At their Jan. 11 meeting, Pike County commissioners heard from many citizens about the health and safety concerns of CrossPointe Christian Academy students and staff due to a nine-lot subdivision to be named Shade Tree Field which includes an airstrip they believed would be detrimental to the school.
Several parents and representatives from CrossPointe spoke and asked commissioners not to approve the subdivision request, noting they had concerns about the health and safety of students and staff due to overhead flights and concerns about the noise the airstrip could cause. Concerns over the arrival and departure routes of aircraft as well as the effects of lead poisoning in the area due to aircraft fuel were raised.
Developer Steve Reeves noted that the airstrip has been in use since 1971 and the school was built in 1994 and concerns over the airstrip should have been considered at that time. It was also noted that noise from the planes at the airstrip will likely not be any louder than the band and crowd at Friday night football games and other events at the school. The subdivision property is adjacent to the school along the school’s baseball field first base line.
“We are not voting on putting an airport next to the school. We are looking at county issues and if this property is allowed to be divided,” said commissioner Tim Daniel as he made a motion to approve Phase I with conditions that Lots six, seven and nine share a drive and an access easement agreement is required at final plat.
Commissioners approved 3-2 with James Jenkins and Jason Proctor in opposition.
Commissioners also approved the county applying for LMIG funding for improvements to entrances to the schools, including at the Ninth Grade Academy and the primary school.
“This does not affect the county’s LMIG at all, what we will get currently or in the future,” said county manager Brandon Rogers. “Since the county is the local legislator, we have to be the ones to apply. They have done extensive research and are ready to make a move to improve traffic at the schools.”
The county also:
• Approved the the second reading of an amendment to the county’s financial policies to restrict the amount of unplanned spending by the county manager at their Jan. 11 meeting with Daniel in opposition.
• Heard the Agribusiness Authority and the J. Joel Edwards Public Library board both have vacancies that need to be filled.
• Approved a back portion of the landfill property to be used as a practice location for the 4-H SAFE (Shooting Awareness Fun and Education) project. The cost will be around $2,000 and would include creating a driveway near the landfill entrance and gravel along the road to the back of the property. It was noted that the SAFE team is able to construct and take down their equipment at each use.
• Heard the county received two deposits as a result of a recent opioid settlement of $8,000 and $24,000. County manager Rogers said the funds must be spend in certain ways to reduce overdoses and said the funds would help pay for training and Narcan which was used recently by a Pike County Sheriff’s Office deputy to save a citizen’s life.
• Approved RFPs for AmWaste, Flint River Landscaping and Wired Technology and renewal of contracts with AmeriPro, Driver Adams CPA, Morton & Morton, Nextiva, Pike Family Connection and Pike Pest Control.
• Approved chairman Briar Johnson to sign and send letters to Pike’s cities in reference to E-911 shared expenses and Impact Fee collection.
• Approved the sale of three vehicles as surplus via GovDeals.com, including a 2006 F150 truck, a 2011 Ford Taurus and a 2001 Crown Victoria. It was noted that the truck has a blown engine and the other two are no longer as reliable as needed for county use.
• Approved final plat approval for a 29-lot major subdivision (Whitehorse Subdivision Phase II) on Beeks Road.
• Held a closed, executive session and reconvened to approve a supplement to cover 85% of the coroner’s insurance with commissioner Daniel abstaining. Commissioners also unanimously approved a 5% certification raise for the county manager.