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12/29/11 Supervisor Meeting; Frank Ferguson's Last Meeting As Supervisor

Frank Ferguson attends his last board meeting as Supervisor last Thursday.

The Thursday, December 29th Lowndes County Board of Supervisors meeting was not only the last meeting of the year, it was the last meeting of this particular board. All of the supervisors were re-elected except for District 2 Supervisor Frank Ferguson. Ferguson was beaten by fellow Republican Bill Brigham in last year’s Republican primary.

    When County Engineer Bob Calvert came before the board to present an AT&T utility permit for an underground cable to a cell tower and seeking supervisor approval, he received chuckles when Board of Supervisor President Harry Sanders asked him, “are you gonna make sure that they get that cable deep enough and not in the middle of our ditch?”
    “I will give them full warning,” Calvert answered. (The discussion has been brought up many times. AT&T rarely buries its cables deep enough. It’s been an on-going problem for some time now. Within the past year, an AT&T cable was hit by a county ditch-cleaning crew while clearing ditches near my home. The cable was buried only inches deep and right in the middle of the long-existing ditch. It knocked out internet and phone service for several residents in the neighborhood for a couple of days. There could have been an even longer delay if not for a complaint phone call made to the Public Service Commissioner. Only then did AT&T get on the ball. A couple of elderly residents were without phone service, which was totally unacceptable. RW).
    The AT&T cable in question for this permit was to run along Gunshoot and Steens Roads.
    Golden Triangle Planning & Development District Project Analyst George Crawford came before the board to inform the supervisors of a request for an emergency CDBG grant application for money to begin a project of  helping residents along the Frisco Road area of getting better water service to that region. Crawford said that residents, East Lowndes Water Assn. officials, Calvert/Spradlin Engineers and District 4 Supervisor Jeff Smith have met at the National Guard Armory about the situation.
    Crawford told the supervisors that many of the wells in the area along Frisco Road were either very shallow, or some were not pumping any water at all. He added that those that were pumping water, the quality was inadequate.
    Crawford said the cost estimate to provide the residents with an adequate water supply was $194,425. He said that the CDBG grant program could only provide a maximum of $100,000 under the emergency guidelines. He said that East Lowndes Water Assn. would have to pick up the remaining $94,425. He asked the supervisors to approve the request to sign the letter by Board President Harry Sanders to submit the application. The board approved.
    County Administrator Ralph Billingsley announced that there were two vacancies coming up on the Golden Triangle Regional Waste Authority board. He said that Leslie Baucom and Dave Basinger’s terms expire on December 31st, 2011. They are four year terms. Both men had reapplied for the positions.
    Billingsley also announced a vacancy on the Prairie Opportunity board. The position had been announced previously but no applications were submitted during the advertised period of application from December 1st through the 15th. However, Billingsley said that Willie Petty applied for the board appointment after the deadline.
    The board decided to re-open the application period and decided to keep Petty’s application. The young lady that holds the position, according to District 4 Supervisor Jeff Smith, will have an opportunity to apply as well. He had said, during discussion, that she had misunderstood that she needed to re-apply for the appointment. She’ll now have an opportunity to re-apply.
    District 5 Supervisor Leroy Brooks brought up discussion of the lack of construction on the various community centers projects going-on, in particular the Sim Scott project. Brooks has said, since then, that the situation has been resolved.
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