Category Archives: Hahira

Packet: Hahira 26 acre development; Valdosta financial institution, animal boarding, and commercial speculation; Lowndes County event venue and subdivision @ GLPC 2024-01-29

Update 2024-01-29: Actually, Lowndes County did email the materials on Friday. Packet: Gresham Event Venue on Old Valdosta Road and Byrd Road individual residences @ GLPC 2024-01-29.

Lowndes County did not return the materials for the two Lowndes County items listed in the agenda for Monday’s Greater Lowndes Planning Commission (GLPC) meeting. I have asked them again, noting the 3 days allowed for a response to a Georgia Open Recorda Act (GORA) request have passed.

[Collage, GLPC Packet 2024-01-29]
Collage, GLPC Packet 2024-01-29

Valdosta and Hahira staff (led by Matt Martin) find all the requests for those two cities consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and recommends approval, except for one of the Hahira proposals.

All three Hahira proposals are by Cre8ive Development Partners LLC, for 26 acres on 5901 U.S. 41 North. They are 8. to rezone, 9. to approve a planned development, and 10. to annex the property into the City of Hahira.

It’s that middle item that staff recommends further steps for: Continue reading

All approved: Valdosta CUP, 2 Hahira items @ GLPC Videos 2023-11-27

Despite staff recommendation against, the Greater Lowndes Planning Commission (GLPC) by a 3:2 vote recommended approval of the car wash across from a car wash.

As you can see by those numbers, several Planning Commissioners were absent. of the one Valdosta item Monday evening, and approval of the two Hahira items, one with conditions.

[Collage @ GLPC 27 November 2023]
Collage @ GLPC 27 November 2023

Gretchen spoke in favor of 5. HA-2023-04 Chancy Drugs (205 East Main Street) variance for THC sales: “When this law was made, it was made exactly for communities like Hahira, where we have this one drugstore.” Continue reading

Staff recommend deny Valdosta CUP, approve 2 Hahira items @ GLPC Packet 2023-11-27

Staff recommends the the Greater Lowndes Planning Commission (GLPC) recommend denial of the one Valdosta item Monday evening, and approval of the two Hahira items, one with conditions.

[Collage @ GLPC Packet 2023-11-27]
Collage @ GLPC Packet 2023-11-27

The agenda packet items, recieved in response to a LAKE open records request, are on the LAKE website.

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!
http://www.l-a-k-e.org/blog/donate

Continue reading

Videos: Hurricane assistance, Golf carts, mental health, wetland credits, regional transit, Lift Station and Fire Station Access Roads, 2 TIA Road Bids @ LCC Regular 2023-09-26

Andrew Toussaint gave a report about the Small Business Administration and EMA Director Ashley Tye gave reports on hurricane assistance and local disaster group COAD, in this Lowndes County Commission Regular Session of September 26, 2023. Because of those reports and a second recognition of Leadership Lowndes (they showed up late), the meeting took 49 minutes.

[Collage @ LCC 26 September 2023]
Collage @ LCC 26 September 2023

Like the previous morning, Commissioners were unusually chatty.

Commissioner Scottie Orenstein had some questions and comments about 5.a. Quiet Pines Golf Course Ezgo Golf Cart Lease Agreement. and 5.b. Mental Health Model Resolution for ACCG. Commissioners Clay Griner, Demarcus Marshall, County Manager Paige Dukes, and Chairman Bill Slaughter discussed which statehouse bills the mental health resolution mentions, and that it does not support any particular current bill, specifically not HB 520. They passed the resolution unanimously. Continue reading

Packet: Golf carts, mental health, wetland credits, regional transit, Lift Station and Fire Station Access Roads, 2 TIA Road Bids @ LCC 2023-09-25

Update 2023-09-10: Videos: Hurricane assistance, Golf carts, mental health, wetland credits, regional transit, Lift Station and Fire Station Access Roads, 2 TIA Road Bids @ LCC Regular 2023-09-26

It turns out the board packet for today’s Lowndes County Commission meeting contained little or nothing beyond the one-page agenda sheets for the four Bid items.

