Wildlife office move unbelievable action by county

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lincoln County supervisors opened the door in January and statewildlife officials agreed to walk out last week.

The exit route will take the Department of Wildlife, Fisheriesand Parks’ district office, which has been in Brookhaven since1996, to Magnolia in Pike County. The wildlife office’s local leaseexpires at the end of September and state officials plan to open intheir new location in October.

Lincoln County supervisors in January opted to not renew thewildlife office’s lease on the Courthouse Annex building and werenot persuaded by a summertime petition drive, which collectedapproximately 1,200 signatures, to make more of an effort to keepthe office in Brookhaven. Supervisors’ offer to halve the officespace and double the agency’s rent to $1,000 a month was rejectedby wildlife officials, and their counteroffer for basically thestatus quo was rejected by the county board.

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Following their initial reasons for not renewing the lease,supervisors are considering plans to renovate the annex building ordemolish and construct a new one for the tax collector’s office andother county space needs.

In contrast to Lincoln County’s approach, Pike Countysupervisors leapt at the opportunity to land a state agencydistrict office in their area. Their efforts produced successThursday with an agreement for the district wildlife office to movein to the old National Guard armory in Magnolia.

Pike County officials said they are eager to welcome the 10basically full-time jobs that come with the wildlife districtoffice and the other 30 employees who will be in and out of theoffice for district meetings and at other times. Pike Countycoffers will no doubt also welcome the $500 a month in rent paid bythe state agency.

Lincoln County sportsmen needing to take care of somewildlife-related matters will also become a little more frequentsight in Pike County. Instead of being able to make a short tripwithin their home county to Brookhaven, they will now need totravel the 30 or so miles to Magnolia to conduct theirbusiness.

After Thursday’s lease decision, Lincoln County’s loss will soonbecome our neighbor to the south’s gain.

Unbelievable. Completely unbelievable!