The Glynn County Police Department plans to roll out a map that will clarify for golf cart drivers on St. Simons which roads they’re allowed to drive on.
Residents concerned about illegal golf cart use on the island attended a town hall hosted Wednesday by Glynn County Commissioner Cap Fendig at The Club on St. Simons.
Discussion also included an overview of SPLOST 2022 proposed projects and an update on a roundabout planned at the intersection of Frederica and Sea Island roads.
Poor acoustics and bad weather outside created noise challenges, prompting complaints from those unable to hear the speakers. To make up for the problem, residents were given the opportunity to ask questions face-to-face with county staff at the end of the town hall.
Bill Fallon, county manager, gave an overview of plans for the proposed special purpose local option sales tax, a 1% tax that will raise money for county projects if voters approve it in November.
Fallon said a University of Georgia Carl Vinson Institute of Government study found that 43.6% of every dollar spent in Glynn County is by someone who lives outside the community.
“Almost every dollar that we spend, somebody else spends a dollar here,” he said. “So SPLOST takes advantage of that.”
The list of proposed projects to be funded by a 2022 SPLOST is made up of critical infrastructure developments, Fallon said.
“The list that we have doesn’t have any wants on it,” he said. “These are all needs for Glynn County.”
The list was created through a collaboration with the county, city, Joint Water and Sewer Commission, Jekyll Island Authority, Brunswick-Glynn Economic Development Authority and the Brunswick Golden Isles Airport, Fallon said.
The tax could generate between $130 million and $170 million over the six-year collection period.
Proposed projects include the widening of Glynco Parkway, improvements on Demere Road, Old Jesup Road and the St. Simons gateway area, and ditch and drainage work across the county.
The full list can be found at www.glynncounty.org/2284/SPLOST-2022.
About 30 minutes into the town hall, resident Julian Smith interrupted Fallon, saying he was frustrated that no opportunities to ask questions had been presented yet.
“This is ridiculous, the fact that you cannot stick to an agenda,” he yelled before leaving. “Thank you and good night.”
Glynn County Police Chief Jacques Battiste unveiled a map designed to show golf cart drivers which roads are available to use.
“We’re going to post this at the St. Simons police island station,” he said. “We’re going to post it downtown. We’re going to make it easy for you to have on social media, on our website, and we’re also going to put it on a flyer that will go out to every one of the rental agencies for the golf carts.”
Complaints about illegal golf cart driver behavior on the island are common. Motorists often find themselves behind a cart that is not allowed on the road.
These carts can jam up traffic flow by causing long vehicle lines behind them. They’re also often driven by underage drivers, creating additional safety risks.
Battiste said local law enforcement is trying to strike a balance between allowing those using golf carts for recreational travel around the island to do so safely while ensuring people in vehicles who need to get to work or school can do so safely.
“Even though they live in this beautiful environment we call St. Simons Island, they have jobs that they’re required to get to,” Battiste said. “So if you’re trying to drop your child off at school in the morning and you’re behind a golf cart that should technically move over when there are three or more cars behind them … there’s a problem.”
Those driving what are legally classified as “personal transportation vehicles” (carts that are capable of traveling 20 mph or less) are not allowed on roads with a speed limit above 25 mph. Those driving a “low speed vehicles” (carts capable of 25 mph or less) should not drive on roads with a speed limit above 35 miles per hour.
“We’re not trying to infringe upon your recreational time,” Battiste said. “We’re just asking you to be good shareholders, good stakeholders, in this area.”
A brief update on the Frederica and Sea Island roundabout offered a look at a design for the plan.
The county commission has approved $6 million for the work.