Hart BOC Agrees to Lease Running of Paynes Creek Campground from Corps

Hart County Commissioners have voted to approve leasing Paynes Creek Campground and take over running the park.

At their regular meeting Tuesday evening, the Board unanimously approved the action after coming out of executive session.

Commission Chair Joey Dorsey made the motion to sign the lease agreement with the Corps.

That was seconded by Commissioner Marshall Sayers.

In August, word of the possible takeover of the campground was leaked by County Commissioner Ricky Carter.

Carter allegedly told workers at the campground it was going to be closed.

He was later censored by Dorsey for leaking information discussed in Executive Session.

Earlier in the year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah office sent a letter to Hart County to see if the County would be interested in taking over the running of Paynes Creek.

Birdwell said the Corps often sends out such letters to counties where their parks are located,

“I do know that we are constantly looking at ways to make our operations more efficient and that includes seeking partnerships with local governments to see if they want to take over operations of some our facilities,” Birdwell explained. “We’ve done that at Thurmond and at Hartwell. And so we give them that opportunity.”

No word on when the takeover would take place nor the details of the lease agreement.

Dorsey said the County would continue to operate it as a campground.

After hearing from Dorsey the commissioners voted unanimously to sign the lease agreement for Paynes Creek with Commissioner Carter abstaining.

Carter has so far refused to sign an ethics agreement among the Commissioners and has not been allowed to participate in executive sessions until he does.