By Fred Woods

The Lee County Commission this week heard that land acquired for recreation in Beauregard and Beulah was woefully inadequate for the types of recreational facilities desired by residents of the two communities. Representatives of the Foresite Group of Atlanta, employed to help with the county’s Recreation Master Plan and specifically to survey community stakeholders in Beauregard, Beulah, Loachapoka and Smiths Station as to their recreational desires and then plat them in schematic drawings on the available properties.
The communities overwhelmingly want ball fields which require level lands and the land in Beauregard and Beulah is hilly with wetlands and flowing streams. To level lands to be suitable for baseball, softball, soccer and football fields in the two communities would cost, according to Foresite Group estimates, around $1 million, well in excess of the original cost of the properties.
Commissioners thanked the Foresite spokesmen and promised to study their report and its implications. Several commissioners observed it might be more cost-effective to look for more level land and sell the existing tracts.
Environmental Services Director Chris Bozeman recommended voucher amounts for the county Spay and Neuter Program after securing spay and neuter fees charged by the Alabama Animal Alliance Spay and Neuter Clinic and surveying a sample of Lee County veterinarians for their charges. Bozeman’s amounts, with commission concurrence, are, for spaying, $110 for cats and $115 for dogs and for neutering, $80 for cats and $110 for dogs.
When the program begins, hopefully very soon, county citizens meeting the low-income test can obtain vouchers from Dr. Buddy Bruce (Animal Health Center) or Drs. Gary Hunt or Jere Colley (Opelika Animal Hospital). Pet owners will take the voucher to any of a list of participating vets and, with the payment of a $5 (per cat) or $10 (per dog) fee, get their pet spayed or neutered.
District 3 Commissioner Gary Long reported on the improved fire protection rating recently obtained by Smiths Station Fire and Rescue. The national rating service, the Insurance Services Office, has lowered SSFR’s Publix Protection Classification from 7/9 to 5/5X. Although homeowners’ insurance savings will vary by company, Long said the lower rating would save him $200-$300 per year.
In other action the commission approved a retail (off-premises) beer license for Bobbers Bait and Tackle on Lee Road 379 in Beulah.