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Board of Commissioners set special meeting to discuss library agreement, funding
Effingham County

By Gail Parsons/Effingham Herald

A discussion and vote on the Intergovernmental Agreement between Chatham, Liberty and Effingham counties with Live Oak Public Libraries was tabled pending a larger discussion about the libraries’ partnership with the American Library Association.

“I would be ready to make a decision tonight because I feel that strongly about the things that I found,” said Effingham County Commissioner Roger Burdette during a work session prior to the Nov. 21 regular Board of County Commission meeting.

Burdette expressed his concern about the libraries’ involvement with the American Library Association, a non-profit organization founded in 1876 to “provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all,” according to its mission statement.

“That is pretty much the organization that drives us down this path of transgenderism and putting that in front of (and) exposing our children to that type of thing,” Burdette said. “Our library subscribes to ALA and ALA is the root of all child pornography. They encourage the drag queen story hour and actually offer resources for people who want to uphold the drag queen story hour.”

Live Oaks Libraries Executive Director Lola Shelton-Council spoke briefly and thanked the commission for setting up a meeting for they and the community to learn more about the library and allow them to address their concerns.

“We don’t have the same concerns,” she said. “But I am concerned that members of the Effingham Commissioners are not clear on what the library provides and what our relationship is with the ALA. We are driven by the First Amendment and the Second Amendment. We always want an individual coming into the library to decide for themselves. If they are a young person, we want their parent or guardian to decide if there is something that is not in line with their values and beliefs that their child has picked out.”

Because Live Oaks is a public library system, they maintain literature and material that spans the interests of a broad range of residents.

The commission has set a meeting for 6 p.m. Monday Dec. 4, to discuss the library in more detail.

In other business, commissioners gave unanimous approval for:

·        An application to rezone 44.509 acres on Blue Jay Road from agriculture to multi-family residential. They also allowed a variance to the maximum permitted height from 35 feet to 55 to 60 feet. This will allow the buildings to have a pitched roof giving the third level higher ceilings. 

·        The purchases of a vibratory smooth drum roller for Public Works for 135,330 from Yancey Bros Caterpillar; two towable generators from Low Country Machinery for $135,000; and a jetter trailer from Multitech Traders, LLC for $81,998.00.

·        Change order No. 3 for the TSPLOST Intersections Design and Construction Management with Roberts Civil Engineering in the amount of $105,000. The change order was requested for the resurfacing of Hodgeville Road in conjunction with the turn lane improvements included in change order No. 1, Hodgeville/Scuffletown and Hodgeville/Forest Haven

·        A Purchase of Service Agreement between the Coastal Regional Commission and Effingham County Board of Commissioners. The Coastal Regional Commission suspended monthly group shopping trips for the senior center. This agreement will cost about $1,200 and allow seniors to continue monthly group trips to and from Walmart.

·        A contract with Foresite Group, LLC for the Safe Streets for All Action Plan. Effingham County was awarded grant funds for the plan, which will be in accordance with the U.S. Department of Transportation guidelines and include a safety analysis, public involvement, Identification and analysis of underserved communities, assessment of current policies, guidelines and standards, and identification and prioritization of projects and strategies.

·        Allowing McDaniel Supply Company to add two vending machines to the Effingham County Prison for inmate use. Inmates are allowed one visit to the commissary per day, but this would allow for items to be purchased throughout the day. The county will receive 25% of sales generated.

·        An amendment to the Effingham County Code of Ordinances pertaining to firearms.

The amendment reads: (c) Notwithstanding section (a), a single parcel, under single ownership, and a minimum of one hundred (100) acres, in an AR-1 zoning district, can discharge firearms on the parcel without notifying the county during the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division designated dove season. 310 Item XII. 11.

(d) Notwithstanding section (a), for properties in single ownership under 100 acres, the landowner must register, with the Sheriff’s office, the times and the dates for any discharge of a firearm on the property during the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division designated dove season.

·        A request by Georgia Department of Transportation for the county’s participation in installing a traffic signal at SR21 (Springfield Bypass) at McCall Road. County participation will include providing power to the light and adding a left turn lane on both sides of McCall Road.

·        A variance request to allow for smaller lots in the Pembroke subdivision on Blue Jay Road. After platting, it was discovered that two lots, while surpassing the minimum-required lot size, did not meet the 60-foot lot-width requirement at the front portion of the lots. The subdivision later received final plat and infrastructure agreement approval.