Category Archives: Alcohol

Code Enforcement Appreciation and new Tourism Authority Director @ LCC Regular Session 2021-09-14

At the recent Lowndes County Commission Regular Session, County Manager Paige Dukes in her Reports mentioned many then-upcoming events, two of which are still coming, and may be of public interest:

  • 2021-09-21, 4:30 PM, at Georgia Beer Co.: Meet and greet for new Executive Director, David DiSalvo, of Valdosta-Lowndes Conference Center and Tourism Authority. https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-j-disalvo-9048b24
  • 2021-09-28, 6PM, in Commission Chambers: Comp Plan stakeholder meeting just after next LCC meeting, Most recent draft of Comprehensive Plan was on Commissioners’ desks; is available electronically (where?).

None of these events are on the lowndescounty.com online calendar.

[Code Enforcement, RV Sales, Reports, End time]
Code Enforcement, RV Sales, Reports, End time

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

Videos: VLPRA, RV sales, Moody AFB Fire Dept., Tax Assessors @ LCC 2021-09-13

By far the longest item at the Lowndes County Commission Work Session yesterday morning was the presentation on the VLPRA Master Plan by their consultant David Barth, taking 34 minutes.

Second longest was 8.d. GMASS Commercial Contract for the Tax Asessors office. Each of these got more than a minute: the RV sales expansion item, and 8.b. Fire and Emergency Services Agreement between Lowndes County and MFAB.

[VLPRA, RV sales, Moody AFB Fire Dept., Tax Assessors]
VLPRA, RV sales, Moody AFB Fire Dept., Tax Assessors

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also Continue reading

GMASS for Tax Assessors, Fire, Foam, Moody, RV, Courthouse, Alcohol @ LCC 2021-09-13

Update 2021-09-14: LAKE videos.

The Tax Assessors having no commercial appraisers left are hiring GMASS to appraise commercial properties, for $108,000 over three years.

Four times as much will go to early cleanup work at the historic Courthouse.

Cost What
$411,125.00Lowndes County Historic Courthouse Early Demolition and Abatement GMP (Guaranteed Maximum Price)
$108,000.00 GMASS Commercial Contract for Tax Assessors
$519,125.00Total

This is on the agenda this morning for the Lowndes County Commission. At this Work Session, they have two extra items: Code Enforcement Appreciation and VLPRA Adopted Master Plan Presentation by Dr. David Barth (Work Session).

They will vote Tuesday evening, on these and other items including a Fire Department agreement with Moody AFB, expansion of an RV sales company, and beer and wine sales.

[Alcohol, RV, Tax Assessors contractor]
Alcohol, RV, Tax Assessors contractor

Below is the agenda. Update 2021-09-14: The board packet is on the LAKE website due to a LAKE open records request.

See also the preceding Planning Commission agenda and board packet and LAKE videos.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2021, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2021, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Videos: Commissioner Comments, Mud Swamp Road, Fire Millage, Hightower Road, GEFA @ LCC 2021-08-24

Very unusual: two Commissioners commented at the end. Chairman Bill Slaughter had already been quite clear that the new fire department millage was to aid population growth in unincorporated parts of the county. Mark Wisenbaker thought the fire department millage was premature because it did not consider land with no structures, agricultural land, etc. He was the only Commissioner to vote against 5.l. Adoption of Unincorporated Fire Millage. Clay Griner thought it was something they could improve as they go along.

None of them mentioned that the fire millage applies to personal property as well as to real estate (land). At least one of the Commissioners was unaware of this, and, since none of them ever seem to have mentioned it to the public, I’d bet the public is unaware unless they carefully examined their property tax statements. Applying that fire millage also to personal property is apparently how they kept it as low as they announced in the millage rate hearing. Nevermind such a personal property millage falls heaviest on companies with the most personal property, which would likely be Packaging Corporation of America (PCA), commonly known as the paper mill at Clyattville. It’s not clear that companies with much personal property are the most in need of new fire services.

[Hightower Road, Fire Millage, Mud Swamp Road, Commissioner Comments]
Hightower Road, Fire Millage, Mud Swamp Road, Commissioner Comments

The County’s support of unincorporated growth apparently includes building next to wetlands, or in areas the Army Corps of Engineers recently declared not to be wetlands, since that had just been discussed by County Manager Paige Dukes and the Chairman.

