Sunday, November 23, 2014
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Sitting in the shadow of a World War II B-17 bomber like they ones they use to fly, Larry McDonough (left) and Dick Irwin reminisce and tell war stories to local reporters last week before being treated to a flight on the historic airplane. Islander Staff Photo - Permar

WWI Veterans given a flight on historic plane during visit to St. Simons
by Pamela Permar Shierling

A piece of history flew into St. Simons Island last week when the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) landed their B-17 bomber museum at the St. Simons McKinnon Airport.
The restored B-17G Flying Fortress Aluminum Overcast tours the United States as a living tribute to the “greatest generation” who built and served heroically on these magnificent warbirds.
The B-17’s pilot Rick Fernalld began flying the plane in 1998 after flying commercial with Western and Alaska Airlines.
Saying he flies World War II veterans at most tour stops, Fernalld said, “It’s a great honor to be able to do it. My dad was a tail gunner in one of these.’’
Fernalld explained the B-17’s technology as ‘1935 simple.’
“It’s like flying a cement truck with two flat tires and no power steering,” he laughed.
The B-17 tours the United States in support of local EAA chapters such as the local Chapter 905 at McKinnon. It also gives the public a chance to re-visit history.
During the media flight last week, Fernalld took up two St. Simons WWII veterans with the group.
Dick Irwin, a WWII B-25 navigator and bombardier, flew with his daughter, and Larry McDonough who was a B-17 pilot during WWII flew with his son Joe.
According to Dale Ensing, EAA tour coordinator for the B-17, this particular airplane was never flown in combat, instead being used to do survey work in Southeast Asia and North Africa.
EAA Chapter 905 sponsored flights on the B-17 Friday and Sunday morning and Saturday afternoon and ground tours Friday and Sunday afternoon and Saturday morning.  

Inside the Islander
Island spills cost JWSC rate payers $10,000 • Major spill at Gascoigne Condos By Matthew J. Permar

According to a Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) Consent Order signed by the Brunswick Glynn Joint Water and Sewer Commission (JWSC) last week, local water and sewer customers will foot a $10,000 fine for a series of sewage spills on St. Simons Island between  September 2009 and September 2014.
According to the EPD, 10 unpermitted sewage discharges into state waters were reported between September 2009 and October 2014; and seven dry land discharges were also reported between August 2010 and September 2014.
Then, on September 2 of this year, JWSC officials at the Academy Creek Treatment Plant on St. Simons reported to the EPD a “major spill” into the pond at Gascoigne Condominiums of 100,000 gallons of sewage that resulted in “numerous” fish being killed.
The EPD sent a letter to the JWSC regarding the spills on September 29, and followed up with a meeting on October 8.
According to state law, the EPD can fine a violator a civil of up to $50,000 a day for each day a sewage related violations continues.
The EPD decided it was “in the public interest” to resolve the issue “without litigation and adjudication,” the JWSC and EPD agreed that the JWSC would pay $10,000 within 30 days of the exectution of the consent order.
Then, within 90 days, the JWSC will submit a corrective action plan to the EPD to eliminate or minimize “Sanitary Sewer Overflows.”
Within 180 days, the JWSC will submit a “written, comprehensive Inflow and Infiltration Plan (I&I Plan) to ensure that 100% of the wastewater collection system is routinely assessed.”
The JWSC is also required to submit semi-annual progress reports for all the actions by June 30 and December 31 until all conditions of the consent order are satisfied.

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Commission votes to demolish old county jail By Matthew J. Permar • Coleman erroneous about jail committee recommendation

Now that the Glynn County Sheriff’s Department and jail inmates and have been moved from the Glynn County Detention Center to the new jail complex off of Hwy. 341, the County Commission has done something of a 180 and decided to demolish the old jail.
Voting last week to bid out the jail demolition, the commission is wasting no time on the project, all much to the pleasure of downtown businessman Bob Torras.
A year and a half ago the commission appointed seven citizens to a ‘Jail Re-use Committee’ and tasked them with finding a use for the old detention center.
After a number of meetings the committee determined that an expert was needed and recommended hiring a consultant for the job.
Taking the advice, the county commission contracted with Heery International to perform an overall office space needs assessment that included determining the best use for the old jail.
Along with the jail, the commission wanted to determine how best to consolidate county offices in the downtown area around the two Courthouses, and the Pate building.
In addition they need more office space in the Courthouse and would like to relocate the county departments that are currently in the Office Park building on Gloucester St. to the downtown site.

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City creates downtown Enterprise Zone by Pamela Permar Shierling

The Brunswick City Commission voted unanimously last Wednesday evening to pass a resolution creating an enterprise zone for downtown Brunswick.
Enterprise Zones are areas which suffer from pervasive poverty, general distress including abandoned properties, and a general blight.
Establishing an Enterprise Zone creates a way for the city to help businesses that want to establish in the area.
The Brunswick CBD Enterprise Zone is bounded generally by J Street, Union Street, Prince Street, and the East River. Newcastle St. in downtown Brunswick is one of the main areas included in the CBD Enterprise Zone.
The area also is included in the City’s Urban Redevelopment Plan.
On a case by case basis the Brunswick City Commission may grant incentives to qualifying businesses located within the geographical area, including tax incentives abating municipal ad valorem property taxes for 10 years. School taxes would not be included.
Proposed property tax abatement schedule: 100% of the property taxes shall be exempt for the first five years; 80% exempt for next two years; 60% exempt for next two years; 40% exempt for next year; 20% property tax exemption for the last year.
Other incentives could also be granted including occupation taxes, business license administration fees, building and sign permit fees.
The City Commission may make determinations of eligibility for each business based on the quality and quantity of such additional economic stimulus as may be created within Brunswick.
Criteria for consideration may include but not be limited to the following: the number of jobs to be created above the state threshold of five jobs; capital investment or reinvestment by the business equal to or greater than the amount of ad valorem tax abated over the first five years; locating in a vacant or historic building; demolishing an obsolete, abandoned and/or deteriorating pre-existing structure; creating jobs for residents of the Enterprise Zone and surrounding area.
The city commission is considering creating four other enterprise zones.

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