The FY 2017 Juvenile Justice Incentive Grant was a popular topic yesterday morning, and some Commissioners showed a little bit of scepticism about that $89,005 in emergency no-bid repairs on the agenda for yesterday morning and for voting 5:30PM this evening.
Also $634,800 for a bridge we can’t tell where, and some unknown fraction of $1,663,888.78 to resurface a road that shouldn’t be used as a highway in the first place. Who’s in charge of budget planning for the county?
At the end, there was more from the County Manager about private road Carter Way: they discovered another property owner (“at least one”) after they agreed to spend $67,822 to fix a private road.
Here are links to each of the LAKE videos, with a few notes, followed by a video playlist.
- 1. Call to Order 4. Minutes for Approval
5.a. Core Network Equipment-911
Video. Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker asked what is network redundancy, which Danny Weeks answered, as did Aaron Kostyu (with too much detail, missing the main point: so services don’t fail). Some Commissioner also asked if the contracts were annual terms. Answer: usually three-year with annual updates. Commissioners can’t be expected to know everything, and asking questions helps find out if staff know what they’re talking about.
- 5.b. Liquor License – A&M Food Store – 5859 Bemiss Road
- 5.c. FY2017 Juvenile Justice Incentive Grant
5.d. James Road/Riverside Drive Quitclaim Deeds
Video. Speaking of planning, still more fallout from the failed James Road development and the relocation of that road the county paid for anyway are the James Road/Riverside Drive Quitclaim Deeds. See also the 13 May 2014 Regular Session.
5.e. Emergency Fiber Replacement to South Lowndes
Video. Why is replacing the fiber optic data cable that connects the South Lowndes Data Center and the E911 Center an emergency repair for $61,020, when apparently the problem has been going on for years? Ah, because squirrels chewed on it. Commissioners did ask about that, and about what has been done to prevent it. Answer: a product called squirrel guard. Meanwhile, it’s good that it’s not an emergency that the 911 Center Core Network Equipment needs replacing for $38,621. Planning ahead is good. Is one of these items in the budget and the other not?
6.f. Stone Creek Well Pump
Video. Another emergency not marked as such in the agenda is the Stone Creek Well Pump. The agenda sheet says “Due to reduced output, the well will not supply enough flow to operate the MIEX plant at Stone Creek. It doesn’t say why the flow is reduced. Was the pump failing? Has the water table dropped, perhaps due to pumping? It does say “Due to the emergency situation, staff recommends the Board of Commissioners approve the purchase of a new pump & installation for $27,985.00, from Shea Well & Pump, to be paid from the capital budget.” No Commissioners had any questions.
6.a. Paving on Stewart Circle
Video. From Coleman Road to Old US 41N, including overlaying the section of Stewart Circle that’s already paved. Reames was low bid: $632,258.55. Commissioners had no questions.
6.b. Replacement of Beatty Creek Bridge on Williams Road
Video. Where is this Replacement of Beatty Creek Bridge on Williams Road, with the $634,800 low bid from Southern Concrete Construction of Albany, GA? There are two Williams Roads in Lowndes County and no Beaty Creek. In the north end of the county Cat Creek has a tributary Beatty Mill Creek, with a Williams Road running near it between Upper New Bethel Road and Beatty Mill Creek Road. But according to all the maps I can find, Williams Road does not cross Beatty Mill Creek. So what exactly is it that the county wants to pay the low bidder $634,800 for? Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker asked “where exactly is this?” Answer from County Engineer Mike Fletcher: see separate post.
6.c. Resurfacing of 3 County Roads
Video. The winning (and only) bid of $1,663,888.78 from Scruggs Company for Resurfacing of 3 County Roads is for Touchton Road, Clyattville Nankin Road, and Hambrick Road. $801,155.64 is from a GDOT LMIG grant, “while Lowndes County will be responsible for $862,733.14.” Commissioners had no questions.
I have an easier solution for Hambrick Road: put signs at each end saying “Local Traffic Only” and enforce them, so through traffic would go along GA 122, less than a mile to the north. I bet that would cost a lot less than whichever fraction of that $1.664 million is allocated to Hambrick Road. We don’t even know which fraction, because the county didn’t publish the contract with Scruggs Company, and the County Engineer didn’t say in the public meeting.
7. Reports – County Manager – more about Carter Way (the private road)
Video. They discovered another property owner after they agreed to spend $67,822 to fix a private road. The Chairman said “this is a very difficult and somewhat touchy issue since we’re dealing with private property”. Yep. And emergency expenditures also seem to result in missing stitches. If the county instead agreed to pave the road on the existing right of way, it could take it into the county road system and avoid this problem in the future. The Chairman also said it was a safety issue.
Commissioner Joyce Evans thanked department heads who came to the Naylor Town Hall. Safety was also emphasized there, as an excuse for road paving. When will the county start to take safety into account after road paving, and before approving new subdivisions?
Here’s a video playlist:
Videos: Emergency no-bid repairs, a bridge where, and unnecessary resurfacing
Work Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 25 April 2016.