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Council member, city manager lauded for cleanup efforts
Guyton City Council

GUYTON — The Guyton City Council’s Aug. 3 workshop opened with two firm pats on the back.

“I’d like to take a moment to thank a couple people who did a lot of hard work this week,” Mayor Russ Deen said before tackling a brief agenda. “Councilman (Joseph) Lee and City Manger Mike Eskew have begun the arduous task of going from home to home in certain areas of Guyton and getting temporary easements so we can begin the process of cleaning out ditches throughout the city. I would like to thank both of you because you busted hump this week and have continued to work hard, and that is effort that is greatly appreciated.

“Without you, we wouldn’t be where we are and moving forward.”

Deen then delivered a well-received joke that was streamed on Facebook Live.

“You are going to have it all done by tomorrow? Right?,” he asked playfully.

EOM is working to reduce Guyton’s sporadic flooding problems that are caused by ditches that are clogged with debris.

“If you see these two gentlemen coming up your driveway, they are trying to improve your drainage,” Deen told the Facebook audience. “Answer your door, sign their form and send them on their way.”

Later in the meeting, Deen broached the subject of the Nov. 2 Effingham County SPLOST referendum. If the measure is approved, the City of Guyton stands to gain about $2 million from a sales tax that could generate $70 million over a six-year span.

The mayor said, “Just tentatively, I put out a proposed 40 percent (of the $2 million) to water and sewer capital projects. Streets and lanes would get 25 percent. Parks and (recreation) would get 25 percent, and police capital outlay projects would get 10 percent.

“There are other categories — there are other options — but from what I’ve seen in the city, these are all good needs and good capital projects that we could put toward SPLOST funds.”

Council members had no questions about Deen’s plan.

“OK, that will be on the agenda for (Tuesday’s regularly scheduled council) meeting,” Deen said.

Earlier, the mayor issued an update on the Nov. 2 municipal election. Acting City Clerk Jenna Tidwell will handle candidate qualifying this month. Lee and Michael Johnson are up for reelection.

Election day responsibilities will be handled by the Effingham County Board of Elections and Registration, Deen said.

 “We will be paying for that as we have entered into an agreement with them,” he explained.

Just before the workshop adjourned, resident Lula Seabrooks asked for an update on an effort to improve lighting in parts of the city.

“With the SPLOST money I’m hearing (about), I’m hoping that we can follow through on those things ...,” Seabrooks said.

A neighborhood in the Samuel Smalls Boulevard area initiated a Neighborhood Watch program a few months ago that is designed to combat crime and reduce speeding. One of the concerns of residents is poor lighting, especially at intersections.

“That’s important,” Seabrooks said. 

Police Chief James Breletic is awaiting a response from Georgia Power. He has inquired about installing new bulbs in the area and how much the fix will cost.

Breletic said the situation improved slightly following the removal of brush and overhanging limbs at some intersections.

“EOM is having a conversation (with Georgia Power) about lights in the middle of town,” Deen said. “I will have them add this to their question list.”

Seabrooks also encouraged the council to add some Christmas decorations to the city’s assortment. Deen vowed to look into it.