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UPDATED: Fayette angling to keep Chris Snell on as county library head

UPDATED FOR PRINT EDITION for JULY 20 — Fayette County officials are trying to come up with Plan B to keep Fayette County Library Director Christeen Snell in her job past the end of this year.

County Manager Jack Krakeel explained that the county will be working toward retaining Snell, who was recently let go by the Flint River Regional Library System.

The library system’s board made the personnel cut in anticipation of further state budget cuts, and that leaves Fayette County to fund the library director position, Krakeel explained. It is widely recognized that Snell “is the heart and soul” of the library so attempts will be made to keep her on board beyond the end of the year, when the library system will stop paying her salary.

The county already pays for all the other staff at the library, Krakeel noted.

In other business, the board has agreed to have staff fix some inconsistencies in the zoning district for lodges and retreats.

At the commission’s meeting July 14, County Planning and Zoning Director Pete Frisina explained that the inconsistencies were inadvertently adopted when the county approved a wholesale set of tweaks to zoning laws back in December.

The problems were discovered after a company contacted the county about developing a lodge/retreat in the unincorporated area. The site is in the middle of the county south of Ga. Highway 54, officials said.

To qualify as a lodge/retreat, the property must be zoned agriculture reserve and be at least 50 contiguous acres. Under the changes, such a development would only be allowed on a lot that fronts a major thoroughfare road.

Uses allowed at a lodge/retreat would include assembly and meeting facilities, dining facilities, lodges, dormitories, cabins and or tent campsites for temporary occupancy, and also recreational facilities such as playgrounds, courts/fields, picnic pavilions and swimming pools. The new ordinance would also allow a caretaker residence.

The new changes will be run by the county planning commission and brought back for formal adoption by the commission at a later date, Frisina said.

There has not been a zoning request for a retreat or lodge in the county since 1978, county officials said.

The commission also discussed looking at another possible site to relocate the state’s Women Infants and Children (WIC) program as it has developed difficulties in sharing space with the county health department. The state will be providing a large modular building that’s only one year old, and the plan is for the underpinning to be screened by brick, but it still will be a temporary location at this point, county officials have said.

The long-term consideration for placing the WIC program is at the current county fire station in downtown Fayetteville after the county builds a new fire station in the area, said County Manager Jack Krakeel. But the new fire station does not have a concrete timeline for construction.

Commissioner Steve Brown said he favors having the federal government pay rent to a privately owned facility instead of relying on the county for space for the program. That arrangement exists in Spalding County, Brown noted.



There should be no question that Chris Snell should be retained. To do otherwise would be foolish--just how could the Commissioners justify spending mega-dollars on a Library expansion and wind up with no one to manage it? In fact I think she deserves a bonus for having to wrestle with this issue at all. Oh, and just what to we get for that $75,000 we send over to Griffin anyway? I assume that contribution will cease after this yr. And would you check out the size of the staff over there---no wonder they need to reduce budget outside of their own office!

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