Regional College & Career Academy Update –Mary Beth Brownlee of OVL to LCC 2024-06-10

Thanks to Mary Beth Brownlee for the slides she presented to the Lowndes County Commission on June 10 about a proposed Regional College & Career Academy.

[Collage]
Collage

The slides are on the LAKE website, and images of each slide are below.

For the LAKE video of her presentation, see:
http://www.l-a-k-e.org/blog/?p=24384

-jsq

Investigative reporting costs money, for open records requests, copying, web hosting, gasoline, and cameras, and with sufficient funds we can pay students to do further research. You can donate to LAKE today!
http://www.l-a-k-e.org/blog/donate

Continue reading

Agenda: Budget Hearing @ LCC 2024-06-13

Update 2024-06-17: Video and Slides: Budget Hearing @ LCC 2024-06-13.

Maybe you’d like to be the one citizen who shows up at the Lowndes County budget hearing this morning.

[Budget Hearing @ LCC 2024-06-13 Public Hearing on the proposed FY 2025 Budget]
Budget Hearing @ LCC 2024-06-13 Public Hearing on the proposed FY 2025 Budget

Other than Gretchen Quarterman, who is on her way with the LAKE video camera. Which is the only way most people will know what went on there, since the county does not video budget hearings.

The agenda, posted “Jun 13, 2024 7:56 AM”.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PUBLIC HEARING ON THE PROPOSED FY 2025 BUDGET
THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2024, 9:00 A.M.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

  1. Call To Order
  2. Public Hearing
    1. Presentation of the Proposed FY 2025 Budget
      Recommended Action:
      Documents:
  3. Adjournment

It says “Documents:” but no documents were attached.

On the Finance department web page, the Most Recent document is the operating budget for fiscal year 2024 (not 2025).

I have filed an open records request for the presentation slides and any other materials for today’s budget hearing.

-jsq

Investigative reporting costs money, for open records requests, copying, web hosting, gasoline, and cameras, and with sufficient funds we can pay students to do further research. You can donate to LAKE today!
http://www.l-a-k-e.org/blog/donate

Video and Slides: Budget Hearing @ LCC 2024-06-13

If you missed the June 13 Budget Public Hearing, presumably you may get another chance at the next Lowndes County Commission meeting.

The vast majority of revenue for the Lowndes County government comes from taxes.

Most of that comes from property taxes, and almost a third from Local Option Sales Tax (LOST).

Only about a fifth of General Fund expenditures goes to the general government, about an eighth each to Public Works and to Judicial, while a third goes to the Sheriff’s Office.

[LAKE video and Finance Dept. Slides: Budget Hearing @ LCC 2024-06-13]
LAKE video and Finance Dept. Slides: Budget Hearing @ LCC 2024-06-13

Here is the LAKE video of the 9 AM, June 13, 2024, PUBLIC HEARING ON THE PROPOSED FY 2025 BUDGET.
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLshUv86fYkiEWkgeC7dlEnYHi7FxjWHLh&si=wKn4TCmyAfliQArs


Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).

The presentation slides, received in response to a LAKE open records request, are on the LAKE website.

They are not yet on the Continue reading

Videos: Academy Drive septic tank citizen request, Glenn Road, Valencia Street, Kinderlou Clyattville Road Paving @ LCC Regular 2024-06-11

Citizen Patricia Scoby doesn’t want to have to elevate her septic tank. However, the Board of Roads and Revenue, excuse me, the Lowndes County Commission doesn’t have much say over that: that’s the Health Department. But the Health Department should have taken into account the changed drainage such mounds cause.

[Collage @ LCC 11 June 2024]
Collage @ LCC 11 June 2024

The regular agenda breezed through unanimously at the 11-minute Regular Session. Commissioner Demarcus Marshall was absent.

Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker did want to know what are the ingress and egress points for 5.a. REZ-2024-13 Carter, 6128 Glenn Road, 4.72ac, E-A to R-1, Well – Septic. No citizens spoke for or against in its Public Hearing.

For the 6.a. Valencia Street Quitclaim Deeds, Gretchen wondered, “Personally, I’m curious why the commission abandoned that little bit (one lot’s worth) of Valencia Street.” The board packet for this latest Regular Session included the relevant excerpt from the Minutes of the September 27, 2005, Regular Session. Gretchen quoted it, but it also does not say why. In the latest Regular Session, County Engineering Services Director Chad McLeod said the adjoining landowners asked for the quitclaim deeds, but he did not say why the road was abandoned back in 2005.

