Camden CountyCamden County
Board of Commissioners
Community Outreach eNewsletter
  "Working together to make a positive difference in the community."  


 A Publication from the Office of the County Administrator - May 2015





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In This Issue








GA Camera Ready 





 Storm Ready





 Code RED











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Board of County Commissioners Meetings & Public Hearings


June 2nd

Regular BOCC

Meeting 6:00PM



June 4th

Public Hearing



June 16th

Regular BOCC

Meeting 6:00PM



Counties offices will be closed July 3rd in observance of Independence Day



July 14th

Regular BOCC Meeting 6:00PM



Government Services Complex
 200 East 4th St.
Woodbine, GA 31569


"Great Customer Service is the Cornerstone of Every Successful Organization!"


Your Opinion Counts

Please click

 on the link below to complete Camden County's customer service survey.





Free Prescription Discount Cards Available to Camden County Residents



Click on the image above to view more information about this service.







Camden County Fire Rescue Seeking Volunteers


Camden County Fire Rescue is recruiting volunteer firefighters to be a part of the department. The volunteer firefighter program will be used to augment existing peronnel to meet the needs of the community now and in the future.



Visit the program website for the most current information.



Contact Fire Rescue Headquarters at (912) 729-3911 for questions about this program.






2015 Citizens Academy Winter Class

Citizens' Academy

Click here to view photos of our 2015 Winter Class


 To sign up for the next Citizens Academy Class click here.









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Bryan Lang Historical Archives



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Mosquito Control



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Tax Commissioner/Tag Office



Tax Assessors



UGA Extension Office



Voters Registrars 






A Message from the County Administrator

I was recently given another opportunity to speak to the Camden Round Table during one of their regular breakfast meetings in May. I took the occasion to give an updated presentation on Spaceport Camden, which gave us much to discuss. The process of bringing a Spaceport to Camden is like a marathon, not a sprint. I am convinced this could be the project of the century and a key asset for economic development in Georgia. I am hopeful that we could have an announcement in the next 30 days.


The proposed budget for FY2016 was presented to the Board of Commissioners on May 19, 2015. The budget will be refined until the time of adoption at the tentatively scheduled Board Meeting set to take place on June 16th. Prior to that, a public hearing will take place on June 4th in the Government Services Complex, 2nd floor, 200 East 4th Street in Woodbine. 


We are proud to announce that the McKinney Medical Center is coming to Camden County. Our Community will now have a new resource to access affordable medical services needed to ensure a healthy and productive life. This is terrific news for the citizens of Camden County! The McKinney Center will be located next to Camden County CASA (same site as DFCS and Gateway), across from Camden Middle School on Charles Gilman Drive. An opening date is slated for the middle of July and we look forward to their grand opening.


Camden County, Georgia was recently ranked as one of the best counties in Georgia to live in. Ranked in the top ten by Niche, a research site that blends community reviews with hard data to help people explore what a place is really like, Camden was recognized for its overall livability and quality of life features. This is wonderful news for the community. I always knew Camden County was a great place to live. More information about this ranking is included below.


Finally, you will also find below the various summer programs being offered by Camden County Public Service Authority (PSA) to people of all ages. I hope everyone has the opportunity to visit the local community pools or one of the many recreation sites located throughout Camden. I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable summer.


Yours for a better Camden,

Steve L. Howard, ICMA-CM, CPM, CPPO

County Administrator

Summer Programs offered by 
 Camden County Leisure Services 


The REC Center Pool is open from 9:00 am - 6:00 pm, Monday - Friday and on Saturdays from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Access is free to members, and non-members can pay a daily fee. Water aerobics will be held Monday - Friday at 9:00 am. Private and group swim lessons are available.


The St. Marys Pool (on Ashley Street) is open from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday - Saturday and on Sundays from 1:00 - 5:00 pm. Water aerobics are available Monday - Friday at 11:00 am.


Group and private swim lessons are available at both pools. Group lessons are $40 per 2 week session. Private lessons are $20 per lesson.


Youth Sports:

The PSA is currently accepting late registration for girls summer volleyball (ages 9-16). Registration fee is $50.


The PSA is currently accepting registration for a summer swim league. For more information, and to register, visit 


Football and Cheerleading registration will begin on July 20th.


Adult Sports:

Team registrations are being taken for adult summer softball. Email the athletic department at for more information.


Day Camp:

A summer day camp program for kids ages 5-15 years old is offered. Registration fee is $10 per child. Camp fees are $20 per day or $80 per week. Camp is available Monday - Friday (except holidays), 7:00 am-6:00 pm every week through the summer. Activities include swimming, outside fun, arts and crafts, theme days, basketball, field trips, and more!


For more information, visit or call 729-5600.