[Collage, LCC Packet, 2023-09-25]
Collage, LCC Packet, 2023-09-25

So you actually learn more about those items from the LAKE post with the agenda and bid documents.

In the Minutes for the Work Session of September 11 and for the Regular Session of September 12, about REZ-2023-04 Chase, 6119 Quarterman Road, the LAKE letter is only alluded to as “a report from the opposition” in this passage: Continue reading

Videos: Golf carts, mental health, wetland credits, regional transit, Lift Station and Fire Station Access Roads, 2 TIA Road Bids @ LCC Work 2023-09-25

Update 2023-09-26: Packet: Golf carts, mental health, wetland credits, regional transit, Lift Station and Fire Station Access Roads, 2 TIA Road Bids @ LCC 2023-09-25.

Lowndes County Commissioners were unusually chatty in yesterday morning’s Work Session, about 5.b. Mental Health Model Resolution for ACCG, in which they sounded like prison reform advocates.

[Collage @ LCC 25 September 2023]
Collage @ LCC 25 September 2023

Also about 6.a. Grove Point Lift Station Access Road, 5.c. Purchase of Wetland Credits for Shiloh Road Bridge Project, and 5.a. Quiet Pines Golf Course Ezgo Golf Cart Lease Agreement.

They had no questions about the almost $4 million dollar item, 6.b. TIA 2023-05 Briggston Road Grading, Drainage, Base, and Paving Bids, which leads to Wild Adventures.

See below for more notes on those items, with the LAKE videos of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE video playlist.

See also the agenda and bid documents.

We have not yet received a response to the LAKE open records request for the board packet.

Sure, I only sent that request Sunday. But it is stil mysterious why Lowndes County does not put its board packets on its own website, like many counties smaller and larger in Georgia and Florida have been doing for years. Continue reading

Agenda: Golf carts, mental health, wetland credits, regional transit, Lift Station and Fire Station Access Roads, 2 TIA Road Bids @ LCC 2023-09-25

Update 2023-09-26: Videos: Golf carts, mental health, wetland credits, regional transit, Lift Station and Fire Station Access Roads, 2 TIA Road Bids @ LCC Work 2023-09-25.

This week the Lowndes County Commission proposes to authorize spending $4.5 million on road projects, plus golf carts for the Quiet Pine Golf Course at Moody AFB that the county now operates.

[Collage @ LCC Agenda 2023-09-25]
Collage @ LCC Agenda 2023-09-25

The biggest project at almost four million dollars is TIA 2023-05 Briggston Road Grading, Drainage, Base, and Paving Bids, leading from Madison Highway to Old Clyattville Road, where you will find Wild Adventures.

Cost What
$3,892,229.54TIA 2023-05 Briggston Road Grading, Drainage, Base, and Paving Bids
$240,119.00Fire Rescue Station 10 Pavement Resurfacing Bids
$222,377.49Grove Point Lift Station Access Road
$194,166.66NC-TIA 2023-01 Rocky Hill Church Road Grading, Drainage, Base, and Paving Bids
$85,440.00Purchase of Wetland Credits for Shiloh Road Bridge Project
$50,160.00Quiet Pines Golf Course Ezgo Golf Cart Lease Agreement
$4,684,492.69Total

Perhaps a longer search would find information on the county website about the Purchase of Wetland Credits for Shiloh Road Bridge Project. At least we can say what it is a bridge (or box culvert) over: Big Creek, which runs into Franks Creek, which ends up in the Little River.

[Shiloh Road Bridge in WLRWT]
Shiloh Road Bridge in the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT).

However, the Lowndes County Finance Department has a Bids web page that leads to specifics on each bid, including for the Grove Point Lift Station, Briggston Road, Rocky Hill Church Road, and Fire Rescue Station 10 projects. Three of them include a location map and engineering drawings. The exception is for Fire Station 10, but its Bid Documents do reveal the location of that fire station: 2981 US Hwy 84 East, Valdosta, Georgia.

Copies of all these documents and images of their pages are on the LAKE website.

We do not have a copy of the board packet, because I forgot to send the open records request.