FYI, the Agenda Center on lowndescounty.com only goes back to 2012. If you want to see earlier minutes, you either have to file an open records request or have already done so, as LAKE did years ago.

for 7.a. PI# 0016278 Kinderlou Clyattville Road Paving and Drainage Improvements, Chairman Bill Slaughter wanted to know if it was within the budget. Answer: no, but TIA says it’s within the inflationary amount, so TIA will cover the difference.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with a few notes by Gretchen Quarterman, followed by a LAKE video playlist.

See also the Continue reading

Videos: Career Academy, Glenn Road Rezoning, Valencia Street Abandonment, Kinderlou Clyattville Road paving @ LCC Work 2024-06-10

Update 2024-06-18: Regional College & Career Academy Update –Mary Beth Brownlee of OVL to LCC 2024-06-10.

Update 2024-06-13: Videos: Academy Drive septic tank citizen request, Glenn Road, Valencia Street, Kinderlou Clyattville Road Paving @ LCC Regular 2024-06-11.

Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker wondered why there was a $2 million difference between the two bids for 7.a. PI# 0016278 Kinderlou Clyattville Road Paving – Drainage Improvements. Engineering Services Director Chad McLeod says it’s because Reames owns property near the site, which greatly reduces their cost to move materials there.

[Collage @ LCC 10 June 2024]
Collage @ LCC 10 June 2024

About 24 minutes of the 34-minute Work Session yesterday morning was a presentation not on the agenda. Mary Beth Brownlee, Executive Director of One Valdosta-Lowndes (OVL), told the Lowndes County Commission about a proposed Regional College and Career Academy. Continue reading

Videos: Budget award, LMIG for Val Del Road widening, Jail addition max price, service and software agreements @ LCC Regular 2024-05-28

The Regular Session two weeks ago took 26 minutes, but 14 of that was the County Manager’s Report, 2 was the Budget award presentation, and 1 was the invocation and pledge, so 9 minutes were about business.

[Collage @ LCC 28 May 2024]
Collage @ LCC 28 May 2024

The Lowndes County Commissioners unanimously approved everything, including the application for state funds for the Val Del Road intersection expansion to support subdivisions and the almost $9 million jail expansion. There was some discussion about the process of moving from Code Red to RAVE Alert.

Again in the Regular Session after they did it in the Work Session: a presentation about Lowndes County having won a Distinguished Budget Award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for the 18th year.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with a few notes by Gretchen Quarterman, followed by a LAKE video playlist.

See also the Continue reading

Packet: Remerton variances for Bryce Nerland, Woodard Street @ GLPC 2024-05-20

The Greater Lowndes Planning Commission heard two requests for variances on two adjoining lots, “The main motivation behind the request is to allow a reduction in setbacks to allow new construction for 6 single family homes on 2 vacant lots.”

Nobody spoke against. The Planning Commissioners unanimously voted to recommend approval of each request. The Remerton City Council probably has approved the requests by now.

[Setback variances for two lots on Woodard Street, Remerton @ GLPC 2024-05-20]
Setback variances for two lots on Woodard Street, Remerton @ GLPC 2024-05-20

Jessica Freeman sent the Remerton packet materials a week after the Planning Commission meeting. They are on the LAKE website.

Now that I know an email address that seems to work for her, probably future Remerton packets will arrive more speedily after she gets the LAKE open records request. Continue reading

Packet: Rezoning on Glenn Road, Abandon part of Valencia Street, pave Kinderlou Clyattville Road @ LCC 2024-06-10

Update 2024-06-11: Videos: Career Academy, Glenn Road Rezoning, Valencia Street Abandonment, Kinderlou Clyattville Road paving @ LCC Work 2024-06-10.

It’s a light agenda for the Lowndes County Commission this week, with an uncontested rezoning, a road abandonment continued from 2005, and two bids for paving a road.

[Collage, LCC Packet 2024-06-10]
Collage, LCC Packet 2024-06-10

The road paving is a TSPLOST project, so presumably that’s where the three and ahalf million dollars comes from.

Cost What
$3,495,208.06Pl# 0016278 Kinderlou Clyattville Road Paving and Drainage Improvements Bids
$3,495,208.06Total

Here is the agenda.

The board packet, received in response to a LAKE open records request, is on the LAKE website.

