"We always welcome a lively debate" were the words Chattooga County Commissioner Jason Winters used in response to two attendees at the County Commissioner’s meeting on Thursday evening that were upset with the Commissioner’s decision to apply for a grant through the Appalachian Regional Commission to possibly purchase Paradise Gardens in Pennville.

The two vocal Chattooga County residents questioned the wisdom of trying to buy the property that was once owned by world-renowned local artist Rev. Howard Finster.  Winters was asked if a purchase price for the property had been negotiated.  The commissioner replied that until the grant was approved and the money was there he would not have anything to negotiate with.  Winters also assured those at the meeting that the grant money would be used to purchase the property and the remainder of the funds would come from private sources. 

On Wednesday of this week on AM 1180’s NEWSMAKER Interview program, Commissioner Winters had outlined his vision for the Finster property as a potential tourist draw to Chattooga County. 

One of the residents questioning the commissioner about the Finster property purchase was upset over a sewer issue in Pennville. Commissioner Winters told the resident that he would be happy to talk with officials at the City of Summerville about the sewer issue on the man’s behalf, but up until last night he was not aware of the problem.  The sewer system in the Pennville area is operated by the City of Summerville.  Chattooga County does not provide sewer service anywhere in the county.

AM 1180 will broadcast the commissioner’s meeting on Saturday at 10:15 AM and then again on Sunday at 5:30 PM.