Category Archives: Incarceration

Education, Extension, Prisoners, Fire, Water, Sewer, Nelson Hill, Wages, Taxes, Clerk @ LCC 2020-08-24

A busy agenda for 8:30 AM Monday morning, with voting 5:30 PM Tuesday, includes especially taxes, and alcohol, sewer, twice, education, extension agents, Prison Work Details, and Architectural Services for Lowndes County Fire Station #5 – Bemiss Road Fire Station Alterations and Additions.

[Aerial Map]
Aerial Map for Uncle Carlo’s Italian Ristorante, 1024 Lakes Blvd., Lake Park, GA.

Plus appointment of a new County Clerk, Belinda Lovern, and Deputy Clerk, Sabrina Denson. No posting of the positions is mentioned.

Cost What
$147,954.00Annual Contract Renewal, Georgia Department of Corrections – Prison Work Details
$141,841.00Contract for Extension Agents and Staff
$110,000.00Peterson Road Lift Station Emergency Repair
$44,400.00Architectural Services for Lowndes County Fire Station #5 – Bemiss Road Fire Station Alterations and Additions
$41,840.00Nelson Hill Discharge Manhole
$5,699.35Tax Commissioners’ Back Wage Settlement with Department of Labor
$-32,000.00USDA Building Lease Amendment No. 4
$459,734.35Total

The Lowndes County Commission is Repealing Approvals Authorizing the Tax Commissioner to Waive Penalties and Interest, apparently because of a Tax Commissioners' Back Wage Settlement with Department of Labor.

After last year’s vote of the people to ask the Georgia legislature to make the Tax Assessors appointed, not elected, the legislature did that. Now the County Commission is setting the number of Assessors at three, with initial staggered terms of 3, 4, and 5 years, and after that 3 years for each.

This is after two weeks ago the Lowndes County Commission rolled back the tax millage rate slightly.

Here is the agenda. The entire board packet, together with the Minutes of the meetings of two weeks ago (Work Session, Millage Hearing, and Regular Session) is on LAKE website.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, AUGUST 24, 2020, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, AUGUST 25, 2020, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Videos: Lake Park Annexation, Jail software, Public Defender, Beer, Road Abandonment, Arglass Road @ LCC 2020-02-10

For unknown reasons, the Lowndes County Commission votes tonight at 5:30 PM.

By far the longest at this morning’s Work Session was 5.d. Lake Park Annexation and Rezoning of Register Property, running 14 and a half minutes.

Lake Park Annexation

Second at almost three minutes was the $99,700 jail software change order.

The 2020 Public Defender Contracts got a minute and a half, even though they are unchanged from last year.

The $789,567.21 Arglass Road Paving item didn’t even get a minute.

County Chairman Bill Slaughter took about a minute thanking the Commissioners for the recent Retreat; LAKE video to come of that.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item for this morning’s Work Session. See also the Continue reading

Half-way house for ex-offenders, Country Club tower, six Appointments @ VCC 2020-02-10

Postponed from last Thursday due to weather, the Valdosta City Council meets tonight, to consider some rather contentious cases from the Planning Commission, and to make a bunch of appointments, plus some bids for equipment.

CU-2020-02 Natalie Bailey, 4019 Forrest Run Circle - Halfway House @ GLPC 2020-01-27
Photo: Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, CU-2020-02 Natalie Bailey, 4019 Forrest Run Circle – Halfway House @ GLPC 2020-01-27.

This Valdosta City Council bid item is interesting:

4.d) Consideration of bids for a Trailer-Mounted Mobile Televising Unit for the Utilities Department (Bid No. 27-19-20 A).

Maybe with that Valdosta Utilities can see what’s happening with equipment they leave in a park overnight, for example maybe in McKey Park after today’s 200-gallon sewage spill.

Here is the agenda. It says February 6, but the Valdosta calendar entry for today says “RESCHEDULED – Valdosta City Council Meeting, Monday, February 10, 2020 – 5:30pm” See also Continue reading

Videos: One Valdosta case on Eager Road @ ZBOA 2020-01-07

The one case at ZBOA last month, a duplex on Eager Road in Valdosta, was quite contentious, because of its potential intended use.

The first speaker against, Deb Cox, wanted to know if it would be used as a halfway house for felons. The applicant, Lawton White, said, “stated he rented some properties to Greenleaf for folks who were attending Alcoholics Anonymous, and while this was not one of those properties, two people who are licensed for such treatment wanted to rent a property for similar type folks.”

Ms. Cox came with many facts and figures, not surprising, since she also happens to be the Lowndes County Supervisor of Elections. Much discussion ensued.

Deb Cox at ZBOA 2020-01-07
Deb Cox speaking against APP-2019-09 Lawton White (318 Eager Road) at ZBOA 2020-01-07.

However, “Mrs. Quarterman stated that ZBOA’s concern was land use, not who lives in them. Mrs. Quarterman stated that if it had not become nonconforming, it would not be on the agenda. Mrs. Quarterman asked Continue reading

Beer, Road Abandonment, Jail software, Lake Park Annexation, Public Defender, Arglass Road @ LCC 2020-02-10

The Lowndes County Regular Session is also Monday (tomorrow), at 5:30 PM after the 8:30 AM Work Session.

