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County board OKs additions to park
The construction of eight tennis courts and a covered bleacher at the North Glynn Recreation Complex was approved after a long discussion at a county commission meeting Thursday.

The debate swirled over the necessity to build eight courts, instead of a fewer number.

Commissioner Mary Hunt asked county recreation director Wesley Davis why the issue wasn't brought before the county finance committee first and questioned if the courts were necessary because of ones in other county locations.

Davis said he was directed to get projects funded with Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax 4 funds off the books, which is why he didn't bring the request to the finance committee. He said the plans were developed at the request of groups that want to bring U.S. Tennis Association tournaments to the county.

Tournaments won't come unless there are at least eight tennis courts at the same location.

Hunt told Davis he should be better prepared to make a presentation at a meeting after he was unable to estimate how much revenue tournaments would generate.

Commissioner Bob Coleman suggested building four courts instead of eight to "test the water." If the need comes, the county can add more courts, he said.

"Maybe they will (come), maybe they won't," he said. "Once you put them down, there is no turning back."

Coleman said there is no rush to spend the SPLOST 4 funds to pay for the courts right now.

"We can spend it 10 years from now," he said.

Commissioner Tom Sublett said USTA members encouraged him to support the proposal.

"You have to have eight courts to attract these tournaments," he said. "There is a lot of interest for eight courts."

Commissioners voted 5-1 to approve the $538,000 project, with Coleman casting the dissenting vote. Commissioner Amy Callaway was not at Thursday's meeting.

Glynn County Police Officer Christopher "C.J." Atkins was awarded the Police Medal of Valor for pulling a man from a burning home in January.

Police Chief Matt Doering said Atkins deserved the department's highest award for bravery for disregarding his personal safety to save another person's life.

Doering also presented the Police Office of the Year award to Investigator Jimmy Palmer.

Commissioners also approved $504,000 in funding for a new roof on the Public Safety Building.

Coleman said county officials explored all options to determine if the builder or anyone involved with the initial project could be held accountable for the substandard work. But the statute of limitations has already expired, so the county has no legal recourse.

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