Category Archives: Economy

Videos: Water quality testing, Bids, Leaase, Appointments @ LCC 2020-01-13

Not on the agenda, Chairman Bill Slaughter at the end of the meeting said Utilities Director Steve Stalvey had been testing water quality on the Withlacoochee River. On December 31, bacterial counts were acceptable. But on January 6, 2020, counts were quite high, so the county made and posted some warning signs at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line (GA 31) Boat Ramps.

Here is one of the county’s signs, at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, with a sign by WWALS Watershed Coalition (Suwannee Riverkeeper) at the bottom of the other pole with Continue reading

Bids $1.4 million, insurance $1 million, and $0.4 million lease plus two Appointments @ LCC 2020-01-13

A million dollars for Paving – Quail Hollow Acres Subdivision and $0.4 million for Bid for a 3,000 Gallon Tanker for the Fire Department. Another million for 2020 Stop Loss Insurance Coverage through Symetra Life Ins. Company. A quarter million to relocate utilities at I-75 Exit 2 will be paid by GDOT. And a million in income for a Lease Agreement with the State Properties Commission for the Division of Family & Children Services (DFACS).

[Page 60]
Page 60

Molly Deese wants to be reappointed to the Valdosta Lowndes County Conference Center and Tourism Authority. Incumbents almost always get reappointed if they say they want to, and the chances of them not reappointing the Vice President and General Manager of Wild Adventures is pretty slim. Ditto Dr. Frances Brown on the Lowndes County Board of Health.

They’re setting the Special Assessment interest rate “for all paving and utilityassessments that are not paid off within the initial 90-day phase. Unpaid assessments revert to installment agreements which are to be paid over a period of up to ten years.” New rate: 6.75% for 2020, down from 7.50% for 2019.

They’re setting qualifying fees to run for office, primary or general election: Continue reading

Cities and Lowndes County settle service delivery dispute @ LCC 2020-01-08

Update 2020-01-10: Not quite settled. Valdosta still has to agree to it.

These must be golden words indeed, to have been worth the hundreds of thousands of legal fees expended over them:

  1. In regards to water and sewer services:

    The Parties’ current water and sewer service areas are delineated on the service area maps attached to the DCA Forms for water and sewer services approved herewith.

    All existing intergovernmental agreements of the Parties regarding the provision of water and sewer services shall remain in effect.

    Any request for an extraterritorial extension shall be negotiated by the requesting Party and the affected Party. Approval of the affected Party shall not be unreasonably withheld.

The wording is “based on trust,” said Commissioner Clay Griner. “Where’s the document?” responded Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker? “It’s on your ipad,” clarified Chair Bill Slaughter.

As the County Clerk proceeded to hand out paper copies, Griner elaborated:

And it’s all based on trust. It’s us trusting, the County Commission trusting the City Council, whichever municipality it is, to do the right thing. The city council has to trust the County Commission to do the right thing. And the citizens to trust all of us to sit down and do the right thing.

After the county didn’t put anything for the citizens to see on the county website about this Wednesday morning meeting until Continue reading

Videos: Roads, rezoning, sales tax, Sunday alcohol, and Troupville River Camp @ VCC 2019-12-05

Other than the three Awards and Presentations, the longest agenda item was 5.a. Alcohol Ordinance Revision (Brunch Bill), which had already been approved by a referendum of the voters. On implementing it, all voted aye except one.

Almost as long was 7.b. Request for letter of support by WWALS for the Troupville River Camp project. Valdosta City Manager Mark Barber described the project and the situation. In Citizens To Be Heard (CBTH), WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman thanked Council for approving the letter.

The first speaker in CTBH asked for the city to rebuild streets in the Highland subdivision. He said there had been insufficient engineering and lack of maintenance of streets, including for water flow.

Unfortunately, can’t really make out what the pair of second speakers were asking for.

Below are LAKE videos of each item, followed by Continue reading

Videos: End-of-calendar-year wrapup and Remerton SPLOST Resolution @ LCC 2019-12-09

Remerton can’t use SPLOST VI funds for an office building, since the old mill building intended for that has been torn down. That was the longest item in the Lowndes County Commission Work Seesion of December 9, 2019: 7. Reports – County Manager – Remerton SPLOST Resolution.

Then Commissioner Clay Griner moved to go into Executive Session to discuss personnel. Chairman Bill Slaughter reminded him the Commission has only one employee. Griner agreed, and they went into Executive Session. The one employee is the County Manager.

They breezed through everything else their last meeting of calendar year 2019.

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

Packet: End-of-calendar-year wrapup @ LCC 2019-12-09

In its last meeting of calendar year 2019, the Lowndes County Commission had many items to wrap up, as you can see in the board packet, on the LAKE website. We don’t know why the county sent this packet in black and white.

LAKE videos of the Work Session and Regular Session will follow.

[WRPDO Site Map]
WRPDO Site Map

LAKE sent an open records request Continue reading

Videos: MIDS bus system, roof cleaning, truck bypass, new lift station generator @ LCC 2019-11-12

Longest at four and a half minutes on November 12, 2019, was 6.e. Grant Re-Application for the Rural (5311)Transportation Program, in other words, the MIDS on-demand bus system; follow the link for more notes, including a question about where have the county funds for this been coming from.


Commissioner Demarcus Marshall about the MIDS bus system.

Let’s hope the Arglass project doesn’t turn out like the James Road project a decade ago, with massive road paving and road and utilities rerouting, and nothing else, given that the county just approved a grant and VLDA match of more than a million dollars for road repaving for Arglass.

The truck bypass through downtown Valdosta had some discussion about when the bypass would happen and why the county is passing an ordinance now.

Um, it’s actually a generator for emergency management that took two minutes. 6.j. Hart Road Lift Station Pump took half a minute.