      Camden Recognized by Niche as Top 10

County in Georgia

Camden County was recently ranked as one of the best counties in Georgia to live in. Ranked in the top ten by Niche, a research site that blends community reviews with hard data to help people explore what a place is really like, Camden was recognized for its overall livability and quality of life features.


Niche grades each county on key factors such as schools, safety, weather, jobs, access to activities, housing, and transportation. A top ranking indicates that a county offers a high quality of life to its residents. Camden County scored a B+ and ranked number 9.


County Administrator Steve Howard is proud of this top ten ranking. "I'm thrilled to hear this announcement and congratulate the citizens, businesses, and all local governments for working together to make this achievement possible."



The full report can be found at this link:

Camden County Board of Commissioners
Citizens Academy 
Now taking Applications

The Board of County Commissioners, along with staff, are preparing for another Citizens' Academy that will be offered this fall.  We continue to carry out the goal of being an open and accessible local government to our citizens. 
The Camden County Citizens' Academy is a classroom style program offered to local residents interested in learning more about the services provided by their county government agency.  Participants will have the opportunity to hear from various staff, employees, department heads and elected officials throughout the county that will host sessions detailing what happens in their department. Open discussions and questions generally take place during each weekly class session. 
The next Citizens' Academy will begin August 13th, 2015 and will last for 8 weeks.  Classes are held each Thursday from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. Participants should be willing to commit to at least two hours a week for those eight weeks, with some sessions lasting longer. 
Academy classes, along with a field trip, will take place at several county locations. There is no registration fee required and all local residents of the community are encouraged to apply. 
All interested individuals can find an application and additional details about the class at Completed applications can either be mailed to the Office of County Administrator, ATTN: Citizens' Academy, P.O. Box 99, Woodbine, Georgia 31569, faxed to 912-576-5647 or sent via email to
Camden "Teens in the Drivers Seat"

At the 30th Annual Crawfish Festival held in Woodbine, a group of high school students were busy handing out information on driving safety and encouraging everyone to sign a pledge not to drink and drive or text while driving. In an effort to get the word out about underage drinking, these teenagers took it upon themselves to help educate the Camden community. 


The group, known as "Healthy Camden," teamed up with the Georgia Department of Transportation and Camden Community Alliance & Resources, Inc. to promote Teens in the Driver Seat (TDS). On their website,, TDS says car crashes kill more young people than any other cause, accounting for nearly half of all teen deaths in America each year. Teens in the Driver Seat is working to lower this number by utilizing the powerful voices of its teens.

The teenage members of Healthy Camden help shape the program and are responsible for implementing it in the schools and community in order to educate their peers and parents about driving risk. Healthy Camden also promotes Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws that help to keep teens safe. Car crashes are the #1 killer of teens in America. Many of the causes include driving at night or while drowsy; not wearing a seat belt; speeding and street racing; driving while under the influence; and distractions such as texting and passengers.

According to an article published in August 2014 by USA Today, parents are a distraction for their children when driving. The research found about 53% of teens who talked on the phone behind the wheel talked to a parent and 46% talked to a friend. This is mostly due to parents keeping track of their teen and expecting their teen to answer the phone when they call.  Parents need to be reminded that children are under our influence. (Text messages were more likely to go to friends than parents.)   

Camden Community Alliance & Resources, Inc. is a local non-profit and the official planning agency for improving the lives of family and children. In a recent survey, they found 86% of Camden County High School students think that their parents should be the ones to tell them about the dangers of underage alcohol consumption. Additionally, survey results also revealed that 76% of Camden County High School students choose not to drink.


The Board of County Commissioners would like to commend the teenagers at Camden County High School and everyone involved with the "Healthy Camden" and "Teens in the Driver Seat" campaign for wanting to be part of the majority and educate the community while encouraging their peers to drive safe. The Board of Commissioners are proud to have the younger generation of Camden County taking steps to educate, encourage and support their peers in every way possible about the hazards of driving.

Teen's Pledge: I make this pledge, both bold and brave, so someone's life I will help to save. Watch my speed, stay awake and know the difference a drink can make. Buckle up and avoid distractions - like texting, cell phones - such deadly actions. Golden rules, simply five, strive to keep our drive alive.

Most teens and parents are unaware of the driving restrictions imposed on them by the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws. 

For more information please go to  If you would like to find out more about Teens in the Driver Seat go to for information, videos, print outs and more.   

Closing of I-95 Exit 1 for reconstruction and resurfacing of Ramps
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) will be working on the reconstruction and resurfacing of the ramps at Exit 1 and in Camden County during June and July. 
The ramps will be closed on the following days and times:
Exit 1

June 1st - 4th -

 Southbound Exit Ramp 
- 7:00 AM until 6:00 PM, partial ramp closure - 1/2    Ramp Closed, Traffic shifted and channeled through. 

