Driving along Hubert Dollar Road

Published 6:57 pm Friday, August 27, 2010

Been down Hubert Dollar Road lately?

All kinds of stuff going on there.

Monday was an afternoon of scouting, checking out things around town.

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Drove by the boat basin where city crews were laying out new boat launching ramps and new parking areas. Cute little house going up there in the parking lot, nicely designed restroom building, if you are into nicely designed restroom buildings.

The ball parks, which were there at the boat basin, are gone.

The road has been rerouted around the back of the property, and what once were ball fields will become paved parking lots for the boat ramps.

When done, it’s going to be a first-rate installation, perhaps as fine a facility one can find anywhere.

Doing away with the ball fields meant more ball fields had to be constructed elsewhere. So, if you drive down Cox Road by the water plant, and look to the left, there they are. If you have never been out that way, and it’s one of those locations in town where one would not venture unless for a specific purpose, then take a drive and inspect what’s happening.

Several years ago, a new tennis complex was being considered to attract big-time tournaments. That facility is at the end of the road. And it too is a first-rate sports facility attracting tennis tournaments, bringing in lots of visitors to town.

Bill Reynolds Sports Park has come a long way. Facilities there mirror the accomplishments of our former mayor.

Now, Hubert Dollar Road.

Noticed big-time land excavation work going on, a large plot cleared to the bone, with earth movers doing what they do best, moving earth. Discovered the property it consisted of more than 15 acres.

If you can’t quite locate this spot in your mind, think Gibbs Bainbridge Village just off the Faceville Highway.

The land clearing acreage eventually will be a 44-unit housing development, sponsored by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

The single family unit homes will be in the 1,500- to 1,800-square-foot range designed for low- to moderate-income renters. Eventually, the homes can be purchased after a number of years have passed.

With our almost 14 percent unemployment rate in Decatur County, this project should employ many out-of-work folks in the building trades. They need it. We need it.

Visiting with Dustin Dowdy, city of planner, he reports it’s a welcome project, the only significant construction now in progress or on the boards.

There’s another new project across from Gibbs, called Pine Ridge Estates, apartment units for low- to moderate-income renters. If you want to get an idea of the kind of the architecture employed in the housing development, take a look at the design of this apartment complex, constructed by the same company. Very tastefully done.

These are welcome projects. Something has to break here folks. We have been on a downward spiral for too long in unemployment numbers. We have seen our best industrial efforts thwarted in attempts to bring in new jobs here, only to see the economy force these companies to close or return from whence they came.

Unemployment for Decatur County is down slightly percentage-wise from June to July, with July at 13.6 percent and June at 14.1 percent. Still, there are 9,849 people here with jobs but we still rank last in unemployment within the nine-county area of Southwest Georgia.

It hurts, really hurts, especially if you are one of 1,552 persons out of work.