And another big item at three minutes: Continue reading

Roads, rezoning, sales tax, Sunday alcohol, and Troupville River Camp @ VCC 2019-12-05

Unusual on the Valdosta City Council agenda for Thursday are an award to Valdosta Main Street and a request by WWALS Watershed Coalition for support for its Troupville River Camp project; see also WWALS blog post.

Downtown Valdosta aerial logo
Photo: via Valdosta Today.

Possibly controversial is the item to allow Sunday Alcohol Sales to begin at 11:00 a.m. Business as usual includes a rezoning several road widening and other traffic improvement items.

Here is the agenda.

AGENDA
REGULAR MEETING OF THE VALDOSTA CITY COUNCIL
5:30 PM Thursday, December 5, 2019
COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL

  1. Opening Ceremonies
    1. Call to Order
    2. Invocation
    3. Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag
  2. Awards and Presentations
    1. Special Recognition of the Valdosta Main Street Program as a Georgia Exceptional Main Street (GEMS) by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Office of Downtown Development.
    2. Consideration of a request for a Special Presentation at the December 5, 2019 Regular City Council Meeting.
    3. Consideration of the December, 2019 Employee of the Month Award (Sergeant Heather Willis, Valdosta Police Department).
  3. Minutes Approval
    1. Valdosta City Council – Regular Meeting – Nov 7, 2019 5:30 PM
  4. Public Hearings
    1. Consideration of an Ordinance to rezone 6.70 acres from Planned Mixed Use Development (PMD) to Highway-Commercial (C-H) by Quick Trip Corporation (File No. VA-2019-08). The property is located at 1394 North St. Augustine Road. The Greater Lowndes Planning Commission reviewed this request at their November Regular Meeting and recommended approval (8-0 Vote).
    2. Consideration of an Ordinance for Text Amendments to Chapter 102 – General Provisions, Chapter 106 – Definitions, Chapter 242 – Zoning Procedures, Chapter 302 – Subdivision and Site Development Standards, and Chapter 332 – Infrastructure and Site Improvements of the City of Valdosta Land Development Regulations (File No. VA-2019-09). The Greater Lowndes Planning Commission reviewed this request at their November Regular Meeting and recommended approval (8-0 Vote).
  5. Ordinances and Resolutions
    1. Consideration of an Ordinance to amend the City of Valdosta’s Alcohol Ordinance to allow Sunday Alcohol Sales to begin at 11:00 a.m.
    2. Consideration of a Resolution authorizing the Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Revenue to provide sales tax information to the City of Valdosta’s Finance Director.
    3. Consideration of a Resolution authorizing the acceptance of a Contract with the Georgia Department of Transportation for the Eager Road/Jerry Jones Widening Project.
  6. Bids, Contracts, Agreements and Expenditures
    1. Consideration of bids for traffic improvements at the intersection of Park Avenue and Forrest Street.
    2. Consideration of bids for a Front-End Loading Dumpster Garbage Truck for the Public Works Department.
    3. Consideration of a request to approve a Contract for new water meters for the City of Valdosta.
  7. Local Funding and Requests
    1. Consideration of a request to approve street selections for the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) Program.
    2. Consideration of a request from the WWALS Watershed Coalition for a Letter of Support for the Troupville River Camp.
  8. City Manager’s Report
  9. Council Comments
  10. Citizens to be Heard
  11. Adjournment

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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!

Videos: Grants and bids, Law, Transportation, Water, and Roof Cleaning @ LCC 2019-11-11

The longest item at yesterday morning’s Work Session was the unscheduled 8. Reports County Manager – Recognition of Fire Safety. The whole thing took less than nine minutes. They vote tonight at 5:30 PM.

Second longest was the Solicitor General combining the two items on Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

Third longest was 7.a.Judicial and Administrative Complex Roof Cleaning

Below are Continue reading

Grants and bids, Law, Transportation, Water, and Roof Cleaning @ LCC 2019-11-11

In a session of house-cleaning (including literally), Lowndes County is updating its Revision of the County Occupation Tax Ordinance,

with detailed definitions and tax classifications for every occupation in the county.

The mysterious Joint Ordinance the Planning Commission keeps cryptically alluding to turns out to be about revising the charter of the Planning Commission to add Remerton, to note Lowndes County now handles GLPC’s budget, and other updates.

The county is applying for a Georgia Department of Transportation Local Maintenance & Improvement Grant (LMIG) for resurfacing roads, many of them in subdivisions.

[2020 LMIG Project Report]
2020 LMIG Project Report

And a GDOT grant for the MIDS on-call bus system.

The county is approving Approval of the Submittal Resolution for the CDBG-EIP Grant Application for Street Paving and Drainage Improvements to Support the Arglass Project, with $750,000 to come from CDBG-EIP funds, and the remainder of $325,591 from the Valdosta-Lowndes Development Authority. The county also has A Resolution to Support Eliminating Through Tractor Trailer Truck Traffic Downtown Valdosta. And it is fixing a misfiling of the deed for Chitty Park by transfering it to VLPRA for VLPRA to then transfer back to Lowndes County.

Sewage will be aided by a new Hart Road Lift Station Pump, and safety by Bids for a New Generator for 911.

[Electrical Demolition Plan]
Electrical Demolition Plan

[Electrical New Work Plan]
Electrical New Work Plan

Plus Bids for Lowndes County Judicial and Administrative Complex Roof Cleaning.

There are two Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) items, for the Solicitor General and for the District Attorney, and one Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) item for the Solicitor General.

Received 3:48 PM, Friday, November 8, 2019, “The agenda packet for next week’s meetings is attached. The October 21 & 22, 2019, minutes will be available Monday.” That Lowndes County Commission in response to a LAKE open records request is now on the LAKE website.

Here is the agenda. Continue reading