Glynn County commissioners greenlit a project to straighten out curves in Frederica Road in front of Christ Church on Thursday, accepting an $806,000 federal grant to cover much of the cost.
“The portion that we’re looking at is what’s running between the two halves of Christ Church’s property leading up to Fort Frederica (National Monument),” said Jeremy Marquis, with engineering firm Marquis Latimer & Halback.
Where the road is crooked, Marquis said the project will straighten it into a gentle curve past Christ Church and Fort Frederica.
The project is also intended to resolve several more issues. Some drainage issues causing flooding at the entrance to Fort Frederica will be resolved, a sharply-angled intersection at Stevens Road will be reworked into a 90-degree intersection and an area on the far side of Frederica Road commonly used for parking by visitors to Christ Church will be moved to the same side of the road as the church building, among others.
“We looked at the safety improvements, the improvements to cultural resources as well as the visitor and economic impact, and the fact that you have two of the main historic attractions right next to each other, that was something that (the FHWA) really liked when they were reviewing this,” Marquis said.
The total project cost is about $1.37 million, with Glynn County, Christ Church Frederica, the National Park Service through Fort Frederica National Monument and the Federal Highway Administration all pitching in.
The grant will cover $806,000, while the church will pitch in $464,042, the county $50,000 and the park service $47,699.
“It’s significant to note that it’s very unusual for the National Park Service unit to actually allocate funds as part of the match, and it was a really big deal that Fort Frederica National Monument brought in an additional $47,000, so it really shows that everyone has skin in the game for the overall improvements that this will provide,” Marquis said.
Commissioners also approved a land swap deal with Christ Church, swapping the church’s land on the other side of Frederica Road for the land Frederica Road currently sits on.
In other business, the commission appointed Finance Manager Tamara Munson to replace former Chief Financial Officer Tonya Miller.
The county hired Miller as finance manager in 2013. In January, the city of Waycross announced that Miller was the sole finalist for its city manager position. Miller said at the time that if the job were offered, she’d take it.
“Tonya was an excellent CFO for Glynn County, and she will be greatly missed,” Munson said. “I appreciate the opportunity to serve as interim CFO, and I have big shoes to fill.”
Glynn County Manager Allen Ours said Miller had done a great job during her five-year tenure leading the county’s finance department and budgeting process.
“Several years ago, Ms. Miller shared with me that her career goal was to be a city or county manager, so I knew this day was coming. Waycross is getting a great leader, and it is Glynn County’s loss,” Ours said. “She was here for five years, but she is leaving a positive impact on Glynn County government.”
Thursday was Miller’s last day on the job at Glynn County.
In other business, commissioners voted unanimously to transfer tax deeds for three properties in Brunswick to the Glynn-Brunswick Land Bank Authority and approved a mooring permit allowing the Lynx Educational Foundation to moor the tall ship Lynx at the St. Simons Island Pier.
The replica 18th-century sailing vessel will stop over at St. Simons Island from April 25-30. For more information, visit tallshiplynx.com.
The commission’s next meeting is scheduled for March 7.