I attended the May 18, 2023 Camden County Commission meeting at 10:00 a.m.
All commissioners were present. This meeting was held in the 3rd Floor meeting room of the courthouse. We led off with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.
The first agenda item was County Purple Heart Designation.
Representatives from American Legion Post 624 asked that the Commission designate Camden County as a Purple Heart County on August 7, 2023. That date is Purple Heart Day.
Presiding Commissioner Ike Skelton read the resolution aloud. The Commission voted unanimously to designate Camden County as a Purple Heart County.
The next agenda item was added to the agenda.
This was regarding the White-Woolery Cemetery at Bollinger Creek Road. This agenda item was a first for me. I’ve heard of some strange things at Commission meetings, but this has to be the strangest.
I’m actually shocked that we haven’t heard more about this before, but I guess it’s the Gadfly’s job to blab about stories like this! I’ve also resisted my basest urges to joke about it because I’m sure this is a terrible thing to happen to any families who have ancestors in this cemetery.
Put simply, the creek is starting to erode away an adjacent cemetery. On June 28, 2022 (almost a year ago), the Commission allocated $80,000 of ARPA money to armor the bank and protect the cemetery.
A local resident who attended this current meeting said that anywhere from five to twenty graves have already fallen into the creek over the last few years. Those human remains have washed down the creek and into the lake. One of the gravestones even had to be pulled out of the creek and placed back in the cemetery (minus its owner).
There was a lengthy discussion about who would need to do the work. The biggest issue seemed to be that since it is a waterway, any dredging or digging in the creek has to be approved by the Army Corps of Engineers. Commissioner Williams said he has talked with a representative from the Corps of Engineers and they will allow the county to move the path of the creek 12 feet.
Some graves are currently only a few arm lengths away from the rapidly disappearing edge of the creek.
According to Road and Bridge, they would either have to build a road to get to the location or move their equipment through the creek itself.
The Commission has three choices:
- Use someone who lives nearby and is willing to work on the creek, but (according to Road and Bridge) doesn’t want to use his name to apply for a permit with the Corps of Engineers.
- Have Road and Bridge get the permit and do the work themselves.
- Or contract out with another company to do the job.
Either way, it seemed clear to everyone that it is not okay to have corpses floating down the creek and into the lake where people are blissfully swimming and fishing.
The Commission voted unanimously to table this issue until May 25 for a final decision, so I guess it can wait until then?
The last agenda item was Capital Academy.
Two gentlemen from Capital Paving Materials and Construction discussed their training academy called Capital Academy. They offer a 6-week academy to train young people on a variety of skills related to their industry. They were seeking out some projects that Camden County might need help with to give their students hands-on experience.
The academy has been operating for 3 years. They have 19 students in their current class and 12 of them are going straight to work this year. It sounded like a great program and the Commission was very receptive to the idea of having them help with ongoing projects.
I’m sure everyone in the room was wondering if they might be interested in dredging out a cemetery creek.
Nope, couldn’t resist. Actual footage of the Gadfly tubing down Bollinger Creek:
And that was that!
2 thoughts on “May 18, 2023 Camden County Commission meeting at 10:00 a.m.”
I just recently became aware of your reports. No doubt, the best local reporting I have seen in a long time. Thank you for doing this. Bill Stevson Macks Creek
Thank you, Bill!