Category Archives: Law

Videos: Jury, Paving, and GEFA in Work Session @ LCC 2019-09-23

The Lowndes County Commission spent nine minutes yesterday morning discussing spending $124,454 and borrowing $1,734,000. They vote this evening at 5:30 PM.

The county has now gotten up to not just demanding landowners give road right of way to the county, but also condemning property if they don’t get it donated.

The longest item at less than two minutes was 6.d. Request for Professional Engineering Services Proposals – CDBG. As Gretchen remarks in the notes, apparently this is in support of Arglas, the Japanese glass products manufacturer locating on Rocky Ford Road.

Second longest was 7.b. Bid for a Breathing Air System for the Fire Department, due to a question by a Commissioner.

Below are Continue reading

Jury, Paving, and GEFA in LCC Packet @ LCC 2019-09-23

Lowndes County staff are proposing to spend $124,454, according to all the “BUDGET IMPACT”s board packet: $48,500 for a Jury Management System, $1,469.00 for Condemning ROW for Howell Lane Paving Project, $3,500.00 (approx.) for Second Modification of GEFA Loan Agreement, and for the Fire Department $29,195.00 for a 1/2 Ton Truck and $41,790.00 for a Breathing Air System.

[Survey plat: Revised County RoW for Howell Lane]
Survey plat: Revised County RoW for Howell Lane

They propose to borrow $1,734,000 from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA).

The Lowndes County Commission discusses Monday morning at 8:30 AM. They vote 5:30 PM Tuesday.

[Project Budget]
GEFA Loan Agreement Project Budget

For the first time ever! Lowndes County has returned the board packet before the Work Session.

LAKE sent an open records request Tuesday, and the county actually supplied the packet Friday, with this note: 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

Appointments to Parks and Rec and LCDFCSB, prisoners, DUI, courts, liftstation, budget, and bids @ LCC 2019-06-24

On the Lowndes County Commission agenda for discussion this morning and voting tomorrow evening, Dan Deaver wants to be reappointed to VLPRA, and Keith Jackson has also expressed interest in being appointed.

Dan Deaver
Linkedin profile: Dan Deaver

Lonnie Denton wants to be reappointed to the Lowndes County Division of Family and Children Services Board, and Tonya Davis and Keith Jackson are also interested.

There are two water items, the first of which is not obvious: Continue reading

Videos: Knudson & Son Outdoor Activities, Sheriff, Intrusion Detection, Bids @ LCC 2019-06-10

The Naylor Boat Ramp should be finished in about two weeks.

Before they vote tonight at 5:30 PM, the Lowndes County Commission met in Regular Session yesterday morning, when tied for most time was the paintball-like game venue that was surprisingly contentious at the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBOA).

That rezoning tied for amount of time with Continue reading

Knudson & Son Outdoor Activities, Sheriff, Intrusion Detection, Bids @ LCC 2019-06-10

Update 2019-06-10: ZBOA denied almost all of the variances the same applicant requested.

The paintball-like game venue that was surprisingly contentious at the Planning Commission, is on the agenda for Monday and Tuesday at the Lowndes County Commission. GLPC voted 5-1 to table until the June Planning Commission meeting, but the Planning Commission is merely a recommending body: it does not decide rezonings. The county’s agenda sheet says “The TRC considered this request and had no objectionable comments, and staff finds the request consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.” The County Commission could decide to ignore the Planning Commission and approve this rezoning anyway.


Still from LAKE video of REZ-2019-08 in the preceding Planning Commission meeting.

The Sheriff’s department wants to buy laptops and handheld citation thingies for $85,934.66.

IT wants some cyber-threat-detection service, at unknown cost.

All that and some bids for vehicles.

Here is the agenda. See also the Continue reading