Greenspace committee asks for more authority

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Dougherty County Greenspace Committee is asking the county commission to expand the scope of its organization to research possible uses for greenspace acres acquired along the Flint River.

Woody Hicks, a hydrologist and chairman of the committee, told commissioners Monday that the committee had worked with the state and federal governments to buy $2 million worth of land along the Flint River for $300,000 in special-purpose local-option sales tax dollars.

The land runs along a seven-mile corridor through the Albany and Dougherty County.

"To a large degree, we've accomplished our goal, but now we'd like to have the ability to start planning what to do with it so that taxpayers that have allowed us to purchase the land through SPLOST can take advantage of it," Hicks said.

The goal, he said, is to protect the land from overdevelopment and to help maintain its inherent "green" value.

"Those pieces of property usually aren't suitable for development either because of the risk of flooding or the encroachment on animal habitats," Hicks said. "We want to make sure they maintain as much of their intrinsic value as possible."

Hicks provided a map to commissioners Monday to look at during his presentation. That map showed that the majority of land along the Flint River was owned by either the Dougherty County Commission, the city of Albany or the state of Georgia, with the federal government still in control of a small portion along the FEMA buyout area.