north of the White Oak Road intersection.

Altogether, the new signs will cost $14,000, and will be paid for with 1-percent sales tax funds earmarked for transportation.

IN OTHER MEETING NEWS

• The rezoning of 4.5 acres on Washington Road at Gibbs Road for a car dealership was approved. The commercial zoning allows for the undisclosed dealership, which abuts a residential neighborhood.

Property owners, which include state Sen. Bill Jackson’s son, Billy Jackson, agreed to both fence and tree buffers and dim lighting at night to get the rezoning.

• The commission approved multiple zoning ordinance revisions to include adding more greenspace in high-density housing developments and increasing buffers to 15 feet between dissimilarly zoned properties.

• Commissioners tabled discussion of proposed upgrades to the county water and sewer system worth nearly $9.5 million.

The potential upgrades include booster, pump and lift stations; effluent filters; new water mains; and a meter system.

Commissioners said they wanted more time to discuss the projects before making a decision. They’ll take up the issue again on June 5.

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