I have an idea! How about build only close in to existing services, instead of sprawling farther out, where no taxes will ever pay enough for sending school buses, Sheriff, and Fire. See this report the County commissioned: The Local Government Fiscal Impacts of Land Use in Lowndes County: Revenue and Expenditure Streams by Land Use Category, Jeffrey H. Dorfman, Ph.D., Dorfman Consulting, December 2007. As Dr. Dorfman summarized in a different presentation,

Local governments must ensure balanced growth, as
sprawling residential growth is a certain ticket to fiscal ruin*
* Or at least big tax increases.

sprawl Trees and crops don’t call the Sheriff or the Fire Department much and don’t need school buses, but subdivisions do, so forestry and agriculture are far more cost-effective in tax collection vs. services.

Everything except the Fire Dept. millage passed unanimously. Even the late-added mystery-location 5.j. Proposed Sale of County Real Property to Industrial Authority, which came with no map, no street address, and no parcel numbers.

Here are LAKE videos of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the Continue reading

Videos: Potential litigation, Millage, Hightower Road, Bellsouth, Val Del Estates, 911, Alapaha Plantation, Manhole Emergency, Private Roads, Alcohol * 2 @ LCC Work 2021-08-23

The Lowndes County Commission votes tonight at 5:30 PM, after minimal discussion yesterday morning.

At the end of yesterday morning’s Work Session, County Manager Paige Dukes asked for an Executive Session to discuss pending litigation, plus a bigger than usual room to meet in, due to wanting many department heads there.

Earlier, Chairman Bill Slaughter asked to add an agenda item for sale of real property to the Industrial Authority. There was no discussion of this item, simply the addition of the item to the agenda for the voting session. Apparently all the commissioners know all about this from some executive session. The public knows nothing.

Also, Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker asked to move the two millage adoption items to the end of the agenda for tonight.

The only thing they spent more than two minutes on was 5.h. Adding Dispatch Consoles 11 and 12 for the 911 Center. 5.h. Adding Dispatch Consoles 11 and 12 for the 911 Center

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 and the board packet.

Millage, Hightower Road, Bellsouth, Val Del Estates, 911, Alapaha Plantation, Manhole Emergency, Private Roads, Alcohol * 2 @ LCC 2021-08-23, GA-EPD

Three million dollars for discussion this morning and voting tomorrow evening at the Lowndes County Commission, including an emergency manhole repair, 911 consoles, and roads north of Moody AFB.

Plus more expenses will come from accepting two subdivision roads plus two dirt roads as county roads. And the never-ending Lake Alapaha subdivision water treatment plant, which has attracted a GA-EPD Consent Order.

The County will be reducing the overall millage rate, while adding the the unincorporated fire millage.

Cost What
$2,775,068.91TIA-03 Hightower Road and Cooper Road NE
$162,308.45Whitewater Road Manhole Emergency Repair
$155,697.00Adding Dispatch Consoles 11 and 12 for the 911 Center
$2,520.00Approval of Lease Amendment Number Three to Bellsouth Telecommunications, LLC
$3,095,594.36Total

[Alcohol, Subdivision, Communications]
Alcohol, Subdivision, Communications

Here is the agenda. The board packet, received in response to a LAKE open records request, is on the LAKE website:
http://www.l-a-k-e.org/govt/loco/2021-08-23–lcc-packet

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, AUGUST 23, 2021, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2021, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Beer, easement, insurance, mosquitos, prison work details @ LCC 2021-07-26

A million tax dollars for insurance and prison work details, discussed this morning, to be voted on Tuesday evening, by the Lowndes County Commission. Also an easement from Moody Air Force Base for Hightower Road and Cooper Road, and a beer and wine license for Cracker Barrel in Lake Park.

Cost What
$806,342.00 ACCG IRMA Property & Liability Insurance Program Renewal
$147,954.00 Annual Contract Renewal, Georgia Department of Corrections – Prison Work Details
$52,132.50 Annual Contract Renewal for Mosquito Identification and Testing
$1,006,428.50 Total

[Beer license, Moody AFB easement]
Beer license, Moody AFB easement

Here is the agenda. The board packet, received in response to a LAKE open records request, is on the LAKE website:
https://www.l-a-k-e.org/govt/loco/2021-07-26–lcc-packet

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, JULY 26, 2021, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, JULY 27, 2021, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Videos: Court * 4, Boards * 2, Sewer * 4, Beer, Computers, Pest, Fire, Grounds, Road truck @ LCC 2021-06-21

They spent the most time discussing the several court funding cash match requests, two weeks ago at the Lowndes County (GA) Commission Work Session. At the end, Project Manager Chad McLeod had updates on the Courthouse renovation and the Commission Chambers audio and video restoration.

