Category Archives: Safety

Appointment Development Authority, Mutual Aid, Quit Claim White Water Road @ LCC 2020-01-27

Development Authority, Mutual Aid, and a road quit claim: that’s all, on the lightest agenda in recent memory for the Lowndes County Commission Monday morning at 8:30 AM and voting Tuesday evening at 5:30 PM. You can speak Tuesday in Citizens Wishing to be Heard.

Georgia Power Region Vice President Terri Lupo wants to be reappointed to the Valdosta-Lowndes Development Authority, where she is currently Chairman. She was first appointed July 8, 2014.

Terri Lupo

The Mutual Aid Agreement the county made in 2016 with Continue reading

Videos: Water quality testing, Bids, Leaase, Appointments @ LCC 2020-01-13

Not on the agenda, Chairman Bill Slaughter at the end of the meeting said Utilities Director Steve Stalvey had been testing water quality on the Withlacoochee River. On December 31, bacterial counts were acceptable. But on January 6, 2020, counts were quite high, so the county made and posted some warning signs at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line (GA 31) Boat Ramps.

Here is one of the county’s signs, at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, with a sign by WWALS Watershed Coalition (Suwannee Riverkeeper) at the bottom of the other pole with Continue reading

Bids $1.4 million, insurance $1 million, and $0.4 million lease plus two Appointments @ LCC 2020-01-13

A million dollars for Paving – Quail Hollow Acres Subdivision and $0.4 million for Bid for a 3,000 Gallon Tanker for the Fire Department. Another million for 2020 Stop Loss Insurance Coverage through Symetra Life Ins. Company. A quarter million to relocate utilities at I-75 Exit 2 will be paid by GDOT. And a million in income for a Lease Agreement with the State Properties Commission for the Division of Family & Children Services (DFACS).

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Molly Deese wants to be reappointed to the Valdosta Lowndes County Conference Center and Tourism Authority. Incumbents almost always get reappointed if they say they want to, and the chances of them not reappointing the Vice President and General Manager of Wild Adventures is pretty slim. Ditto Dr. Frances Brown on the Lowndes County Board of Health.

They’re setting the Special Assessment interest rate “for all paving and utilityassessments that are not paid off within the initial 90-day phase. Unpaid assessments revert to installment agreements which are to be paid over a period of up to ten years.” New rate: 6.75% for 2020, down from 7.50% for 2019.

They’re setting qualifying fees to run for office, primary or general election: Continue reading

Videos: River Gauges, Roads, Alcohol, and Fire @ LCC 2019-10-22

The longest items at last month’s voting Regular Session were 3 minutes on 5.b. 2020 Census Resolution (due to discussion about the new initially online methods), two minutes on 5.l. Tax Assessment for the Lowndes County School District Bonds (it’s about debt service on ESPLOST), and 1:44 on 5.k. Industrial Authority Bond Issue and Funding (it’s complicated).

The 5.a. FY2020 USGS Joint Funding Agreement, which adds county funding for the Skipper Bridge Withlacoochee River USGS Gauge to the Hahira Little River Gauge the county has been funding since 2009, breezed through.

Below are Continue reading

Videos: River Gauges, Roads, Alcohol, and Fire @ LCC 2019-10-21

Surprise bonds for the Development Authority and Lowndes County Schools, and a turn lane for Wiregrass Tech, plus a new Forestry Ranger about fire, in these LAKE videos of yesterday morning’s Lowndes County Commission Work Session.

The longest item was five minutes about funding the Skipper Bridge Withlacoochee River USGS Gauge in addition to the Folsom Bridge Little River Gauge, by EMA Director Ashley Tye. Valdosta apparently discovered that Skipper Bridge is not in the city limits, so Valdosta will no longer fund that gauge. But the former funding from the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) plus more from Lowndes County will cover it, if the Lowndes County Commissioners vote for it at 5:30 PM Tonight, after their discussion yesterday morning.

Georgia Forestry Ranger Randy Spell talked about the use of a vehicle in the Rural Fire Defense Cooperative Lease Agreement And MOU.

Second longest was the extremely vague Continue reading

Packet: River Gauges, Roads, Alcohol, and Fire @ LCC 2019-10-21

Lowndes County is adding funding for the Skipper Bridge Road Withlacoochee River gauge to its traditional since 2009 funding of the Folsom Bridge GA 122 Little River gauge. That’s $8,300 and $14,200, respectively, with another $5,900 for the Skipper Bridge Gauge from the Suwannee River Water Management District. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) puts in $900 towards each gauge, or $1800 total. Valdosta still funds the North Valdosta Road US 41 Withlacoochee River Valdosta gauge, and USGS completely funds the US 84 Quitman Withlacoochee River gauge.

[OPTIONS: 1. Approve the FY 2020 Funding Agreement]
OPTIONS: 1. Approve the FY 2020 Funding Agreement
PDF

Details are in the Board Packet now on the LAKE website, received Friday, October 18, 2019, in response to an open records request.

The rest of the Lowndes County Commission agenda for Monday and Tuesday is dominated by roads: a resolution on criteria for taking private roads into the county public road system, and resolutions taking in roads within several subdivisions: Continue reading

Valdosta City Council Town Hall 2019-09-30

Most people missed a chance to ask whatever they wanted of the Valdosta City Council, without time limits or fear of ejection from the room. This town hall, hosted by Council members Andy Gibbs and Eric Howard, apparently was not announced on Valdosta’s own website nor in the Valdosta Daily Times. But Gretchen Quarterman was there for LAKE and videoed it, and provided the notes below. The few people who did attend were interested enough to take an hour and a half of their time to participate in the community and local government.


      People are sometimes afraid to speak

George Boston Rhynes noted that people might fear even coming to this kind of meeting, because of fear of retaliation, by being blackballed for jobs, or in other ways.

Lowndes County Commissioner Scottie Orenstein was there, and occasionally answered, as did Valdosta City Council Tim Carroll. City Council Sonny Vickers was also there.

Sidewalks were a major topic. Gretchen wondered why every street doesn’t have one. Instead, the city thinks it will improve traffic on Bemiss Road by making it wider.

Naturally, Taxes in County and City and property values were a major topic. Valdosta City Council Sandra Tooley said she thought sidewalks make property values go up, so why should the county get any of that tax money when the city paid to put the sidewalks in? Others misunderstood that, and more discussion ensued. People remain confused about how SPLOST works between city and county.

Back on transportation, a final speaker spelled out how Valdosta is not bicycle-friendly, so children can’t ride bicycles to school, students to VSU, employees to work, or people to see friends, because it is not safe. Same for Lowndes County: not safe for this healthy, family-friendly activity and transportation method. Andy Gibbs said this is one of the topics being gathered into the Parks and Rec. Master Plan, currently in progress.

Below are links to each LAKE video, followed by a LAKE video playlist. Continue reading

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 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