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Complaints for leaving dog in a hot SUV

What began the afternoon of March 22 as an investigation into whether a dog was being kept inside a vehicle without ventilation ended with criminal complaints filed against two sisters for animal cruelty and one of them for refusing to produce identification and resisting arrest. Read More »

$60 field utility fee an option for commissioners

joel addington

managing Editor

The county’s fledging Recreational Advisory Board has been meeting regularly for a few months now and is set to offer its first recommendations to the panel that created it, the Baker County commission, next month.

A draft of the recommendations on the county’s policy for funding park utilities was circulated last week by a subcommittee to the three-member advisory panel and other stakeholders.

The subcommittee, led by travel softball coach Robert Davis, developed two options for county commissioners to consider.

One is to charge a $60 per team fee to cover utility costs, including water, sewer and power; park maintenance work and supplies or park improvements.

“All groups will be responsible for this fee,” reads the draft recommendations. It would apply to both for-profit and non-profit organizations.

Shoals Park would be exempt from the utility fee, however.

The county has been the process of implementing an entry fee for Shoals Park for the last few months. Commissioners have approved an ordinance to collect the entry fee, but they have yet to set its amount.

In its deliberations, the subcommittee and advisory board members have stressed that the county’s policy should be fair and equitable to all local teams, regardless of their affiliations.

That runs contrary, however, to the county’s current policy for reserving fields at the Knabb Sports Complex, and in turn paying for utilities. The current policy gives scheduling preference to Baker County Little League teams during their season.

During that time, only Wednesday nights are available for reservation by other groups.

The current policy, as outlined in a December, 2013 memo from County Manager C.J. Thompson to county commissioners, took effect at the beginning of 2014.

It calls for a $10 an hour user fee. According to the policy, once the fee is paid up front, teams are given the combination to locked utility boxes at the fields for turning on the lights.  Read More »

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