Two weeks ago at the Lowndes County Commission Work Session, by far the longest item at almost seven minutes was 6.b. REZ-2021-09 Building Valdosta Subdivision (0070 018), R-A to R-21. It fronts on Val Del Road, but has no county water and sewer. Commissioner Scottie Orenstein wanted to know about the two creeks that run through it: see the notes below on the item.
6.d. REZ-2021-11 The Landings (PD Amendment), Val Del Road (0071 056) got two and a half minutes.
The County Manager Reports was almost as long.
The whole meeting still only took 23 minutes.
Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item with a few notes, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the agenda, the board packet on the LAKE website due to a LAKE open records request, and the Minutes.
1. Call to Order 4. Minutes for Approval
5.a. Appointment – Construction Board of Adjustments and Appeals
5.b. Appointment – South Georgia Regional Library
Video. Turns out the Library Board has term limits. Probably others do, too.
6.a. REZ-2021-08 O’Neal Properties, 2547 US HWY 84 W R-21 to C-H
6.b. REZ-2021-09 Building Valdosta Subdivision (0070 018), R-A to R-21
Video. County Engineer Mike Fletcher said he had a meeting set up to look at it. Both come down across Bethany Road, one all the way from Hahira, join a bit north of Bethany Drive, draining into Bay Branch (“that creek that goes all the way down to the river” according to the County Engineer) to the Withlacoochee River. Chairman Bill Slaughter wanted to know about the dogleg that goes to Bethany Drive. County Planner JD Dillard said it is only 25 feet wide. The County Engineer said that is not wide enough for a road; he said the minimum was 50 feet; we thought it was 60 feet. He also said, in response to a question, that the traffic count on Val Del Road was still below capacity. But the County Chairman seemed to indicate future widening of Val Del Road was relevant.
6.c. REZ-2021-10 Wombles, Lineberger Road (0091 037), E-A to R-A
Video. So the parcel can be split in two. “Everything out there is dry,” said the County Planner.
6.d. REZ-2021-11 The Landings (PD Amendment), Val Del Road (0071 056)
Video. Apparently two big parcels that were initially supposed to be part of this development aren’t actually, so things have to change. Gretchen wonders why the development was approved if the developer did not have an earnest contract with all the land owners?
7.e. Street Lighting Ordinance Amendment 7
Video. The Minutes say: “Planning and Zoning Director, J.D. Dillard, presented the item stating the request is to add 45 lots of the Quarterman Estates Subdivision into the County’s Basic Decorative Street Lighting District under the Street Lighting Ordinance. Mr. Dillard stated staff 2has verified that the petitions are ready for consideration, notice for those additions have been advertised in the newspaper, and signs have been posted for a public hearing. Mr. Dillard further stated staff recommends adding phase three of Quarterman Estates into the County’s Basic Decorative Street Lighting District through approval of the amendment to the current Street Lighting Ordinance.”
6.f. Beer and Wine License – Wild Adventures Park – 3766 Old Clyattville Rd
Video. The Minutes say: ”Finance Director, Stephanie Black, presented the item. Ms. Black stated this item is for Wild Adventures Theme Park to add beer and wine for consumption on premise for the purpose of establishing a beer garden. Commissioner Orenstein asked what is a beer garden, Ms. Black responded it is where they will be selling beer and wine on the premise. County Manager, Paige Dukes stated she thinks it is their way of addressing the Herschend family and ensuring that there is not alcohol throughout the park. Additionally, Mrs. Dukes stated, there will be one central location.”
6. f (continued). Commissioners wonder what a Beer Garden is
7.a. .Acceptance of FY22 Juvenile Justice Incentive Grant
7.b. Moody Air Force Base Water & Wastewater Contract Renewal
Video. Still not clear which way the money flows and how much.
8.a. Bid for a Fuel Truck for the Public Works Department
Video. The existing truck that breaks down is a 2009 model.
9. Reports – County Manager
Video. The Minutes say: “County Manager, Paige Dukes, stated Lowndes County had a tremendous, successful response to Tropical Storm Elsa, much in part due to EMA Director Ashley Tye’s leadership and thanked Mr. Tye for his efforts. Mrs. Dukes stated every department at the work session meeting contributed to the response in some way, with the majority of them being in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), including 911 Director Danny Weeks and his team and Planning and Zoning Director, JD Dillard, to help man the phones along with Code Enforcement Director, Mindy Bates. Mrs. Dukes stated, County Engineer, Mike Fletcher, was there taking a look at drainage due to all the water moving through Lowndes County. Mrs. Dukes further stated, Utilities Director, Steve Stalvey, had minimal issues but was able to reach out and help Moody AFB, as they had a significant situation that required some hardware that the County has and was able to loan them. Mrs. Dukes also stated, Human Resources Director, Kevin Beals, and his department processed the first payroll of the new fiscal year which involved changes from the Condrey Study. Mrs. Dukes stated, there were a lot of moving parts and they did this through the storm. Finance Director, Stephanie Black worked from home making changes that needed to be made from the back end. In addition, Mrs. Dukes stated ITS Director, Aaron Kostyu, and his staff were in the EOC ensuring that there were no issues with technology. Chief Green and his crew were out front and center. There was a limb that went through the front of a fire truck on Gil Harbin as those fire fighters were driving down the road. Thankfully, there were minimal injuries in that accident. This was Public Information Officer, Meghan Barwick’s, first storm handling communications and she did a fantastic job. Lastly, Mrs. Dukes stated great team, great response, and she is proud of everyone. Chairman Slaughter thanked everyone.”
Here’s a LAKE video playlist:
Building Valdosta Subdivision and The Landings on Val Del Road, Moody AFB water & wastewater, Reports @ LCC Work 2021-07-12
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia.
Investigative reporting costs money, for open records requests, copying, web hosting, gasoline, and cameras, and with sufficient funds we can pay students to do further research. You can donate to LAKE today!