Category Archives: Code Enforcement

Trash lawsuit on WALB

WALB found the Lowndes County government sticking to the letter of its own recently-passed ordinance and contract, and Deep South Sanitation concerned about the county trying to put it out of business.

Lydia Jennings wrote for WALB yesterday, Lowndes Co. files lawsuit against solid waste company,

Lowndes County leaders are going to court to try to stop a sanitation company from picking up trash for some county residents.

County leaders say Deep South Sanitation is in violation of a new ordinance that only allows Advanced Disposal to contract with county residents.

And if the cease-and-desist order is successful, the owner of Deep South Sanitation worries he’ll go out of business.

Cary Scarborough owns Deep South Sanitation, a family owned and operated business he started in 2011 when he saw trash pickup problems in unincorporated Lowndes County.

In two years, he has seen his business grow with 800 Lowndes County resident contracts. But his days of picking up trash could be coming to an end.

“It could shut me down,” said Scarborough.

So why did the county give him a business license? And why is it a good use of taxpayer funds to sue him? The county’s answer:

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Lakeland environmental violations

Demolition debris buried without a permit? That happened in Lakeland, and it’s causing a heap of trouble for the City Council. Could such a thing also have happened in a nearby county?

Andy Alcock reported yesterday for WCTV, Lakeland Hires Firm to Check Environmental Issues

There’s a new push to find out about dozens of potential environmental violations in the South Georgia city of Lakeland.

As we first reported last week, Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division issued a notice of violation for the city of Lakeland.

That notice lists twenty-three properties where demolition debris may be buried without a permit.

The city council has now unanimously approved the hiring of an engineering firm to assess those sites.

Stevenson & Palmer Engineering will be paid an hourly rate plus expenses not to exceed $15,000 without approval by the city.

There are claims of improperly demolishing, burning and burying dozens of homes.

According to whom?

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Lowndes County v. Deep South Sanitation: Why?

Why is Lowndes County suing a local business for the benefit of investors in New York City? I guess we’ve discovered the litigation last month’s Lowndes County Commission executive session was about. Why is this a good use of taxpayer money?

On Deep South Sanitation’s facebook page yesterday,

Friends, we all watch the news and we see governments making changes that are unacceptable to the American people. Well, it is happening right here in our hometown. LOWNDES COUNTY has issued a CIVIL ACTION LAWSUIT against DEEP SOUTH. The preliminary hearing is set for FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013 at 9:30AM in Courtroom 5D of the Lowndes County Judicial Complex. The purpose of the hearing is to force DEEP SOUTH to shutdown on that day! (We are a small, local, family owned and operated business.) We need your support because this hearing will effect almost every one of you. “IF” we are forced out, Advanced Disposal will be your “ONLY CHOICE” for garbage service. That means there will be a MONOPOLY for garbage service in Lowndes. The County maintains that it is not MANDATORY for the citizens to use Advanced Disposal so then who else can we choose? CHOICE keeps business healthy and HONEST. Please help support this matter for your sake and ours by calling LOWNDES COUNTY and voice your concerns. Also, there are several petitions being sent around as of today. We personally thank each and every one of you!! From: Cary, Debbie, Trevor, Dylan and Sadee Scarborough

Unnamed Lowndes County “representatives” spelled out in the VDT back in January that

“According to the solid waste ordinance, Advanced Disposal will be the only residential hauler licensed to serve unincorporated Lowndes County.”

A few hours later yesterday, also on DSS’s facebook page,

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F for Georgia state integrity

Worst of all fifty states; worse than South Carolina and worse than Michigan: that’s why Georgia’s gets an F on its corruption risk report card from State Integrity Investigation. Gov. Nathan Deal did just sign an ethics bill, but as William Perry, executive director of Common Cause Georgia says,

“It’s like you’re starving for a meal and somebody gave you a saltine cracker.
It’s chock full of loopholes.”

I wonder if this lack of ethics in state government has anything to do with widespread rural poverty in Georgia?


If Wal-Mart fires for not following procedures…

George Rhynes asks if Wal-Mart can fire employees who disarmed an armed robber for not following procedures, why can’t the manager he says didn’t follow procedures when the manager fired him be fired in return? I wonder why Wal-Mart procedures and profit are more important than employee safety, well-being, or the drain on public resources to cover what Wal-Mart does not?