The agenda is only a page long, but the agenda packet is 109 pages. Most of that is 66 pages for a $99,700 jail software change order, of which about half the pages are duplicated. Makes you wonder if anybody reads this stuff. Continue reading

Videos: SPLOST VIII, Grassy Pond Sewer, and Hospital Authority funding @ LCC 2019-07-23

Five and a half minutes of the Regular Session fifteen minutes was on the county guaranteeing refinancing Hospital Authority debt, due to County Manager Joe Pritchard reciting what’s in the agreement, and Hospital Authority CEO Bill Forbes speaking, and Chairman Bill Slaughter thanking him. The agreement is in the board packet on the LAKE website from a LAKE open records request.

Hospital Authority

Citizen Michelle Williams of Hahira asked for a spay and neuter ordinance, noting Macon and Dalton have those already. County Clerk Paige Dukes praised Michelle Williams and other volunteers.

Second at almost two minutes was Continue reading

Special Called Meeting to approve SPLOST VIII Projects @ LCC 2019-07-31

You got a notice about this meeting two days in advance, if you signed up for the county’s alerts, which is twice as long as they usually do. Special Called Meeting,

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
A special called meeting will be held to adopt the amended SPLOST VIII Agreement.

Date: July 31, 2019

Time: 8:30 AM

Location: Board of Commissioners
Administration Building

Address: 327 N. Ashley Street
2nd Floor
Valdosta, GA 31601

[Lowndes Project List]
Lowndes Project List
PDF

Here is Lowndes County’s SPLOST VIII Project List. The biggest items are water and sewer at $23 million and sports at $13,274,912, followed by the historic Courthouse at $12 million. Note nothing about Continue reading

Board Packet @ LCC 2019-07-22

For the first time ever, the county returned the complete board packet before the Lowndes County Commission voted on it! This was in response to an open records request sent Wednesday, so the statutory three days were actually up Monday morning. They emailed the packet Monday afternoon about 5PM.

[Google Map annotated by LAKE]
Google Map annotated by LAKE to show the quit claimed part of Reed Road in magenta (this map was not part of the board packet).

All the dirt part of Reed Road, back from the old Skipper Bridge over the Withlacoochee River, to the entrance to Pine Grove Middle School, is what is being abandoned. It is possible to decipher this from the quit claims in the board packet for yesterday morning’s Lowndes County Commission Work Session and tonight’s Regular Session.

All the SPLOST VIII Project Lists, for the county and the five cities, are included; see below.

Everything the county sent, plus images of each page, is on the LAKE website. LAKE looks forward to the county putting all these packet documents on the county’s own website, along with the agenda and agenda sheets.

See also:

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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!

[Lowndes Project List]
Lowndes Project List
PDF

SPLOST VIII Project Lists

[Valdosta Project List]
Valdosta Project List
PDF

[Hahira Project List]
Hahira Project List
PDF

[Remerton Project List]
Remerton Project List
PDF

[Dasher Project List]
Dasher Project List
PDF

[Lake Park Project List]
Lake Park Project List
PDF

Videos: SPLOST VIII, Grassy Pond Sewer, and Hospital Authority funding @ LCC 2019-07-23 2019-07-22

The whole Work Session took eleven minutes, of which three were about the county guaranteeing refinancing Hospital Authority debt. They vote tonight at 5:30 PM; Gretchen will be there with the LAKE video camera. Update 2019-07-23:< Obtained in response to an open records request from LAKE, board packet is on the LAKE website.

Second longest yesterday morning at a minute and a half was the SPLOST VIII Agreement, for which it seems the list is already finished, finalized at a “public” meeting between the county and the five cities, which was not announced to the public.

Most of the bids for the Grassy Pond Sewer Connection were not in the board packet, we discovered due to a question by a Commissioner. The Abandonment of Portion of Reed Road is the bit to the Withlacoochee River, which they county says was “unopened”, which is a strange way to describe the old dirt road that used to cross the river on a bridge.

Below are Continue reading

SPLOST VIII, Grassy Pond Sewer, and Hospital Authority funding @ LCC 2019-07-22

Not on Lowndes County’s online calendar, the county already met with the five cities about SPLOST VIII:

On July 8, 2019, Lowndes County met with the cities of Valdosta, Hahira, Lake Park, Remerton and Dasher to officially call for SPLOST VIII. As a result, the attached SPLOST VIII Agreement between Lowndes County and the cities has been prepared for consideration. Once approved by Lowndes County, the agreement will be forwarded to the cities for consideration during a public meeting.

SPLOST VII pie by Lowndes County
Lowndes County on the previous SPLOST.

Will when and where for that upcoming “public meeting” be announced in advance? Where is “the attached SPLOST VIII Agreement”? Wednesday morning at 9:35 AM, I sent the county a Georgia Open Records Act (GORA) request for the board packet for this week’s Lowndes County Commission meetings. By a very generous interpretation of the three business days GORA permits to respond to such a request, time’s up this morning at 9:35 AM. So far, the county has not even acknowledged receipt of the request.

The Hospital Authority, over whom the county has so little authority it has to Continue reading