Author Archives: John S. Quarterman

Videos: Taxes, water, sewer, LAS, paving, road abandonment @ LCC 2019-03-12

Five minutes and 46 seconds Sixteen minutes to vote on the people’s business in the Lowndes County Commission Regular Session. Where do they actually discuss things?

By far the longest item at three minutes and fourteen seconds was 5a. REZ-2019-04 Southeastern Freight 2120 West Hill Ave., C-H/R-1 To M-2,, and that only because somebody spoke in favor of the request in the Public Hearing.

Second longest at one minute and 46 seconds was the controversial 7 a. North Lowndes Spring Creek Utility Inter-connection Project Phase II, for which they made a decision about the yellow paper. They still never said who the rest of the bidders were, nor how much they bid, on this $3,889,825.23 project.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with Continue reading

Solar power in Georgia 2019-03-14

How much solar power is there in Georgia? Quite a bit, and it’s everywhere, according to Georgia Energy Data map by Southface.

Georgia, Solar
Gold disks indicate individual solar installations; green disks separate into many when zoomed.

There are three 1 megawattt (MW) solar farms in Berrien County I didn’t know about, and more elsewhere in the Suwannee River Basin, in almost every county. Continue reading

Videos: Taxes, water, sewer, LAS, paving, road abandonment @ LCC 2019-03-11

They don’t have any wheelchair seating areas, so Jody Hall planted his wheels in front of the front row, to see the county not tell the public who bid what on an almost $4 million item.

By far the longest item at almost seven minutes was North Lowndes Spring Creek Utility Inter-connection Project Phase II, because one bidder objected that the others did not use the correct color paper. They never said who any of the bidders were, nor how much they bid, on this $3,889,825.23 project.

The third longest was 6.f. Water and Sewer Service Areas – Lake Park Area, as the county continues its plan to encircle Valdosta. Yet the county has no plan for additional sewage treatment beyond the Land Application Site (LAS), where Lowndes County sprays sewage onto land near Grassy Pond, close to the state line, and where they’re reducing the Row Crop Lease Agreement by 71 acres for unexplained reasons.

Second longest was Continue reading

Videos: Freight line rezoning reviewed by Planning Commission @ GLPC 2019-02-25

Last month the Planning Commission reviewed a truck freight line request for rezoning that is on the Lowndes County Commission agenda for voting tonight. The business has operating for several decades, and now wants to expand in a way that does not fit the Comprehensive Plan, but the Planning Commission recommended approving with a condition that the property can’t be used for any other purpose.

Chair Vicki Rountree welcomed new member Debbie Sauls from Lake Park, with no explanation, and the county and Valdosta’s web pages still don’t list her (they don’t have the Chair correct, either), but we found out what happened.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with a very few notes, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the agenda.

Here’s a LAKE video playlist:


Videos: Freight line rezoning reviewed by Planning Commission
Regular Session, Greater Lowndes Planning Commission (GLPC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 25 February 2019.

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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!

Freight line rezoning reviewed by Planning Commission @ GLPC 2019-02-25

After Gretchen called Lowndes County yesterday, last month’s GLPC agenda magically appeared on the county website, along with a 2019 tab for it to appear in.

In addition to a motel, an events center, and an office in CITY OF VALDOSTA CASES, the county rezoning before the Lowndes County Commission today, REZ-2019-04 Southeastern Freight Line, was reviewed by the Planning Commission last month:

The TRC considered this request. Zoning found this request inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan. There were no other objectionable comments.

Staff found Continue reading

Taxes, water, sewer, LAS, paving, road abandonment @ LCC 2019-03-11

How much will they drive development into places it does not belong this time? GMASS Rural Land Maintenance Contract:

The Lowndes County Board of Assessors has approved a contract between the Board of Assessors and GMASS to perform maintenance updates to the Rural Land schedules for the 2019 Digest.

Rural land re-evaluation, 15 July 2015

They continue encircling Valdosta with county water and sewer, with the North Lowndes Spring Creek Utility Inter-connection Project Phase II. And on the south side of Valdosta, Water and Sewer Service Areas within and in the Vicinity of Lake Park, with “maps… attached” that as usual they did not show we the taxpaying public. Is the one rezoning, REZ-2019-04 Southeastern Freight Lines, 2120 West Hill Ave., C-H/R-1 To M-2, County Water/Sewer, ~18.96 Acre , related to the recent expansion of water and sewer across that same US 84? Apparently not: “existing water and sewer customer.” They’re removing 71 acres from the 219 acres they rent at the Land Application Site (LAS), where Lowndes County sprays sewage onto land near Grassy Pond, close to the state line.

They’re buying the former office of Coleman-Talley law firm at 910 N. Patterson Street for use by the Public Defender.

And no agenda is complete without a road abandonment.

Here is the agenda.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2019, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, MARCH 12, 2019, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Videos: Service Delivery Strategy (SDS) Meeting: Lowndes County and cities @ SDS 2019-02-04

The longest topic was water and wastewater, when elected officials from Lowndes County and its cities, Valdosta, Lake Park, Dasher, and Hahira (but apparently not Remerton), gathered on neutral ground to discuss tax revenue allocation, in a public meeting. Curiously, the Chairman and the Mayors were not invited. It’s not clear whether omitting them helped or not. There was actually mention that growth close to existing services is better than sprawl.

Below are links to each WWALS video Gretchen took, with a few notes, followed by a WWALS video playlist. See also the meeting announcement.

Lowndes County Bird Supper, Atlanta, GA 2019-02-13

Annually Lowndes County and its cities including Valdosta feed quail to state legislators at the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot in Atlanta: this is the Bird Supper.

Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter, Valdosta Mayor John Gayle, Inside
Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter, Valdosta Mayor John Gayle

Valdosta describes the Bird Supper: Continue reading

Videos: Fire, Library, rezonings, water main, road abandonments @ LCC 2019-02-11

The longest item was not on the agenda: Special Recognition of Fire Rescue.

Special Recognition of Fire Rescue

Second longest at two minutes was 7d. MOU with City of Remerton for Fire Inspection and Plan Review Services.

They’re adding to the agenda for voting Tuesday evening Carter Way emergency access. Maybe by then they’ll know Continue reading

Library, rezonings, water main, road abandonments @ LCC 2019-02-11

On the agenda for this morning, with voting Tuesday evening, $18,250.00 of $73,000.00 to bore under US 84 for a water main to we don’t know who (see also LAKE videos of previous Regular session), and $7,500.00 paid in full by GDOT to close the CSX railroad crossing at Dasher-Johnson Road and to improve the crossing at Good Hope Road. Also final Public Hearing to abandon part of McLeod Road (see also previous Regular Session), first consideration of Abandonment of Doyle Kelly Road. Plus reappointment of attorney Karl Osmus to the Lowndes County Library Board, the three rezonings from the recent Planning Commission meeting, an MOU with City of Remerton to provide Fire Inspection and Plan Review Services, and Lowndes County Historic Courthouse Architect Selection, 4.5 years since the Courthouse Preservation Committee Meetings.

Historic Lowndes County Courthouse

Gretchen is heading to the Commissioner meeting now with the LAKE video camera.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2019, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2019, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading