Author Archives: John S. Quarterman

Deep South Solid Waste Authority special called meeting today, 6PM 2019-03-27

Update 2019-03-27: Cancelled.

Not in the public notices, rather as an article, Valdosta Daily Times, 26 March 2019, Deep South holds called meeting,

VALDOSTA — The Deep South Solid Waste Authority will hold a special called meeting, 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, at the Southern Georgia Regional Commission office, 327 W. Savannah Ave.

Photo: John S. Quarterman, DSSWA meeting 2019-02-07
Photo: John S. Quarterman, DSSWA meeting 2019-02-07

I have asked for a copy of the agenda. Until it arrives, I can only guess Continue reading

Videos: Lowndes County Board of Elections 2019-03-12

At a monthly meeting held during an election, the Lowndes County Board of Elections decided to re-open a polling station at a Valdosta State University (VSU) precinct, which hasn’t happened since 2009. The next step is for the VSU President to make a decision. Then, students, step up and staff it, and vote, please!


Photo: Gretchen Quarterman, of Lowndes County Elections Supervisor Deb Cox, with Lowndes County Board of Elections Members Ray Corbett, Carla Jordan, and Jackie Goolsby.

Thomas Lynn, Valdosta Daily Times, 12 March 2019, UPDATE: ACLU to attend board of elections meeting,

VALDOSTA — The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia plans to attend the Lowndes County Board of Elections meeting Tuesday.

This comes after the ACLU sent Deb Cox, elections supervisor, a letter urging the election board to open a polling location at the Valdosta State University main campus.

Cox responded Continue reading

Office on old US 41 N @ GLPC 2019-03-25

Update 2019-04-09: Videos.

Only one case on the Planning Commission agenda for tonight: rezoning for office space between Old US 41 North and the railroad, between Valwood and Scruggs.

Between RR and highway, Map
Map: Lowndes County Tax Assessors, Parcel 0053 112, 4555 Old US 41 North.

Greater Lowndes Planning Commission
Lowndes County City of Valdosta City of Dasher City of Hahira City of Lake Park
REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
AGENDA

Monday, March 25, 2019 * 5:30 P.M. * Public Hearing
Lowndes County South Health District Administrative Office
325 West Savannah Avenue

Continue reading

Lighting, Paving, and Trash @ LCC 2019-03-25

Update 2019-03-27: LAKE videos of Monday morning Work Session and Tuesday evening Regular Session.

A single-source no-bid contract with Lovell Engineering is on the agenda for Professional Surveying and Engineering Services for Improvements to Lester Road. The dollar amount is not given in the agenda sheet.

The Basic Decorative Street Lighting District is not the one defered last time (Walker’s Run). They want to charge $61.50 per lot per year.

No special trash collection tax district for Lowndes County, though, although state law explicitly authorizes that. Instead, once again they are renewing curbside trash pickup licenses for ADS and DSS; the latter of course only after the county sued all the way to the state Supreme Court to try to stop it.

Here is the bid sheet from 2012. You may want to compare Veolia’s bid to what its new owner ADS is charging now.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2019, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, MARCH 26, 2019, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

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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