- 6:00 PM - 7:00 AM Ramp Completely Closed to Traffic


June 1st - 8th -

Southbound Entrance Ramp-
-7:00 AM - 6:00 PM Partial Ramp Closure, traffic shifted 

-6:00 PM - 7:00 AM Ramp Completely Closed to Traffic


June 8th - 12th-

North Bound Exit Ramp      

- 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM Partial Ramp Closure (1/2 ramp closed, traffic shifted and channelized through ramp)

         -6:00 PM - 7:00 AM  Ramp completely closed to traffic


June 9th - 16th- 

North Bound Entrance Ramp 

-7:00 AM - 6:00 PM Partial Ramp Closure (1/2 ramp closed, traffic shifted and channelized through ramp)

        -6:00 PM - 7:00 AM Ramp completely closed to traffic


July 6th - 10th-

Stripe all ramps     

    -6:00 PM - 7:00 AM  Ramp completely closed to traffic

        Mosquito Control for the Summer               

The Mosquito Control Division is dedicated to

providing the County with the most environmentally safe and efficient control of mosquitoes. This is done by spraying and applying mosquito growth regulator to the areas of Kingsland, Woodbine, St. Marys and public roads countywide. 


Mosquito Control sprays approximately 3,575 gallons of mosquito control pesticides annually to all incorporated and unincorporated public areas of the county. Spraying is completed on a regular basis and generally occurs in the early morning hours or late at night.  Below are some ways to help prevent the breeding of unwanted mosquitoes. 


  • Empty, drain, remove, cover or turn upside down things that can hold water. Throw out old tires, tin cans, bottles, jars, buckets and other containers or keep them upside down so no water can enter them.
  • Empty any small plastic wading pools weekly. Store it indoors when not in use. Properly maintain your swimming pool and keep it covered so as not to collect water.
  • Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets. Don't let runoff water from your air conditioner collect in shady areas.
  • Don't dump grass clippings, branches or other items in storm drains or ditches.
  • Fill holes in trees with sand or mortar.

Taking these simple steps can help to reduce the number of mosquitoes breeding in your own backyard.


Some mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, where they will hatch in a day or two. Other mosquitoes lay their eggs in old tires, tin cans and other such water-holding containers. The mosquitoes may remain un-hatched for weeks, months or until they are covered with water. Mosquitoes need water to complete their life cycle. Adult flying mosquitoes are hungry and ready to eat.

To contact the Mosquito Control Division, please call 912-729-4823

McKinney Medical Center
finds new home in Camden County


Thanks to the relentless efforts of Ola Smith, CEO of McKinney Medical Center and a member of the Georgia Association of Primary Health Care, and her team, we are proud to announce that the McKinney Medical Center is coming to Camden County. The McKinney Center will be located next to Camden County CASA (same site as DFCS and Gateway), across from Camden Middle School on Charles Gilman Drive. An opening date is slated for the middle of July.


Since August 2013, meetings have been held to discuss the opportunity to provide affordable health care to the citizens of Camden County. Locally, the County has invested a significant amount of time in bringing the McKinney Medical Center, Inc. (MMC) to Camden County after unanimous support was received for the Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). McKinney Medical Centers are currently located in Ware, Brantley, Charlton, Bacon and Pierce counties.


FQHC's are community-based organizations that provide comprehensive primary and preventive care, including health, oral, and mental health/substance abuse services to persons of all ages, regardless of their health insurance status or ability to pay. FQHC's operate under a consumer Board of Directors governance structure and function under the supervision of the Health Resources Services andAdministration (HRSA), which is part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). FQHC's were originally meant to provide comprehensive health services to the medically underserved, thereby reducing the patient load on hospital emergency rooms. 


Their mission now is to enhance primary care services in underserved urban and rural communities. In particular, they serve underserved, underinsured, and uninsured Americans, including migrant workers and non-U.S. citizens.


FQHC's charge for services on a community board approved, sliding-fee scale that is based on a patient's family income and size. In return for serving all patients, regardless of ability to pay, FQHC's receive consideration from the Federal government in the form of a continuation grant, cost-based reimbursement for their Medicaid patients, and free malpractice coverage under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).


"This is terrific news for the citizens of Camden County! Our Community will now have a new resource to access medical services needed to ensure a healthy and productive life," said County Administrator Steve Howard. "We look forward to their grand opening."


"It has been a pleasure working with the County Administrator (Mr. Steve Howard), Mrs. Mary Smith and a collective team of community agencies," stated Ms. Ola Smith. "This has been a long time coming but God always works things out for the good for those who wait. I look forward to seeing the Camden County community at your new Primary Care Medical Home (PCMH Accredited)." 

