Four-way stop postponed
A four-way stop installation at the intersection of Ellington Airline Road and Hobbs Mill Road that was scheduled for March 1 will be postponed for two weeks.
According to McDuffie County Road Department Director Chris Pelly, the company that provides the stop signs to the county was unable to complete them in time. He said the signs should be in place by March 14.
Advance warning signs are already in place.
School officials project slight enrollment decline
Officials estimate a slight decline in enrollment figures next year for McDuffie County Schools, according to information at the School Board meeting Feb. 10.
Overall enrollment is estimated next year at 4,042, down from this year's figure of 4,064.
The biggest drop is expected to occur at Thomson Middle School where officials estimate 39 fewer students next year.
Other schools have dropped as well, except for Thomson Elementary School which is expected to enroll 43 more students next year, possibly due to housing construction in the area.
Construction schedule revised
The geo-technical and topographic reports are complete and McDuffie County Recreation Director Bob Howard says the construction documents on the Sweetwater gymnasium are 50 percent complete.
Facility Design Group of Smyrna, Ga., will present the finalized document to the Recreation Authority when complete and then the plan will be presented to McDuffie County Commissioners and Thomson City Council.
Mr. Howard said the project schedule has also been adjusted due to the unforeseen length of time for the topographical survey and geotechnical studies.
The tentative time table now calls for bids to be received in early May with construction to begin later that month.
The revised time schedule gives the date of Jan. 9, 2006 as when the building can be occupied by the Recreation Department.
Distinguished schools trip in April
The McDuffie County School System distinguished itself by having all four elementary schools land on the state's Title I Distinguished Schools list, and now school officials can celebrate that achievement at the Distinguished Schools Celebration April 29.
The school board supported participation in the banquet, scheduled at the World Congress Center, by chartering a bus.
Schools on the Title I Distinguished Schools List have made Adequate Yearly Progress under the No Child Left Behind Act. This school year McDuffie County was one of just nine systems in Georgia of similar size to be completely compliant with AYP requirements.
Thomson and Maxwell Elementary Schools have made the list for six years in a row, Norris is on the list for the fourth year, and Dearing has made the list for three years.
Rental fee increase for Sweetwater center
The Thomson McDuffie Recreation and Leisure Service Advisory Board approved an increase in rental fees for the Sweetwater Activity Center.
The rent was $75 per event, however recreation director Bob Howard suggested an increase in fees due to some groups charging admission to events. The Advisory Board met in a called meeting and adopted a rental rate of $100 with a $25 deposit for family events such as reunions and a $150 fee with a $50 security deposit for other events to include those that charge admission.
In other news at the meeting, Mr. Howard advised that the McDuffie County Board of Commissioners approved a curfew at the Dearing Park after a recommendation was made by the Recreation Advisory Board. The recommendation was made due to some noise problems. The curfew applies only to non-recreation department events.
City to apply for CDBG
The Dearing City Council voted 3-1 Monday night to apply for a Community Development Block Grant that would fund repairs at the old Dearing Gym. The application fee is $2,000, but the city looks to get up to $500,000 to help transform the gym into a community center.
To apply for the grant, ownership of the gym must first be transferred to the city. Once work on the gym is complete, Dearing would then transfer ownership of the gym to the Recreation Department.