Excellent choice

Published 7:36 pm Friday, March 12, 2010

The outdoor opportunities of Decatur County have been recognized for a long time.

Now that recognition has become more astute and prestigious.

The Association of County Commissioners of Georgia and Georgia Trend magazine announced that Decatur County was one of six counties in the state to be winners of this year’s County Excellence Award.

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What propelled Decatur County’s success was how it worked with several other parties to secure the eventual state purchase of the Silver Lake and Hog Farm tracts from International Paper Company.

The 8,430-acre site is now the Department of Natural Resources’ Silver Lake Wildlife Management Area, which is being developed into a prime hunting and fishing site.

The Decatur County Commission played a significant role in funding $3 million from sales tax money as part of a $38.6 million fund the State of Georgia used to purchase the property.

And it was money well spent.

According to the Georgia Trend article, the awards “showcase how counties are developing unique programs and facilities to meet the needs of their communities. This program provides a forum to celebrate their accomplishments and to inspire other local governments.”

The Decatur County Commission and the players involved in making this happen—particularly County Commission Palmer Rich and County Administrator Tom Patton—bettered our county by helping engineer the Silver Lake purchase.

It was an excellence choice that the association and Georgia Trend selected Decatur County. It was also an excellence choice for the protection and preservation of Silver Lake, and those parties who made it happen deserve accolades.

Great season

Speaking of giving accolades—please give a big hand to the Bainbridge High School Bearcats and Lady Cats basketball teams.

Both teams had outstanding seasons.

For the second consecutive year, the Bearcats played their way to the Class AAAA Final 4 semifinal game, only to have lost after playing some top-notch basketball.

The Lady Cats’ season ended a little earlier, but their season—once again—was exceptional.

The basketball teams have given Bainbridge High School and Decatur County statewide recognition, and coaches Rickey McCullough and Latreisha Moon have done a tremendous job in building the high school’s basketball programs.