Category Archives: Education

Budget, Bevel Creek Lift Station, Val Tech Road widening, Appointments: ZBOA, Library, VLPRA, Construction @ LCC 2020-06-22

The big item on the Lowndes County Commission agenda for Monday to vote on Tuesday evening is the Adoption of Fiscal Year 2021 Budget totaling $59,443,920, with $22,774,781 or 38% to Public safety, i.e., the Sheriff’s department, including the jail.

[A RESOLUTION ADOPTING THE FISCAL YEAR 2021 OPERATING BUDGET]
A RESOLUTION ADOPTING THE FISCAL YEAR 2021 OPERATING BUDGET
PDF

The board packet is on the LAKE website after we obtained it through an open records request.

Although I hear the hotel/motel tax is down 80% due to virus pandemic, the Hotel/Motel Tax FY 2021 County Budget Budgeted Proceeds are $400,000.00. They are budget to go to:

$171,429.00 Transfer to Lowndes County’s Special Services Fund from which the County funds (i) services the County provides primarily for the benefit of the unincorporated area and
(ii) the County’s share of funding of services the County and one or more municipalities jointly fund

$171,429.00 Transfer to Valdosta-Lowndes County Conference Center and Tourism Authority
to promote tourism, convention, and trade shows in accordance with the FY 2021 Budget Plan of said Authority for same which is made a part of this Budget Plan

$57,142.00 Transfer to Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority
for capital costs and operating expenses of parks and recreational facilities owned and operated by said Authority

A rare no-match federal grant: Acceptance of FY20 Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding brings the total expected expenditures from this Tuesday’s Regular Session down to less than a quarter million dollars:

Cost What
$148,345.58 Val Tech Road Grading, Drainage, Base and Paving
$82,000.00 Bevel Creek Manhole Emergency Repair
$57,300.00 The Modernization/Upgrade of the Elevator in the Governmental Building
($58,008)
in Federal Funding.
There is no local match requirement.
Acceptance of FY20 Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding
$229,637.58Total

I commend Lowndes County Utilities for moving ahead to fix the recent manhole collapse at the Bevel Creek Lift Station on GA 376 near Loch Laurel Road. See also Sewer line repair between manholes, Bevel Creek Lift Station @ LCC 2020-06-22.

Photo: Terry Richards, The Valdosta Daily Times, Heavy rains cause problems in Lowndes 2020-06-08.
Photo: Terry Richards, The Valdosta Daily Times, Heavy rains cause problems in Lowndes 2020-06-08.

It’s a busy agenda for appointments, to Continue reading

Videos: Val Del rezoning, Appointments 3 Boards, Road abandonment, additions, and paving, fire dept. bids @ LCC 2020-03-09

Eighteen minutes for the whole meeting, mostly consisting of reading out the agenda sheet text for each item. The longest item was 7b. Accept Gaines Lane Quit-Claim Deeds, apparently because of a need for a title search and to prepare a plat, and who would pay for it, the county or other.

Here are the costs found in the agenda sheets for each item, most expensive first:

CostWhat
$399,414.00 Bid for a 3,000 Gallon Tanker for the Fire Department
$28,327.04 Request to Purchase New Firefighter Turnout Gear
$19,167 Solicitor-General’s Office 2020 VAWA Grant Award Activation
$4,836.00 Approval of Clyattstone Rd.-Simpson Ln. ROW Purchases
$451,744.04Total

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

Packet: Val Del rezoning, Appointments 3 Boards, Road abandonment, additions, and paving, fire dept. bids @ LCC 2020-03-09

The board packet for the March 9 and 10 Work and Regular Sessions of the Lowndes County Commission is on the LAKE website, received 3:00 PM Tuesday, March 10, 2020, in response to a LAKE open records request. I did not have time to process it before the Regular Session 2.5 hours later.

Here are the costs found in the agenda sheets for each item, most expensive first:

CostWhat
$399,414.00 Bid for a 3,000 Gallon Tanker for the Fire Department d
$28,327.04 Request to Purchase New Firefighter Turnout Gear d
$19,167 Solicitor-General’s Office 2020 VAWA Grant Award Activation d
$4,836.00 Approval of Clyattstone Rd.-Simpson Ln. ROW Purchases d
$0 Abandonment of Unopened Right of Way – Hart Road d
$451,744.04Total

[Zoning Location Map]
Zoning Location Map
PDF

Of course, all those dollar figures are immediate costs. They do not include future costs such as road paving related to new subdivisions.