Although it is still mysterious why the board packet is not on the county’s webiste where they have an option “packet” that only produces the agenda and an agenda sheet for each item.

Here is the agenda.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2023, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2023, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Videos: Danny Weeks, Millage Rate, 3 Alcohol, Animals, Paper Ballots @ LCC Regular 2023-08-22

$4.2 million per mill times 2.5 mills is $10.5 million dollars a year that the county fire department is to get with no budget.

That’s up from last year’s $3.2 million per mill for $8 million, so the county fire department is to get an extra $2.5 million. Yet they never advertised it as a tax increase.

For what, and with what accounting, was not explained. Chairman Bill Slaughter said it was to maintain a “healthy fund balance” for five years since they established the fire department. Where can citizens see this fund balance, and what it is being spent on?

[Collage @ LCC 22 August 2023]
Collage @ LCC 22 August 2023

Both millage rate votes passed only by 3:2. If all three of the Lowndes County Commissioners who voted against on one or the other had voted against both, or if one of the other two had joined against on those votes, the county would have had to think again.

However, for the main millage, they approved 8.778 mills, which the Chairman said is a rollback of 1.434 (from last year). This is noticeably less than the Department of Revenue recommendation of 8.896 mills. Less as in 0.118 mills or $283,200. Until Commissioner Clay Griner the previous day asked what millage would actually match the projected budget, they seemed to be heading for the larger figure.

Still no explanation of why only one of the three beer and wine licenses got a Public Hearing.

They added an item for a change order on a Val Del Road water main for “about $180,000”. That reminds me that in July they approved almost $10 million for another water main in advance of development. Got to have sprawl.

More questions about the condition of the old dog box. Continue reading

Videos: Millage Rate, 3 Alcohol, Animals @ LCC Work 2023-08-21

Update 2023-08-23: Videos: Danny Weeks, Millage Rate, 3 Alcohol, Animals, Paper Ballots @ LCC Regular 2023-08-22.

The millage rate settings (general and fire district) got the most discussion yesterday morning, as well they should, in the Lowndes County Commission Work Session. Finance Director Stephanie Black was absent because of COVID, so the main millage rate slide show was given by someone else.

[Collage @ LCC 21 August 2023]
Collage @ LCC 21 August 2023

Commissioners Clay Griner and Mark Wisenbaker had some questions, which elicited information about what lower millage rate would meet the county’s budget. Also a mill this year is worth about $4.2 million, while last year it was about $3.2 million. This is because increases in tax assessments as the Tax Assessors catch up.

The County Attorney said something inaudible in there, because he was facing away from his microphone.

Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker asked whether the fire department could get its millage adjusted down. Chairman Bill Slaughter said they were still building. Commissioner Wisenbaker asked when they’re all built, then could we adjust that down? The Chairman that would be something to consider. County Manager Paige Dukes said that staff and other expenses were running higher than expected, but maybe some new items could go into the next SPLOST.

Commissioner Wisenbaker wanted to know what kind of balance the fire department had. Nobody knew, but the Chairman said they could get that that day.

They vote tonight at 5:30 PM.

Before then, you may want to ask your County Commissioner: Continue reading

Millage, Alcohol, and Animals @ LCC 2023-08-21

Update 2023-08-20: Millage Notice: 2023 Property Tax Digest & 5 Year History of Levy 2023-08-14.

The big item is setting the millage rate for 2023, which in conjunction with the assessments and various exemptions, recovery exceptions, etc., determines how much property tax you pay.

[Collage @ LCC Packet 2023-08-21]
Collage @ LCC Packet 2023-08-21

They will probably set it to a rollback rate of 8.896 mills, which is a reduction of 1.315 mills from 2022. That includes Industrial Authority 1.00 mill and VLPRA 1.25 mills.

The Lowndes County Commission will also separately set the Fire District Millage Rate for 2023. They propose 2.50 mills, which is the same as for last year.

Only one of the three beer and wine licenses gets a public hearing. Why only that one is not clear, since the other two are also because of change of ownership.

And there’s a bid for an Animal Services Chassis Box.

The board packet, received in response to a LAKE open records request, is on the LAKE website. Continue reading