Citizen Billy Rowland complained about poor road grading, his dogs being shot, and misuse of Knights Ferry Landing on the Withlacoochee River. Maybe the Commission will listen to what he said this time, at last Tuesday’s Lowndes County Commissioner Regular Session. Apparently G. Norman Bennett wants Hall Web Road paved for the mile to his house at the Little River, but Julia Bass, Ralph Niehenke, and Diane Guess spoke up saying they don’t want it paved. Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker tried to ask them questions, but Chairman Bill Slaughter cut him off. Slaugher did have time earlier fo an extra announcement of a joint governmental meeting Tuesday morning. It’s not clear citizens will even get to speak there, much less get questions answered. See separate post.
They passed the resolution to ask the legislature to start the proecess to appoint rather than elect Lowndes County Tax Assessors.
They already did emergency repairs to Clyattville Nankin Road Bridge (problem discovered by a local citizen) and Jumping Gully Road Bridge (found by GDOT), and the Commissione approved payment after the fact. So two more no-bid contracts were let, this time without even a Commission vote before the work was done.
They agreed to the North Lowndes Park Quitclaim and Custodial Agreement by which Valdosta-Lowndes Parks & Rec. Authority (VLPRA) takes charge of some land west of I-75 north of Hahira for a soccer field.
A few citizens spoke about rezoning for the mysterious Project Max, but of course they passed the rezoning anyway, even though apparently none of the Commissioners know who the prospective tenant is.
The Lowndes County Commission agenda contained quite a few other items as the Commission caught up after the holidays. See also the LAKE videos of the previous morning’s Work Session. Below are links to each LAKE video of the Tuesday evening 12 January 2016 Regular Session, followed by a video playlist.
1. Call to Order 2. Invocation 3. Pledge
Video. They started two minutes late. Better than Ashley Paulk’s old habit of starting early.
- Announcement of Special Joint Governmental Meeting
- 4. Minutes for Approval
- 5.a. REZ-2016-01 Project Max, Rocky Ford Rd, E-A to M-2 123 acres
- 6.a. Code Red Service Agreement
- 6.b. Anti-Virus Software Lease
- 6.c. Maintenance for uninterruptable power supply
- 6.d. Workers’ Compensation Insurance Renewal
- 6.e. Resolution to Adopt Amended and Restated Retirement Plan
- 6.f. Adopt Resolution accepting infrastructure for Creekside West III
- 6.g. Adopt Resolution accepting infrastructure for Ivy Gate II
- 6.h. Clyattville Nankin Road Bridge Repairs
- 6.i. Jumping Gully Road Bridge Repairs
- 6.j. GaDOT Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG)
6.k. 5426 Danieli Drive
Video. A bank wants to know whether the county wants to require removal of a carport or driveway at the subject location. Commission approved Chairman signing and sending a letter saying nope.
- 6.l. Beer License-Eagle Food Mart #1- 4357 Bemiss Road
- 6.m. Beer and Wine License- Eagle Food Mart- 4952 Bemiss Road
6.n. North Lowndes Park Quitclaim Deed and Custodial Agreement
Video. Approximately 63 acres of land to be deeded to Lowndes County from GDOT for soccer fields, provided it continues to be used as a park. See the LAKE video of the Work Session for how Chad McLeod of the Lowndes County Engineering Department has long worked with George Page and the Valdosta-Lowndes Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA) about finding a location for a soccer field, and this is it. It’s just north of the existing skate park west of I-75 west of Hahira, wrapped around where there used to be a rest area. VLPRA continues transparently to produce value for its 1.25 mil of property taxes.
6.o. Appointment of Board of Tax Assessors
Video. Appointing Tax Assessors will take an act of the legislature and a local referendum to repeal They passed a resolution a resolution to ask the General Assembly to start the process to change the 1972 state law that made Lowndes County the only county in Georgia to elect them. in Lowndes County, subject to approval by voters, so after 1 January 2021 they’d be appointed, not elected. This is the only county in Georgia that does not appoint its Tax Assessors, and after the extremely unusual rural land revaluation last year, it does seem something needs to be changed.
7. Reports – County Manager
Video. No report.
8. CWTBH – Billy Rowland
Video. Citizen Billy Rowland of 6470 Rowland Road complained to the county about poor road grading, saying he could do a better job with a box blade. He said he just buried two of his dogs which were killed in his kennel by gunfire. He said Knights Ferry Landing is being used as a kit for dope dealers, and “it looks like a dump down there,” plus four-wheelers tearing it up. He and neighbors want a resolution to close that park as Langdale Park is closed, 6PM to 6PM.
“First and last, somebody’s going to get killed floating down that river, when the kids are down there firing right towards the river.”
He said the commission needs to go look at it and if nothing else make a berm so the gunfire can’t go to the river. The Commissioners made no response other than the ritual “thank you”, even though he remarked this was about the sixth time he’s spoken.
8. CWTBH – Julia Bass
Video. Julia Bass of 7184 Hall Webb Road, Hahira, said “some people are wanting our road paved, and some are not”. She does not, and she’s worried about her son and her grandson and her little dogs. She said people already go too fast on that road, including school busses. It’s less than one mile long and she says we don’t need it paved.
8. CWTBH – Ralph Niehenke
Video. Ralph Niehenke of 7249 Hall Webb Road said the road is short and not bad as it is, Lowndes County could use the money instead for other citizens who actually need help.
Now if it was to be paved, it’d be the first time I’ve seen Lowndes County do a luxury driveway down towards the river. We’re not the ones that’s fishing in that river. And we do have a person living on that river there that wants it paved, Mr. Bennett. And that’s OK, we respect what he wants, but we chose not. We’re not paying to go fishing in there like others, and the water open to the public to start with. But we’re not even complaining about that. We just want our road left as is.
He indicated the road grader could a better job by not pushing dirt from the center to the edges of the road. He’s used his own tractor and box blade to fix that, but he’s worried about his own liability for that.
8. CWTBH – Diane Guess
Video. Diane Guess of 7203 Hall Webb Road also does not want the road paved. She’s worried about her daughter, son-in-law, grandchildren, their pets, and the trees. Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker tried to ask how many residents live on that road, but he was cut short by the Chairman who said to wait until the meeting was over.
- 9. Meeting Adjournment
Here’s a video playlist:
Videos: Why Emergency bridge fixes? Appoint Tax Assessors? Rush Project Max?
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 12 January 2016.