Liz Marino/Douglas County Sentinel

The Douglas County Board of Commissioners approved a proclamation Tuesday recognizing October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Douglas County. Pictured from left, are Mark Teal, county administrator; Henry Mitchell, District 1 Commissioner; Mike Mulcare, District 3 Commissioner; Teresa Smith, director of S.H.A.R.E. House, who presented the proclamation; County Commission Chairman Tom Worthan; District 4 Commissioner Ann Jones Guider; Douglas County District Attorney Brian Fortner and District 2 Commissioner Kelly Robinson. A candlelight vigil for victims of domestic violence will be held on Thursday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. at Heritage Baptist Church on Rose Avenue at Selman Drive. Mayor Rochelle Robinson will be the guest speaker. The public is invited.

The Douglas County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution Tuesday to extend a multi-family temporary moratorium until Feb. 8, 2017, to allow completion of a housing study that is underway.

On May 3, 2016, the commissioners approved a resolution that would temporarily halt permits on construction of multi-family dwellings in unincorporated Douglas County for 180 days.

According to Tracy Rye, the county’s director of planning and zoning, the temporary moratorium is in place while a study is being done to determine such things as housing supply and demand, square footage and in what direction the county needs to go regarding housing for the future.

At that time, County Administrator Mark Teal explained the temporary moratorium means that "No individual or entity will be able to obtain development or building permits for multi-family dwellings within unincorporated Douglas County for 180 days."

The moratorium was approved to "allow within the unincorporated county a sufficient and reasonable time to allow for the county to conduct a formal assessment of the necessity of additional multi-family dwellings in the county."

Results of the study are set to be presented to the commissioners on Nov. 14, according to Rye. She asked for an additional 180 extension on the moratorium in order to give the county time to formulate and adopt any necessary policies that might be forthcoming from the study.

She said that the study is broad-reaching in scope and is the first study on housing in the county since a comprehensive plan was developed in 2004.

“It will look at a variety of factors,” Rye said. “It will also give us information on where we are in the housing market compared to west Georgia and metro Atlanta, as well as throughout the state.”

The board also approved by consent agenda to award a contract for Park and Ride improvements at the Post Road and Thornton Road lots to Benchmark Tuscany, Inc., a local company, for a total cost of $90,288.

Funds for the improvements have come from a Federal Transportation Administration grant. The county’s share of the improvement project is approximately $18,000.

Gary Watson, director of Douglas County’s Multi-Modal Transportation, said that the Post Road lot is about 20 years old and the Thornton Road lot is about 25 years old. Both lots will be resealed and striping will be repainted; signage will be upgraded and passenger covered areas will be installed.

Security at both lots are at issue, despite current security cameras, and dumping trash has been a recurring problem at the Post Road lot.

Watson said his department is working on upgrading security systems at both Park and Ride facilities and they are adding emergency call boxes at both locations. They have also asked for extra patrols from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office – especially at Post Road.

The board also gave authorization:

• To accept a Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) continuation grant in the amount of $202,401.00 from the Prosecuting Attorneys Council (PAC) and Georgia Crime Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC.

• To enter into contract negotiations with AECOM Technical Services, Inc. for the provision of professional services for preliminary engineering design services for the Chattahoochee Hill Country Regional Greenway Trail Northeast Extension from Boundary Waters Park to Sweetwater Creek State Park.

• To approve LAP (Local Administered Projects) Certification required in order to be eligible to receive Federal Funds from The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) through GDOT and to approve the Georgia Title VI Assurance required by GDOT and have the Chairman sign all related documents.

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