George Boston Rhynes wrote to Wal-Mart CEO and President Mike Duke and Board of Directors 20 February 2011, Wal-Mart Store 899 and 2615, Valdosta, Georgia and China Workers!

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Valdosta PR about wastewater issues

The city of Valdosta responds. I have decorated this PR with a few images with links, and a few comments after it. -jsq

Mayor and Council Address Recent Wastewater Issues,

The Valdosta Mayor and City Council are committed to providing quality municipal services that meet the expectations of our citizens. In addition to providing fire and police protection and other beneficial quality of life services, the city leadership is equally committed to providing adequate water and wastewater treatment services to its citizens, maintaining a functioning sewer collection system and discharging treated water in an environmentally responsible manner.

Recently, citizens have been inundated with information about the current state of the city’s wastewater treatment plant and sewer collection system, as well as the decisions made during the recent flood event. The following information is provided to explain the recent event and to help citizens better understand these important issues and the dedicated work of their elected officials and municipal staff.


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Spilling Sewage Pictures by Gabe Fisher 3:30 PM 24 March 2013

Received yesterday. -jsq

Date: Sun, 24 Mar 2013 15:43:47 -0400


All, just so everyone is on the same page- the sewer line is currently spilling sewage. It just started at mu house but has been going strong at sugar creek for awhile by the looks of it. Here are some current pictures as of 3:30 today. It will get worse until the river crests..


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Industrial Authority already met; what about open meetings law? @ VLCIA 2013-03-08

Wanting to go to the Industrial Authority meeting tonight? Oops, you missed it: they held it 11 days ago. Did you want to speak there? Nope, no Citizens to be Heard on that agenda, and not much else, either.

To find that agenda on VLCIA’s website: Home → About Us → Industrial Authority → Meeting Schedule,

There will be a Special Called Meeting of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority on Friday, March 8, 2013, 11:00 am at the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority Offices. This Special Called Meeting will also serve as the Regular March 2013 Meeting.

Agenda (PDF) There will be no meeting on Tuesday, March 19, 2013.

I don’t know when they put that on their website, but they announced the same thing on their facebook page on March 4th. Much of the usual agenda boilerplate is replaced by an executive session, and the agenda doesn’t even say for what. I seem to recall the Industrial Authority’s attorney on several occasions reminding the Chair that before going into executive session it was necessary to say for what purpose. As the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) puts it:

What is the procedure for going into and holding an “executive session” or “closing a meeting”?

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More Valdosta wastewater correspondence

Some interesting questions have come up in Gabe Fisher's continuing correspondence with the City of Valdosta about sewage in his back yard and under his house, while City Council Tim Carroll continues to respond, both copying a long list of people.

From: Gabe Fisher
Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2013 14:23:12 -0500

All, I appreciate the update on where the city stands on moving the sewer all together—I just wish we had been kept informed of the plans over the last 4 years. Living with the *real* threat of flooding is stressful enough, add in the guaranteed associated sewage spill is more than I can handle.

I also appreciate the city workers spreading lime and working on the sewer line behind my house today. But I have questions—What about the sewage in my yard and under my house? Is this my responsibility?

Thanks, Gabe

Tim Carroll responded with a couple of suggestions:

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Valdosta famous for wastewater in rivers all the way to the Gulf

The VDT had a small front page headline yesterday: “Floridians warned about river contamination”. That story was also heard in Florida, in Madison, Gainesville, and elsewhere, emphasizing something that Valdosta didn’t mention: people live downstream of Valdosta’s wastewater spill, all the way down the Withlacoochee and the Suwannee Rivers to the Gulf of Mexico. The story also made the AJC.

Green Publishing, Inc, which covers Madison, Lee, and Greenville, Florida, reported yesterday, ALERT: FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH WARNS OF POSSIBLE WASTEWATER CONTAMINATION: GA wastewater plan overflow may impact Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers.

TALLAHASSEE- The Florida Department of Health (DOH) today issued a caution to residents in the counties surrounding the Withlacoochee and Suwannee rivers. The Withlacoochee Water Pollution Control Plant in Valdosta, GA has overflowed into the Withlacoochee River, which flows south, connecting with the Suwannee River.

Other news venues carrying the story:

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