See also the LAKE videos of the preceding Planning Commission meeting. That GLPC meeting’s item 3. REZ-2020-03 Wetherington Property, Val Del Road RA to PD, re-appears on this Lowndes County Commission agenda as 6.b. REZ-2020-03 Wetherington Property, Val Del Rd. R-A to P-D, County Water and Sewer, ~72.54 acres Districts 2 and 5.

And see also Continue reading

Val Del rezoning, Appointments 3 Boards, Road abandonment, additions, and paving, fire dept. bids @ LCC 2020-03-09

The Val Del Road rezoning for a subdivision on the Wetherington Property near Nelson Hill is on the agenda for this morning’s Lowndes County Commission Work Session, to be voted on Tuesday evening at the Regular Session.

Probably not coincidentally, Right of way purchase for Clyattstone Road is also on the agenda.

[Wetherington watershed]
Lowndes County Property Appraiser, Wetherington watershed

The Bids for Fire Department equipment previously tabled and discussed at length in the recent all-day planning sessions are back on the agenda.

Frank Morman doesn’t want to be reappointed to the Continue reading

Valdosta Chamber Candidate Forum 2019-10-08

Meet the Candidates 2019, organized by the Valdosta Lowndes Chamber of Commerce: no questions from the audience, but Gretchen Quarterman videoed for LAKE the few minutes each candidate for Valdosta Mayor, City Council, or Valdosta Board of Education held forth. Plus seven minutes about SPLOST, the Special Local Option Sales Tax, the only thing voters in the unincorporated parts of Lowndes County get to vote on this election season.

Mike Gudley talks about the SPLOST referendum

Below are links to each LAKE video Gretchen took, followed by a LAKE video playlist.

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

Annual Retreat, Valdosta Mayor and Council @ VCCSummit 2019-03-15

Not on Valdosta’s online calendar yet, but we got this email notice from City Council Tim Carroll, indicating Valdosta wastewater is first on his list to discuss. His number 4 about Internet speed and access is also of interest throughout the county and beyond. As are his other items.

All,

I hope each and everyone of you are having a great start to 2019. As we kick the year off, it is time to begin preparing for the cities annual Mayor and Council retreat.

It will be held March 15 & 16 at the Women’s Building.

When: All day, Friday-Saturday, March 15-16, 2019

Where: The Woman’s Building,
1409 N. Patterson St., Valdosta, GA 31602

What: Annual Retreat, Valdosta Mayor and City Council


The Woman’s Bulding

My current list includes: Continue reading

Videos: New Officers, Education, Religion, Commerce @ GLPC 2018-11-26

The Greater Lowndes Planning Commission (GLPC) picked a new Chair and Vice-Chair at their November 2018 meeting. They meet again this evening.

Photo: Gretchen Quarterman, of New GLPC Chair Vicky Rountree 3. CU-2018-13 Scintilla Charter Academy 2171 East Park Avenue,
Photo: Gretchen Quarterman, of New GLPC Chair Vicky Rountree.

Their longest item was 3. CU-2018-13 Scintilla Charter Academy‘s request to expand from an Elementary School to add a Middle School. GLPC recommended approval unanimously, as they did for all other such items.

Below are Continue reading

Education, Religion, Commerce @ GLPC 2018-11-26

Scintilla Charter Academy wants to expand, as does New Harvest United Methodist Church, plus a family subdividing and another going commercial, all in Valdosta.

Parcel 0072 198, Map
Lowndes County Tax Assessors, Parcel 0072 198, 3911 N Hwy 41.

In Lowndes County, West Hill Properties wants an acre zoned commercial between Old US 41 N and Stewart Circle. Gretchen will be at the Planning Commission tonight with the LAKE video camera.

Here’s the agenda.

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

Monday, November 26, 2018 * 5:30 P.M. * Public Hearing
Lowndes County South Health District Administrative Office
325 West Savannah Avenue

Continue reading

Neighbors oppose Val Del rezoning @ LCC 2018-10-09

If not consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, nor with the water and sewer growth plan, fire and rescue doesn’t want it, and the Planning Commission recommended rejecting it, what does it take for the Lowndes County Commission to reject a zoning, in this case for REZ-2018-17 for The Settlement North, 5999 Val Del Road?

Five hands go up, REZ-2018-17

Only three people were allowed to speak against, of the five whose hands went up.

The developer promised restrictive covenants enforced by nobody but the homeowners. County-imposed conditions on the Nelson Hill development, also on Val Del, were largely waived by county staff without public hearings. What promises should we believe?

Will the developer’s demand to ignore the Comprehensive Plan because of “market conditions, supply and demand” prevail? Do property values of neighbors not matter? How about saddling the county school system with houses priced too low for property taxes on them to cover expenses of sending school buses? Or is profit for a few all that matters?

See the Continue reading