Not quite most of the money for roads, streets, and bridges (none of them named to the public), plus everything from animals to public safety, in the county’s SPLOST VII list. But don’t be alarmed: it contains no new library and no new auditorium, and the Chairman referred to it as a “back to basics” list. It also contains nothing about Internet access; more on that in a separate post. You can be told about this list tomorrow night or at a forthcoming joint county-cities public telling: no town hall meetings have yet been scheduled. These videos and slides are from this morning’s Lowndes County Commission Work Session.
5. Special Presentation & Consideration — Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax VII
There was something new in what Joe Pritchard said:
That’s better than the county tradition of the staff write down the list and Commissioners rubber-stamp it. However, where are those town hall meetings Commissioner Joyce Evans promised? She reminded me afterwards that she had said “hopefully”. Mayor Gayle told me afterwards the problem was they were too close to the deadline for turning in the lists for the election. He indicated that was because the county was late. Remember Valdosta already presented its list 9 July 2013. Rumor has it the delay was in some Commissioners insisting on actually having input. That’s a good thing, but if the county planned ahead, there still would have been time for the rest of us to provide input before the lists were finalized.
The slides presented say they’re also available on the county’s website, but I don’t see them there, so I’m posting stills from the LAKE video here.
Pritchard referred to a list of named projects for Roads, Streets & Bridges, but did not display it.
Commissioner John Page came in between Water/Sewer and Public Safety. Commissioner Richard Raines never arrived.
Public Safety includes Animal Shelter and Public Safety Radio System. The latter is to be jointly funded by the county and by the city of Valdosta.
Parks and Rec list is from a list submitted by VLPRA. It includes “Boat ramp”; the slide doesn’t say where. Could it be for the Alapaha River?
General Facility Improvements includes Civic Center, Courthouse, and Library. But not to worry: no new library and no new auditorium.
- 43.00% Roads, Streets, and Bridges
- 28.13% Water/Sewer
- 17.28% Public Safety
- 05.61% Parks & Recreation
- 05.98% General Facility Improvements
Local governments are in the process of scheduling a public meeting to present a combined list of all projects for public review and comment.
So much for the town hall meetings. Although Commissioner Joyce Evans afterwards said some of those might still happen.
Chairman Slaughter said he expected continued public input and he thought this was a very “back to basics” plan. He added:
We are looking for every opportunity we can to speak with the public and with the community out there to help them understand the needs of the list and how we got to this list and the importance of it. So we appreciate everybody’s input, everybody from Commissioners through staff.
That does about sum it up: Commissioners and staff made the list, and the rest of us will be helped to understand it. Stay tuned for tomorrow night’s public telling.
Here’s the video:
SPLOST VII county list
Work Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by John S. Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 22 July 2013.