FREE - Drug Education for Youth
Drug Education for Youth (DEFY) began as one of several programs developed in 1993 by what was then the Secretary of the Navy's Drug Demand Reduction Task Force.  Over the years, DEFY has had more than 50 sites worldwide.  
DEFY is a year-long, two phased program, with the first phase traditionally starting in attendance at summer leadership camp.    DEFY is sponsored by local commands and the mission is to improve combat readiness by providing a drug demand reduction and comprehensive life skills program specifically designed to improve youth resiliency and strength.  DEFY's goal is to empower military youth to build positive, healthy lifestyles as drug-free, productive citizens.
"During Phase I, youth learn important skills such as team building skills, general social skills, self-management skills, and drug resistance skills.  The first phase blends classroom time with outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, and team sports to make the experience fun and to promote physical fitness," says Timm Bentley, DEFY Program Manager.
"Phase II occurs during the school year, meeting monthly to cover additional curriculum topics such as study skills, conflict resolution, gang resistance, personal safety, internet safety, and bullying, continue and emphasis on physical fitness, and to provide important mentoring."
* *Yes, students can attend both weeks, because Week two mirrors week one; but they are not exact duplicates. At the beginning of week one and the end of week two, the campers complete the Presidential Challenge that promotes physical health and fitness. Our program is privately sponsored by civilians, veterans, and military retirees; not the US Navy.

Phase One Week One:
Life skills, team building, citizenship, community and diversity awareness, drug and gang resistance, building strong support groups, sports activities and fitness training, art for self-expression, and public speaking

Phase Two Week Two:
More life skills, team building, leadership, citizenship, community and diversity awareness, education-work-careers, building strong peer-mentor groups, sports activities and fitness training, art for self-expression, and public speaking

The Please join Advance Learning Center for this worthy event. June 15th - 19th and June 22nd - 26th at 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM.
For more information please call 912-882-5327 or email Advance Learning at  
Visit Crooked River State Park
Located on southern tip of Georgia's Colonial Coast, this park is the perfect spot for enjoying the intracoastal waterway and maritime forest.  Campsites are surrounded by palmettos and Spanish moss-draped oaks, while cottages are set near the tidal river. A boat ramp is popular with anglers who often take to the water before sunrise. 
The park's nature trail winds through forest and salt marsh, and hikers may see gopher tortoises, fiddler crabs, herons and other birds.  A nature center features fish, snakes, turtles and other animals native to coastal Georgia. 
Visitors may venture to the nearby ruins of a tabby mill, built around 1825 and later used as a starch factory during the Civil War.
Upcoming Events:
Junior Ranger Camp - Ages 6-8
Wednesday, Jun 3, 2015 until Friday, Jun 5, 20158 AM to 12 PM
Children will participate in activities that focus on the outdoors and work toward earning a Junior Ranger badge. Activities include outdoor skills, trail walks, birding, and more. Space is limited and registration is required.  $40.00 per student $5 parking. 912-882-5256.
National Trails Day - Animal Olympics
Saturday, Jun 6, 2015 10 AM to 11 AM
Celebrate National Trails Day and enjoy a hike! See how you would measure up to some of the animals found in Georgia. Meet at the Nature Center. $5 parking. 
For these and other activities visit Crooked River State Park website at

County Launches 
New Vision, Mission, and Goals
June begins Hurricane Season
Are you Prepared?
June 1st is the official start of Hurricane Season each year. Camden County, being a coastal county, is particularly at risk for hurricanes that form in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. 

Every Georgia resident should prepare for hurricanes, plan to evacuate, and stay informed in the unfortunate event of a hurricane hitting our area. We must guard ourselves against complacency through preparation.

Please read the Hurricane Guide to learn more about how you can be safe and be prepared this hurricane season.  You may go to our website also to learn more about Hurricane Prepardness, click on 


One of our goals for the County is to ensure that we are providing our citizens with the right information and a better understanding of current local issues as related to Camden County Government. It is our hope that you have enjoyed reading the monthly Community Outreach Newsletter and have found it to be informative and helpful. We encourage your feedback and value any input you may be able to offer as we strive to improve our services for the future good of Camden County.  

By working together, Camden County can continue to be "Georgia's Coastal Community of Choice."

Meet Your Commissioners

  Chip Keene
District 1

Chuck Clark
District 2
  Jimmy Starline
District 3
Commissioner Gary Blount  
  Gary Blount
District 4

Tony Sheppard
District 5
Our Commitment to You!
Our mission is to deliver defined county services with exceptional customer service and to do so in a financially sustainable and transparent manner.

Camden County 2030 is the premier coastal community of Georgia- beautiful and safe.  
Camden County 2030 has a strong regional economy and diverse job opportunities with four major pillars:
  • An active Naval Submarine Base;
  • A successful World Class Spaceport;
  • Space tourism; and,
  • a Technology Corridor. 

Camden County 2030 has relaxed living with quality residential developments, and abundant leisure choices for all.



The Board of County Commissioners and employees of Camden County are committed to the following values: Integrity, Respect, Service, Accountability, Teamwork and Balance.