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DeLoach to seek third term as District 3 commissioner
Jamie DeLoach
Jamie DeLoach - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

 SPRINGFIELD — Jamie DeLoach announced Thursday that he is seeking a third term on the Effingham County Board of Commissioners.

It wasn’t a rash decision. That’s not the way he operates.

“I make my decisions based on data,” the District 3 commissioner said in reference to the many votes he has cast over the past few years.

DeLoach noted that some of the issues confronting the board are getting more complex as competing interests collide. That is why he and the other commissioners follow “master plans” loaded with facts and projections to help them deal with rapid population growth and its impact on transportation, solid waste disposal, water/sewer needs and county facilities.

The constantly updated master plans are maps designed to lead to a successful future for the county, DeLoach explained.

“(Commissioners) feel that we can support the decisions that we make with taxpayer dollars,” he said.

DeLoach said District 2 (on the south end of the county) is receiving the largest share of the board’s transportation attention, adding that’s the way it should be.

“We definitely understand that District 2 has a lot of density so we know there are a lot of traffic needs there,” he said.

The other districts’ needs aren’t being neglected, however.

“We’ve completed the master plan so we are going  to continue to look at data on all fronts on any decisions we make moving forward,” DeLoach said.

DeLoach has expressed gratitude to voters on multiple occasions for supporting the TSPLOST, a one-percent sales tax used exclusively for road and infrastructure improvements within the county. Approved in 2020, it is projected to net $45 million over five years, including $34 million for incorporated Effingham County. The rest will be spread among the municipalities of Guyton, Rincon and Springfield.

“I don’t want people to think, ‘Oh, man. We are getting a few TSPLOST projects done and we are good to go.’ I know there is definitely more that needs to be done,” DeLoach said.

DeLoach remains adamant about one thing that doesn’t need to be done — the addition of a landfill in the county. Last spring, he voiced vociferous opposition to approving one for a 1,603-acre piece of property in his district.

“That has been a very hot topic and I don’t support a landfill,” he said. “In our solid waste management plan that we just recently updated, the data doesn’t show that we need one right now. It clearly states that in the report — that we have enough capacity in the landfills that we are using.

“We are fine.”

 DeLoach expressed regret that Clarence Morgan won’t be around to see the completion of the recreation complex in Springfield that bears his name. Morgan died Jan. 5 at the age of 75 after serving the county for more than five decades.

The 120-acre Clarence E. Morgan Complex features multiple ball fields, including Josh Reddick Stadium, batting cages, playgrounds and a sparkling gym. Four or five more baseball fields, four to six soccer/football/lacrosse fields and more are in the works.

“I think we are at $13 million to $14 million that has already been spent there,” DeLoach said. “That’s without Phase II and Phase III. I think it will probably be another $7 when we get those done.”