Judge Golden, Accountability Court

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the agenda. The board packet is on the LAKE website, received in response to a LAKE open records request.
http://www.l-a-k-e.org/govt/loco/2021-06-21–lcc-packet Continue reading

Boards * 2, Sewer * 4, Court * 4, Beer, Computers, Pest, Fire, Grounds, Road truck @ LCC 2021-06-21

The biggest item on this week’s Lowndes County Commission agenda, for voting this eventing, is Grounds Maintenance. Planting some native shrubbery, flowers, and trees instead of all that lawn would reduce that cost.

Three sewage system items add up, for Whitewater Lift Station Control Panel Emergency Repair, Bemiss Low Pressure Sewer Main Replacement Change Order, and the $2,500,000.00 GEFA Loan for the Sewer System Rehabilitation Project. That last does not show up in the agenda sheet as BUDGET IMPACT, but county taxpayers will pay for it over time. However, proactive sewer system fixes are lot better than reactive sewage spill repairs.

Four courts in three agenda items require cash match. Plus a road work truck and pest control round out the dollar figures.

Cost What
$158,140.00Bid for Grounds Maintenance for County Buildings
$53,140.00Whitewater Lift Station Control Panel Emergency Repair
$48,307.21Compute and Storage for South Lowndes Data Center
$46,777.50Purchase of Fire Turnout Gear
$39,135.00Office of the Governor Criminal Justice Coordinating Council Accountability Court Lowndes County DUI Court Grant Award – State Court
$33,989.00Bemiss Low Pressure Sewer Main Replacement Change Order
$28,074.84Purchase of a Truck for Public Works
$23,557.16Lowndes County Accountability Court Adult Drug Court Program – Grant (Cash Match)
$10,000.00Lowndes County Juvenile Accountability Court – Drug Court Program – Grant (Cash Match)
$6,734.40Bid for Pest Control Service
$447,855.11Total

There’s a reappointment to Children’s Services and a new appointment to the Library Board.

And there’s a beer license, which brings in fees of $250 Off Premises + $150 Administration = $400.

[Beer, Lawns]
Beer, Lawns

Here is the agenda. The board packet is on the LAKE website, received in response to a LAKE open records request.
http://www.l-a-k-e.org/govt/loco/2021-06-21–lcc-packet

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, JUNE 21, 2021, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, JUNE 22, 2021, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Lowndes Co. Dev. Auth. Reappointments, Insolvent property, subdivision infrastructure, wine license, radios, bottled water, trucks, clothes washers, mowers, tractors, backup generator 2021-05-24

Less than a million tax dollar expenditures to be decided upon Tuesday after discussion Monday, by the Lowndes County Commission. Not counting future expenses from accepting streets for a subdivision, and not county almost half a million in insolvent taxes to be written off.

[Wine license, Subdivision Infrastructure]
Wine license, Subdivision Infrastructure

Cost What
$274,780.32Purchase of Trucks for Various Departments on State Contract
$236,056.00Bid for Four (4) Tractors for Public Works
$71,600.00Bid for Four (4) Bat-Wing Mowers for Public Works
$60,421.00Bid for Washers/Dryers for Fire Stations
$47,500.00Val-Tech Booster Station Generator
$6,000.00Bids for Bottled Water Service
$696,357.32Total

This, Acceptance of Infrastructure for Two Oaks Subdivision Phase II, will result in ongoing tax dollar expenses for sending school buses, sheriff, fire and rescue, and repairs to water and sewer and streets. But the County Commission never counts that in its budget. They also don’t count as related however many millions they’ve already spent preparing roads, water, and sewer for a subdivision.

Also not included is the $437,823.30 to be written off the tax rolls as insolvent, due to statute of limitations, moved property out of the county, etc., at the request of the Tax Commissioner.

Not the same as the Valdosta-Lowndes Development Authority: “The terms of Commissioner Clay Griner, Mr. Crawford Powell, and Mr. Barry Broome to the Lowndes County Development Authority will expire on June 8, 2021. They have all expressed an interest in being reappointed.”

I wonder what this was about, in the May-10-2021-Work-Session-Minutes.pdf”> Minutes of the previous Work Session? “County Attorney, Walter Elliott, requested in writing, that the regular session minutes be revised regarding the motion to enter the executive session meeting.”

The board packet, received in response to a LAKE open records request, is on the LAKE website: https://www.l-a-k-e.org/govt/loco/2021-05-24–lcc-packet

Here is the agenda.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, MAY 24, 2021, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, MAY 25, 2021, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading