Category Archives: Lowndes County Commission

Lowering the Millage Rate @ LCC Millage 2019-08-27

Finance Director Stephanie Black said due to the Property Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, if the tax digest (total assessed property value in the county) goes up, the county has to reduce the millage (tax per $1,000 of property value), or announce the difference as a tax increase and hold three public hearings, so they’re rolling back the millage rate slightly: 0.126 mills, down from 11.064 for 2018 to 10.938 for 2019. That’s Georgia Senate Bill 177, Act 431, signed April 30, 1999, effective January 1, 2000. Here is the millage resolution they adopted half an hour later, in the board packet, which LAKE only received after this millage meeting and after the Commission voted on this millage change:

[A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING THE 2019 AD VALOREM TAX MILLAGES FOR LOWNDES COUNTY]
A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING THE 2019 AD VALOREM TAX MILLAGES FOR LOWNDES COUNTY

She showed some quite informative slides, which for unknown reasons do not seem to be on the Finance Department’s web page. For example, she had a nice summary slide of the five chunks of sales tax these days:

  • 4 cents to the State of Georgia,
  • 1 cent to Local Option Sales Tax (LOST), split between county and its cities for property tax reduction,
  • 1 cent to Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), split between county and its cities for capital improvements,
  • 1 cent to Educational Special Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST), split between the county and city school systems for capital improvements
  • 1 cent to Transportation Special Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST), regionally approved, and split between the county and its cities for transportation capital improvements.

Billed on the lowndescounty.com calendar as Millage Meeting, 5PM, Tuesday, 27 August 2019, in Commission Chambers before the voting Regular Session, as usual almost nobody attended, and nobody from the public spoke.

But you can see the whole eight-minute meeting for yourself. Here’s a LAKE video playlist:


Lowering the Millage Rate
Millage Meeting, Lowndes County Commission (LCC Millage),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, August 27, 2019.

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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!

Private Roads, Alcohol, and Water: Lowndes County Commission Packet @ LCC 2019-08-26

Received Wednesday, after the Lowndes County Commission voted on it Tuesday evening, the board packet is on the LAKE website. Apparently the County Clerk’s office is going to wait the full three days after an open records request to press the button to forward the packet. So we’ll be sure to send requests more than three days before the Regular Session.

The drainage easement agreement with Lake Park did not have a map. The abandonment of part of Ivandale Circle did:

[Survey Plat, Hammock Hill Heights]
Survey Plat, Hammock Hill Heights

There was also a map with the copiously documented Beer, Wine, and Liquor license: Continue reading

Videos: Private Roads, Alcohol, and Water @ LCC 2019-08-26

“You’ll see on the attached drawing….” and “You will see in your packet….”, but you the taxpayers and voters cannot see, because the county has not put the packet on its website and has not yet returned it in response to an open records request by LAKE.

Did you know a rollback of 0.126 mills was scheduled for a 5PM meeting today, with adoption at the 5:30PM meeting?

Surprise eighteen minutes yesterday morning on procedures for taking private roads into the county road system.

Private Roads

Three Lowndes County Commission items are about water: Continue reading

Alcohol, Roads, and Water @ LCC 2019-08-26

Three Lowndes County Commission items are about water: Transfer of Drainage Easement Agreement between Lowndes County and the City of Lake Park, and two Lift Station Pumps, Francis Lake for $49,103.25 to buy a new pump and Peterson Road for $29,689.20 for repairs for lightning damage, both to Xylem. There is no mention of bids.

Francis Lake or Frances Lake keeps coming up at the County Commission and the Planning Commission.

Francis Lake

County Manager Joe Pritchard has a mystery item, Continue reading

Videos and packet: Millage, SPLOST VIII, Wastewater, roads, bridges, mosquitos, Construction Board @ LCC 2019-08-12

County Manager Joe Pritchard said Finance Director Stephanie Black has received a millage report from the Tax Commissioner. He and she will prepare something from it for the Lowndes County Commissioners for a later meeting.

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

Below are 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

$1.5 mllion on wastewater, SPLOST VIII, roads, bridges, mosquitos, Construction Board @ LCC 2019-08-12

The resolution to reimpose the SPLOST tax as SPLOST VIII, was not included with the agenda for the tax-paying public to see. LAKE has filed an open records request for the entire board packet. Perhaps the county will supply it before they vote tomorrow.

[Land Application Site]
Land Application Site

Four bids were received for LAS and Pump Station Improvements with the high bid at $3.3 million, and the low at $2.5 million, but apparently the county negotiated the low bidder, Doyle Hancock & Sons, down to $1,520,858.00. This is “for improvements to the LAS [Land Application Site, aka wastewater spray field], Bevel Creek, Francis Lake, and Coleman Road lift stations.” The LAS is between Grassy Pond and Pike Pond, a few thousand feet from the GA-FL line, in the Withlacoochee River watershed. Continue reading

Videos: Leadershp Lowndes, KLVB, ZBOA, Library board, three rezonings @ LCC 2019-07-09

Twenty-two minutes, quite long for the Lowndes County Commission, with four minutes on the ZBOA appointment with a split vote, and most of the rest on the three rezonings, with five and a half minutes on 6a. REZ-2019-09 Mark Courson, 5761 Long Pond Rd. R-1 to R-10.

The Chairman held forth about Leadership Lowndes at the end of the meeting. It’s like he’s not running again and is getting the most out of his time up there.

Commissioner Clay Griner was not present.

Below are 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