The Glynn County Commission decided go ahead with pickup of debris left by Hurricane Matthew on private roads and in gated neighborhoods despite the fact that they might not be able to qualify for reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
FEMA will only reimburse counties for picking up debris in private areas when the debris poses either a significant health risk or economic impact, finance department director Tonya Miller said. Miller said a FEMA representative described a significant health risk as a road that is impassable by ambulance and limbs blocking fire hydrants.
After extensive discussion on the subject at their Thursday meeting, the commissioners decided that they would go ahead and risk taking any losses that came with picking up debris in private areas.
Commissioner Mark Stambaugh said people that live on private roads are still taxpayers, and private roads save the county a lot of money in maintenance costs.
Now that the decision has been made, the county will need to get permission from homeowners’ associations and residents before proceeding. County attorney Aaron Mumford said the residents of private areas will have to sign agreements to release the county from liability associated with picking up the debris beforehand, among other things.
Commissioners also discussed a proposed amendment to the liquor, malt beverage and wine ordinance on Thursday. The amendment would have allowed for some slack in the restrictions on the distance that a lounge or package store has to be from residential areas.
Currently, a lounge or package store has to be a minimum of 200 yards from a residential area. The amendment was mainly aimed at St. Simons Island, where commissioner Dale Provenzano said you would be hard pressed to find a commercial lot further away than 200 yards from residences. The amendment was also mainly intended to benefit smaller alcoholic establishments, like growler stores, wine bars and craft beer stores, small, boutique shops that allow drink tasting.
After much deliberation, the majority of commissioners decided against the amendment, instead asking senior assistant county attorney Will Worley to come up with a new category to add to the current ordinance that would cover the aforementioned establishments.
In other business, commissioners also took no motion on waiving park rental fees for College of Coastal Georgia’s softball team, approved a land swap for land up against Canal Road, approved awarding a contract for debris removal to Ceres Environmental for $4,433,100.91, approved awarding a contract to Witt O’Brien’s for response and recovery consulting and sent a request to rezone a property from local commercial to forest agricultural back to the Mainland Planning Commission for further discussion.
The next meeting of the Glynn County Commission is scheduled for 6 p.m. Nov. 3 in the Old Glynn County Courthouse, 701 G St. in Brunswick.