Category Archives: Safety

Appoint Tax Assessors, 3 water, 3 road, 1 pandemic, 1 software @ LCC 2020-09-21

Applying this morning for Board of Tax Assessors are Mr. Gene Felts and Mrs. Gretchen Quarterman. The Lowndes County Commission will vote tomorrow (Tuesday) at 5:30 PM. That and almost $4 million in water, road, software, and fire items.

Cost What
$1,681,770.84Grading, Drainage, Base, and Paving of Clyattstone Road and Simpson Lane.
$1,417,333.98Clyattstone Water Main Extension
$489,310.00Motorola SUAII (Evergreen)
$128,075.58Firefighter Personnel Request
$41,217.6.00Foxborough Lift Station Pump
$34,169.28Drainage Improvements to Brinson Lane and Oak Hill Drive
$22,500.00FY2021 Joint Funding Agreement with USGS
$19,800.00Land Application System (LAS) Expansion Agreement
$3,834,177.28Total

Apparently paving does not solve all problems, because one of the four water items is Drainage Improvements to Brinson Lane and Oak Hill Drive to “eliminate flooding issues as a result of the paving of Oak Hill Drive.”. The other three water items are FY2021 Joint Funding Agreement with USGS for the Folsom Bridge (GA 122 Little River & Skipper Bridge (Withlacoochee River) USGS gauges, Foxborough Lift Station Pump, and Land Application System (LAS) Expansion Agreement.

In addition to Brinson Lane, there are two more road items: Grading, Drainage, Base, and Paving of Clyattstone Road and Simpson Lane (how much have they spent on that project combined so far?) and Acceptance of Infrastructure for Val Del Villas. The latter is listed as no cost, despite the Brinson Lane episode.

[Survey Plat]
Survey Plat

Also on the agenda: Grant Submission Request – COVID-19 Response Grant Application, partly to “Recruit and hire a sufficient number of poll workers and inspectors to ensure polling places are properly staffed,” , a Firefighter Personnel Request, and Motorola SUAll (Evergreen) software.

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

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2020, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2020, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

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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

Packet: Moody AFB, Library board, renaming and dedicating roads, two subdivisions, liability insurance @ LCC 2020-07-27

Will it take fifteen minutes, or twenty minutes, to approve almost a million dollars, in a packed agenda for Monday and Tuesday at the Lowndes County Commission? It’s mostly Property & Liability insurance, followed by a consulting contract for a go-between with Moody AFB, plus UPSes for county radio sites.

Cost What
$818,021.00 ACCG IRMA Property & Liability Program Renewal
$96,000.00 Agreement with Cornerstone
$24,257.88 Vertiv Service Contract for the Liebert UPS at the 911 Center & the 4 Tower Sites
$0; past gate name it Harper’s Lane Renaming a Portion of Sara Road
$0 Acceptance of Infrastructure for Brayden Place Subdivision
$938,278.88Total

They’ll also appoint Thomas Lovett to the South Georgia Regional Library Board, rename a road, and accept some subdivision roads.

[Aerial Map: Sara Road Renaming]
Aerial Map: Sara Road Renaming

Received Friday 5:14 PM in response to a LAKE open records request, the board packet is on the LAKE website.

Here is the agenda:

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, JULY 27, 2020, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, JULY 28, 2020, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Stick with old budget for now @ LCC 2020-06-26 @ LCC 2020-06-26

The Lowndes County Commission did not pass a new budget, and nobody seems to know or at least be willing to say why, even though that was on the agenda for that Tuesday meeting.

Instead, they’ve scheduled a “Special Called Meeting on Friday, June 26, 200, at 9:00 a.m., to consider a resolution to temporarily continue the operation of the 2020 Fiscal Year budget.”

We don’t have the new draft budget, but here’s the general fund expenditure chart from the old budget they’re extending:

[General Fund Expenditures]
General Fund Expenditures
37.12% + 12.17% = 49.29%

I wonder if this delay has anything to do with sales tax revenues being way down due to the pandemic, and nobody really knowing when they might recover?

There’s no video of the meeting, but fortunately the VDT was on the job. Chris Herbert, Valdosta Daily Times, 24 June 2020, Lowndes County Commission tables 2021 budget, Continue reading

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

Packet: 2 Appointments, 2 Rezonings, Lift Station, Drainage, Facilities @ LCC 2020-06-08

Thanks to Sabrina Denson for sending the board packet Friday. It is on the LAKE website.

The Work Session is this Monday at 8:30 AM, and they vote at the Regular Session 5:30 PM Tuesday.

CostWhat
$71,789.00 Blue Lake Lift Station Emergency Repair
$1,208.80 Approve Condemning ROW and Drainage Easement for Clyattstone Rd.-Simpson Ln. TSPLOST Paving Project
$72,997.8Total

[Zoning Location Map]
Zoning Location Map

See also the agenda.

-jsq

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!

2 Appointments, 2 Rezonings, Lift Station, Drainage, Facilities @ LCC 2020-06-09

Tuesday at 5:30 PM the Lowndes County Commission proposes to spend about $73,000 on water projects, which is a good thing. Monday at 8:30 AM they also do have a Work Session scheduled.

