Long County Probate and Magistrate Judge Teresa Odum administered the oaths of office to Ludowici Mayor Jim Fuller and re-elected council members Mary Hamilton, Gwendolyn Davis, Misty Day, and David Howard; and new council member Andy Fuller. The oaths were administered at the Tuesday, January 9, 2024, first meeting of the year. Terms are four years. Tina Skipper will continue to serve as City Clerk.
The first order of business was led by Mayor Fuller in discussing the high number of calls related to no water due to the cutting of a water line by Windstream/Kinetic. The council agreed to allow City Attorney Luke Moses to file an injunction against Windstream/Kinetic to cease construction, with a financial payment of cost incurred by the City. Mayor Fuller said he estimated $20,000 plus had been incurred by the City due to city employee man hours, use of city equipment, and patching of the roads due to the water lines that had been cut by Windstream/Kinetic.
Since Christmas, Mayor Fuller reported that Windstream/Kinetic has broken nine water lines, causing residents to be without water for up to three to six hours. This has affected the local schools, businesses, and residents. Schools had to be closed more than one time because of no water in the schools in Ludowici.
"This injunction should be a message to Windstream/Kinetic to verify the location of water lines in the future before drilling,” said Mayor Fuller.
Next was the approval to raise the water meter deposit from $130 to $250 to cover the cost of the more expensive "radio-read" meters. The person will receive a refund when the residence is vacated if there is no balance on their water bill.
General Fund bank balance was reported at $456,885; Water/Sewer bank balance at $222,366; and General Fund Savings, $1,195,453; and SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax), $200,005.
The Ludowici City Council also approved The Journal Sentinel newspaper in Tattnall County as the legal organ for the City of Ludowici for 2024.
New Ludowici council member Andy Fuller with Long County Probate and Magistrate Judge Teresa Odum.