The big surprise in the eleven-minute meeting was they called up former County Engineer Charlie Clark to explain the Utility Director’s comment about making a profit on wastewater to Lake Park Elementary School. Yes, the SPLOST VII Resolution is to put it on the ballot in November, “to reimpose the tax”. So much for those town halls that never happened. Yep, it’s Mac McCall for reappointment to ZBOA. No Proclamation this morning, so it could still be for South Georgia Pride like Valdosta Mayor John Gayle refused to proclaim last year. And they vote tomorrow night at 5:30 PM.
Here’s the agenda, with links to the videos and a few notes.
LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2013, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2013, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor
- Call to Order
That’s only in the Work Session, tomorrow at 5:30 PM.
- Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
That’s only in the Work Session, tomorrow at 5:30 PM.
- Minutes for Approval
No changes were mentioned.
- Work Session — August 26, 2013
- Regular Session — August 27, 2013
Still a mystery; presumably tomorrow at 5:30 PM.
- Appointment — Valdosta/Lowndes County Zoning Board of Appeals
Yes, the ZBOA appointment is for the finally-expired term of Dave Kirk; they appointed John “Mac” McCall last December to the unexpired part of Kirk’s term, and McCall is the only candidate for re-appointment. He showed up to answer questions, but the Commissioners had none.
- Resolution – SPLOST VII Resolution
County Attorney Walter Elliott said the expected total over six years is $150 million, andThis is the resolution that follows the agreement of the county and the cities to reimpose the tax.
Commissioner Crawford Powell pointed out it reimposes the tax only if the citizens vote it in.
Commissioner Richard Raines wondered if one of the cities didn’t approve; what would the county need to do? The Attorney said Valdosta was the only city that mattered, because it was the only one with 50% or more population. He didn’t add that Valdosta voters favored the vote for SPLOST last year, and are likely to do the same this year.
- For Consideration
- GEMA Performance Partnership Agreement (FY 2013)
Emergency Manager Ashley Tye reminded the Commissioners that this was an annual renewal, reiterating responsibilities, and serving as a conduit for $32,770 per year from GEMA. Plus by having this agreement in place, the county can get financial and other resources from GEMA during a disaster. County Manager Joe Pritchard added something unintelligible. Apparently it was about local matching, judging by Tye’s answer, which was that the county meets the annual match through its normal budget.
- Sewer Service Requested for Lowndes County Board of Education
Utilities Manager Mike Allen said LCBOE wants sewer service for Lake Park Elementary to help out their failing septic tank. He said he had met with them, and they were willing to pay an increased sewer fee and to install a county-spec meter. So he offered an updated option, which was for the county attorney to draft an inter-governmental agreement for a variance for a sewer-only connection.
Commissioner Demarcus Marshall wondered who would pay for extending the service. Answer: LCBOE.
Marshall wondered how far county water service goes into Lake Park. He also wondered what would happen “when” Lake Park develops its own sewer system. Answer: not at all, and this agreement is only for sewer, not water.They will pay a differential to make sewer a profitable endeavor.
Now I’m all for the county making ends meet, but why is it wanting to profit off of the county school system?
County Manager Joe Pritchard, who had already pre-empted several of Mike Allen’s answers, then said:Charlie Clark is in the audience and represents the Board of Education.
Pritchard asked Clark to come forward to explainthe difference in the addition of the water line versus the added payment Mike referenced.
Clark’s explanation:Of course the City of Lake Park has a water service, but they do not have any sanitary sewer treatment facilities. The campus is already a customer of the City of Lake Park for water. And as of Friday’s meeting what we’re proposing to change out the water meter for the campus so that it’s a Lowndes County-readable water meter and then use that to determine what the usage is. I know that the way the enterprise fund operates is it of course has to operate as a self-supporting unit. It makes money on water, loses money on sewer. And in this case since we requested to be a sewer-only customer… the sewer rate would be a little bit higher, I think by roughly a third than the normal sewer rate. That way the county would be in a break-even position as far as receiving the sewer flows and paying for the treatment of that. Otherwise we’d have to extend a water main roughly a little bit more than half a mile, roughly the same distance as the force main. I say we; the school system would extend. And they’re just looking to avoid that cost.
There were no more questions; after all, Charlie Clark had spoken.
This is the same Charlie Clark who used to be County Engineer, and then a year or two later in 2006 proposed the Nelson Hill development, the one for which county staff made waivers and other promised features just didn’t happen. The Nelson Hill in the neighborhood of the Moody Family Housing in the aquifer recharge zone and with a sinkhole next door.
- Citizens Wishing to be Heard Please State Name And Address
That’s only in the Regular Session, tomorrow evening at 5:30 PM, when they also vote.
They didn’t even have Reports on the agenda; they adjourned at 8:41. That’s eleven (11) minutes.
Here’s a video playlist:
Videos: SPLOST VII Resolution and mystery proclamation and appointment
Work Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 9 September 2013.