CostWhat
$71,789.00 Blue Lake Lift Station Emergency Repair Work Session/Regular Session DATE OF MEETING: June 9, 2020
$1,208.80 Approve Condemning ROW and Drainage Easement for Clyattstone Rd.-Simpson Ln. TSPLOST Paving Project
$72,997.8Total

I commend the county for proactively preventing major sewer system leaks. Hm, only one bid?

“HISTORY, FACTS AND ISSUES: The discharge pipes at Blue Lake lift station are leaking due to corrosion. Staff has deemed this an emergency due to the condition of the pipes and the pumps not operating at capacity. A bid was received from RPI Underground Inc. for $71,789.00 to make the necessary repairs to bring the station back to designed capacity and operation. Staff recommends approval of Blue Lake lift station emergency repairs and authorize RPI Underground Inc to make the repairs for $71,789.00.”

The two rezonings that were not previously heard by the Planning Commission (which did not meet last month due to pandemic) are not listed as having any “BUDGET IMPACT”.

[4055 Knights Academy Road location map]
4055 Knights Academy Road location map for Rezoning Case REZ-2020-05 (Districts 1 & 4) Jose Lage, 4055 Knights Academy Rd. R-A to P-D, Well/Septic, ~36.926 acres
Image: Lowndes County Tax Assessors Map.

Also they will (almost certainly) reappoint Andrea Schruijer and Clay Griner to the South Regional Joint Development Authority. And almost certainly they will reappoint Victoria Copeland to the Valdosta-Lowndes County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBOA), plus someone else, with no candidates listed. Interestingly, the agenda sheet for ZBOA says “DEPARTMENT: Zoning DEPARTMENT HEAD: JD Dillard” even though the county’s website still says Continue reading

Video: New County Planner, Juvenile Justice, TIA Old US 41, Two Oaks at Bemiss, Hazard Mitigation @ LCC 2020-05-12

Video has appeared on lowndescounty.com of the May 12, 2020 Regular Session, and the minutes. It is 11:48 long, of which 10:48 was actual business. The video reveals there is a new County Planner, J.D. Dillard. We also learn from the video (but not from the minutes) the extent of the Old US 41 widening.

Lowndes County Commission Regular Session 2020-05-12

Below are a few notes with timestamp links into the county’s video. See also the agenda and the board packet. Here again is what they said they spent:

CostWhat
$330,854CJCC Funding FY 2021 Juvenile Justice Incentive Grant Application Regular Session DATE OF MEETING: May 12, 2020
$20,000.00FEMA Lowndes County Hazard Mitigation Request for Proposal Regular Session DATE OF MEETING: May 12, 2020
$350,854Total

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, May 12, 2020, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor
*To comply with the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in regard to the Coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic and social distancing, face coverings (masks) are required for all meeting participants.

  1. Call to Order

    At 0 minutes. Chairman and all five Commissioners were present and sitting up front. Staff, including the County Manager, were sitting in the audience, where they could hardly be heard when they spoke. Portable microphones would be useful for this arrangement. Continue reading

Agenda: Jails, grants, hazards, roads, and Clyattville Park Community Center @ LCC 2020-05-26

No Lowndes County Commission agenda would be complete without another of these, in the agenda for zero dollars, but will cost taxpayers much more in subdivisions in the future: Approve Purchasing ROW and Drainage Easement for Clyattstone Rd.-Simpson Ln. TSPLOST Paving Project.

[Clyattstone Road]
Clyattstone Road in Lowndes County Tax Assessors map, connecting Old US 41 N and Val Del Road, where REZ-2020-03 Wetherington Property, Val Del Road RA to PD was already approved for another subdivision, across from Nelson Hill.

They vote tonight at 5:30 PM.

Three years ago they chose among bids for the Naylor Community Center, but for the Architectural Services for A New Community Center for Clyattville Park they’re using the same architect with no bids.

The Lowndes County Commission will be spending the least taxpayer dollars tonight of any recent session.

CostWhat
$62,045.00 Motorola Maintenance and Support Agreement for Jail Software
$28,000.00 (Estimated) Architectural Services for A New Community Center for Clyattville Park
$20,000 Service Agreement with SGRC for Hazard Mitigation Plan Update
$1085.00 Approve Purchasing ROW and Drainage Easement for Clyattstone Rd.-Simpson Ln. TSPLOST Paving Project
$ 0 Adopt Resolution Accepting Infrastructure for SetterPointe Subdivision, Phase II
$111,130Total

What’s this? Adopt The Language Access Plan and Resolution for Federal Funded Grants? Continue reading

Packet: Juvenile Justice, TIA Old US 41, Two Oaks at Bemiss, Hazard Mitigation @ LCC 2020-05-12

Update 2020-06-05: Lowndes County video has appeared, revealing several things not in the minutes.

LAKE did not video the May 12, 2020, Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission, due to pandemic. There was no telephone dial-in and no facebook live. The last Lowndes County Commission video of its own meeting was February 25, 2020. So the only record will be the Minutes, which we may or may not see before their next meeting, which is this Tuesday.

We get a location map but no indication of future county tax-paid costs of upkeep for the infrastructure for Two Oaks at Bemiss.

[Location Map]
Location Map

Yet we get evaluations by three different people of three proposals for the Lowndes County Hazard Mitigation RFP; winning bid $20,000.

The packet contains only the agenda sheet and a signature page for a resolution for the GDOT TIA Old US 41 Widening; the actual Resolution is missing. Continue reading