The big item was a public-private partnership for units to be rented only to military personnel, built on top of the same soil as has a sinkhole next door. They also approved a no-bid contract for a drinking water treatment plant upgrade near the Alapaha River, plus another no-bid contract for Lovell Engineering, for wastewater treatment. And they’re so confident SPLOST VII will be approved by the voters (even though they never held a town hall or public hearing) that staff is going to ask the state to continue collections in January; plus Gretchen pointed out that if citizens knew what was in SPLOST they might be more willing to vote for it. Including maybe even the woman who noted that since garbage trucks are coming down her road it needs to be fixed.
Here’s the agenda, with links to the videos and a few notes, including a few links to related posts.
LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, AUGUST 12, 2013, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, AUGUST 13, 2013, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor
- Call to Order
At least Preacher Commissioner Richard Raines was brief.
- Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
- Minutes for Approval
Commissioner John Page moved, Commissioner Joyce Evans seconded, unanimous approval. Were there changes? Nobody said.
- Work Session — July 22, 2013
- Regular Session — July 23, 2013
- Resolution for Refunding Revenue Bonds
See Work Session video for context. This time, County Manager Joe Pritchard said the completed and executed documents “have been provided to you in your packet” but of course we the taxpayers couldn’t see them. He added:The approval does not constitute an indebtedness or obligation of the county.
And if VSU defaults, still is that true?
Approval moved by Commissioner Demarcus Marshall, seconded by several Commissioners, unanimous approval.
- Public Hearings
- REZ-2013-08 MFH Tract ‘A’ Rezoning Roberts Rd, Wilbanks Ave, and Bemiss Rd MAZ I to Residential PD, LC Water and Sewer, ~123 acres
As we already knew, it had been withdrawn. So County Planner Jason Davenport said there was no action to be taken and they took none. Background at the Planning Commission.
- REZ-2013-09 Moody Housing, Val Del Rd R-1 to Residential PD, LC Water & Sewer, ~64 acres
This is a public-private partnership for units to be rented only to military personnel, built on top of the same soil as has a sinkhole next door. See Work Session video for context. This time, County Planner Jason Davenport said “we have an updated copy on the screen” of the site plan. See separate post, in which he also said there was a sinkhole on the adjoining site.
- Documents obtained by open records request
- Phase II of Moody Family Housing already has a sinkhole –Tom Kurrie @ LCC 2013-08-13
- Sinkholes at proposed Moody Family Housing? –Scott Rafshoon @ LCC 2013-08-13
- Not botched like the old Moody housing –Tim Coombs @ LCC 2013-08-13
- Geotechnical conditions and maybe sinkholes –Michael Noll @ LCC 2013-08-13
- USAF Environmental Assessment for Moody Housing on Val Del Road (REZ-2013-09) @ LCC 2013-08-13
This document was not provided by the County Commission.
- How will Moody personnel go to housing on Val Del Road? –Gretchen Quarterman @ LCC 2013-08-13
- Florida sinkholes spreading real estate effects in same Aquifer as under Lowndes County
County Commission and staff didn’t mention that.
- Traffic study? –John Page; Who pays? Richard Raines; Tax exemption –Demarcus Marshall @ LCC 2013-08-13
- How big might a sinkhole be? @ LCC 2013-08-13
Perhaps the County Commission should might have asked that question before voting.
- Commissioner Richard Raines stuck in a thank you for input on REZ-2013-09 after the next item.
- Commission had to wait for the rezoning attendees to leave before moving on.
- Citizens Wishing to be Heard: Ground-penetrating radar and karst topography –Michael Noll
- Citizens Wishing to be Heard: Access to information about SPLOST –Gretchen Quarterman
If people showed up more times than just when some item affected them directly, the county government would be held more accountable for what it does with our tax money and our other resources, such as traffic, air, and water.
- REZ-2013-10 Stubbs, Stubbs Ln E-A to R-1, Well and Septic, ~1.19 acres
- For Consideration
- Engineering for the Alapaha Water Treatment Upgrade
Utilities Director Mike Allen said the engineering agreement with Lovell Engineering (presented at the previous morning’s Work Session was ready for the board to approve in a no-bid agreement with Lovell Engineering. See separate post for what the Commission said and did about that.
- Engineering Service for Sewer Plant Upgrade
Another non-bid engineering agreement approved for Lovell Engineering!
- Service Contract for the Logisys CAD System
- Johnson Controls Contract Continuation
Public Works Director Robin Cumbus said this was another annual renewal, as she had done in the previous morning’s Work Session., Unanimous approval with no discussion.
But wait! There was later discussion.
- FY2013 EMPG Response and Recovery Award Application
See previous morning’s Work Session for longer presentation by Emergency Services Director Ashley Tye.
This time Commissioner John Page wanted to know whether it was a $25,000 grant from GEMA plus $25,000 from the county for a total of $50,000.
Tye said yes, and the county match was with in-kind services already in the budget.
Commissioner Joyce Evans moved to approve. Unanimous approval.
- Evidence Based Associates Service Agreement
See previous morning’s Work Session for a bit more detail about this juvenile justice project. This time Commissioner Marshall wanted to know if there had been any decision about subcontractors. A: Evidence-Based Associates has issued RFPs for two programs; see video for details. Unanimous approval.
- SPLOST VII Agreement
See previous morning’s Work Session for the $150,000 moved from Water and Sewer to the airport after Airport Authority Executive Director Jim Galloway plead for more funds in the previous Regular Session. Commissioner Marshall moved to approve the SPLOST VII agreement between the county and the cities. Unanimous approval. So much for town halls or public hearings.
As predicted, the county did not satisfy were available to LAKE without an Open Records Request. Gretchen’s request for the SPLOST documents mentioned in the Work Session before the Regular Session, so nobody saw them before the Commission voted. We will publish them shortly.
- Reports-County Manager
County Manager Joe Pritchard said the county attorney [Walter Elliott] and “our financial consultant Harrison Tillman” had recommendeda request to the department of revenue for a waiver. This waiver would allow the continuation of an adopted SPLOST, an approved SPLOST, to continue beginning January 1 2014, and eliminate any delay in collection should it be successful. This is a significant benefit obviously, for our merchants, and those involved.
- Seldom-heard Commissioner Joyce Evans said she had a concern about the item 7.d. contract with Johnson controls as to how long: five years or one year? Public Works Director Robin Cumbus said it was a five year contract, and this was the last renewal. Commissioner Page said that’s why he made the motion for one year, since there’s one year left.
- Citizens Wishing to be Heard Please State Name And Address
- Ground-penetrating radar and karst topography –Michael Noll
- Getting our road fixed after garbage trucks –Anita Armstrong
County resident and taxpayer said now that garbage trucks are coming down her road it’s in bad shape and they need help. Commissioners seemed to think that was comical. See separate post for the video.
- Access to information about SPLOST
Gretchen Quarterman said she was happy about the work the county had done with the cities to figure out SPLOST VII, but, see separate post.
Here’s a video playlist:
Videos: Moody, Moody, acre, water, and SPLOST VII @ LCC 2013-08-13
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 13 August 2013.