See also the LAKE videos of the preceding Planning Commission meeting. Continue reading

Agenda: Budget, Personal Care Home, streets and transit, 2 sewer repairs @ VCC 2024-06-06

Nobody attended the First Hearing of the proposed FY 2025 Valdosta Budget, so Thursday is your last chance, at the Second Hearing, at the Valdosta City Council meeting.

[Agenda: Budget, sewers, Personal Care Home, streets, and transit @ VCC 2024-06-06]
Agenda: Budget, sewers, Personal Care Home, streets, and transit @ VCC 2024-06-06

That budget includes a pending $67 million bond for water and sewer projects, with interest to be paid from the Water and Sewer Revenue Fund.

The agenda also includes a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for a Personal Care Home, two street resurfacing projects, an amendment to the contract for the on-call transport cars, and two sewer repair projects.

Here is the agenda.

See also the preceding Planning Commission meeting.

AGENDA
REGULAR MEETING OF THE VALDOSTA CITY COUNCIL
5:30 PM Thursday, June 6, 2024
CITY HALL, COUNCIL CHAMBERS

  1. Opening Ceremonies
    1. Call to Order
    2. Invocation
    3. Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag
  2. Minutes Approval
    1. The Minutes from the May 9, 2024 Regular Meeting and the May 15, 2024 Special Called Meeting are forthcoming.
  3. Public Hearings
    1. Public Hearing for the Adoption of the Fiscal Year 2025 Budget. (Second Hearing)
    2. Consideration of an Ordinance for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for a Family Personal Care Home in a Single-Family Residential (R-6) Zoning District as requested by Roche Kempson (File No. CU-2024-04). The property is located at 1206 West Magnolia Street. The Planning Commission reviewed this at their May 20, 2024 Regular Meeting and recommended approval subject to four conditions (5-0 Vote).
  4. Ordinances and Resolutions
    1. Consideration of a Resolution authorizing the execution of a Contract with the Georgia Department of Transportation for the Patterson Street Resurfacing and Utility Adjustments Project.
  5. Bids, Contracts, Agreements and Expenditures
    1. Consideration of bids for the resurfacing of streets in the City of Valdosta through the SPLOST VIII Funding and GDOT Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant.
    2. Consideration of a request to amend the Contract with River North Transit, LLC and extend Via On-Demand Transportation Services for the City of Valdosta.
  6. Local Funding and Requests
    1. Consideration of a request to authorize payment for an emergency bypass and sewer repairs on Pebblewood Drive.
    2. Consideration of a request to authorize payment for Phase III final billing for emergency sewer repairs at Knights Creek near the intersection of U. S. Highway 84 and Blanchard Street.
  7. Citizens to be Heard
  8. City Manager’s Report
  9. Council Comments
  10. Adjournment

-jsq

Investigative reporting costs money, for open records requests, copying, web hosting, gasoline, and cameras, and with sufficient funds we can pay students to do further research. You can donate to LAKE today!
http://www.l-a-k-e.org/blog/donate

Videos: Budget award, LMIG for Val Del Road widening, Jail addition max price, service and software agreements @ LCC Work 2024-05-28

Update 2024-06-11: Videos: Budget award, LMIG for Val Del Road widening, Jail addition max price, service and software agreements @ LCC Regular 2024-05-28.

For the 18th year, Lowndes County won a Distinguished Budget Award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). That was the first item ihis morning at the Lowndes County Commission Work Session.

They vote this evening at 5:30 PM.

[Collage @ LCC Work 28 May 2024]
Collage @ LCC Work 28 May 2024

We heard some clarification about the almost $9 million dollars in jail additions. Gretchen says, “This is for the proposed new medical area at the jail. Some of the money is ARPA 2021 money.”

With the changeover from Code Red to RAVE Alert, everyone will have to sign up again, because Code Red had an option not to share personal information, which included with the county. However, Ashley Tye said the new system would provide more functionality for less price. That was the longest discussion in the meeting, at more than six minutes.

Hurricane Idalia provided incentive to look for a faster way to do damage assessment. The county is buying Crisis Track damage assessment software, which is a smartphone or table app for faster input to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA). That was the second longest discussion, at more than five minutes.

They ended with an executive session to discuss client-attorney privilege for real estate acquisition.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with a few notes by Gretchen Quarterman, followed by a LAKE video playlist.

See also the agenda and board packet, received in response to a LAKE open records request. Continue reading