Category Archives: SPLOST

Packet: Proposed Annual Budget, City of Valdosta, FY 2025, for Budget Meeting 2024-05-22

In this Proposed Annual Budget for the City of Valdosta Budget Meeting Wednesday afternoon, 3-8 PM, there are two bond series, one refinancing, the other new, both for water and sewer improvements.

Apparently the city has previously financed more than $32 million in loans from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA), and last year floated a bond at a lower interest rate for about $22 million still to be paid.

Even more interesting, if I am reading it correctly, this budget proposes a new bond for $67 million.

Maybe the Valdosta City government is getting more serious about fixing their sewer system problems.

This is all in addition to the water and sewer improvements paid for by Special Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) line items, by American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, or from other revenue; see below.

[Extracts, Proposed FY 2025 City of Valdosta Budget]
Extracts, Proposed FY 2025 City of Valdosta Budget

W&S 2020 Bond Series

  • Purpose: Refinance GEFA notes at a lower interest rate
  • Maturity Date: 2033
  • Original Principal Amount: $32,134,000; July 1, 2023, Principal Outstanding $22,264,065
  • Interest Rate: 2.29%
  • Funding Source: Water and Sewer Revenue Fund

Pending for FY 25 – estimate
W&S 2024 Bond Series

  • Purpose: Upgrades Water and Sewer
  • Maturity Date: 2054
  • Original Principal Amount: $67,000,000; July 1, 2023, Principal Outstanding $67,000,000
  • Interest Rate: 4.5%
  • Funding Source: Water and Sewer Revenue Fund

See page 49, Debt Service, FY 2025, City of Valdosta. Continue reading

Videos: Day 1, Planning, Lowndes County Commission @ LCC 2018-02-19

The 2018 Lowndes County Commission Retreat was just about the exact opposite of a commission meeting, except that same group of people are present (almost). There was discussion, disagreement, laughing, sighing, interrupting, listening, inside jokes, outside jokes, and general exchange of views. Those things don’t happen in a commission meeting. This year’s retreat was particularly different because there was no time frame attached to any agenda item and they didn’t discuss topics in exact order, and some topics got covered repeatedly. Commissioner Evans said to me during a break that the previous format of having departments just give a report can “get boring” and she had suggested that they have a different format with more discussion about communications.

The agenda was available on-line but was hard to find and the link I followed to find it is gone now. I did manage to download it before it went away. Find it here: 2018 LCC Annual Planning Meeting Agenda (plus searchable text). There were paper copies available at the meeting after the first break.

I sometimes think that the commissioners may be getting used to me but then, no, don’t be silly.

At the lunch hour, the Commissioners stepped outside to take a group picture and as County Clerk Page Dukes suggested that they get closer and not have so much “space” between them, Commissioners Orenstein and Griner (I live in their districts) huddled together.

Commissioners Gather Group Photo Close Group Photo
  Commissioners Orenstein and Griner

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

Videos: Garbage falling off trucks @ LCC 2014-03-25

If the County Commission hadn’t privatized garbage collection, Frenchie could have registered his complaint about garbage falling off trucks through the new turnkey government website service once it’s online. No mention of the annexation request by the City of Hahira from the Work Session.

Commissioner Powell noted the three SPLOST VII projects were “a direct reinvestment into the community of those funds”. The road resurfacing of four roads is actually mostly from a GDOT LMIG grant, but the other three, shoulder paving on Val Del Road and Boring Pond Road and a bridge replacement on Cat Creek Road are all from SPLOST VII funds. Plus some trucks for Animal Control and tablets for the Fire Department, an alcohol license, and some alphabet-soup agreements, one of which turned out to be for a grant for a victim advocate position in the Solicitor General’s office.

Here’s the agenda. See also the previous morning’s Work Session.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street — 2nd Floor
Continue reading

Videos: Mostly Paving and Bridges @ LCC 2014-03-24

Yesterday morning they discussed a turnkey government website service. And an annexation request by the City of Hahira. And they may actually be serious about coming into the 21st century with online county services.

Turns out the road resurfacing of four roads is actually mostly from a GDOT LMIG grant, but the other three, shoulder paving on Val Del Road and Boring Pond Road and a bridge replacement on Cat Creek Road are all from SPLOST VII funds. Plus some trucks for Animal Control and tablets for the Fire Department, an alcohol license, and some alphabet-soup agreements, one of which turned out to be for a grant for a victim advocate position in the Solicitor General’s office.

Here’s the agenda.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street — 2nd Floor
Continue reading

Animals, Alcohol, Alphabet Soup, Paving, Bridges, and Fire @ LCC 2014-03-24

Got to spend those SPLOST dollars widening roads and bridges to promote development farther out in the country! Plus some trucks for Animal Control and tablets for the Fire Department, an alcohol license, and some alphabet-soup agreements. It may be healthy as food, but I wonder if opaque acronyms unexplained in the agenda is good for local government.

Here’s the agenda.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street — 2nd Floor
Continue reading

Valdosta sewage PR reaches Florida

Valdosta sure has an effective PR mechanism, famous all the way to Florida again, for the second time this month. Most cities wouldn’t think to dump stuff into the river to get in the news! But Valdosta buried the solution at the end of a traditional press release:

“The city has planned, designed and bid a force main project and will award a $32 million contract in May that will prevent the majority of these overflows from occurring in the future.”

That would be one of the projects Valdosta will use the $36.7 million GEFA loan to fund. Other projects are related to the Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), which wasn’t the culprit this time. This sewer spill came from manholes overflowing.

Winnie Wright wrote for WCTV yesterday, Over 1 Million Gallons Of Wastewater Spills Into Local Waterways,

The Florida Department of Public Health is warning residents to avoid contact with water from the Withlacoochee River.

Continue reading

Manhole overflows –City of Valdosta

Maybe that SPLOST money will build that force main and stop this. Meanwhile, they don’t call it Sugar Creek for nothing. And Twomile Branch flows into Sugar Creek, which flows into the Withlacoochee River, which flows into the Suwannee River through Florida into the Gulf of Mexico. Today we’ll probably see stories from Florida about river water warnings.

Winnie Wright wrote for WCTV 18 March 2014, National Flood Preparedness Week Comes to Valdosta, Along With The Rain,

It’s pretty ironic that National Flood Preparedness Week has come right alongside 5 inches of rain in South Georgia, but for residents of Valdosta who remember the flood of 2009, that much rain can be a real problem if you don’t have flood insurance.

“Many people don’t realize that flood is not covered in their homeowners policy. It’s important to know what is and isn’t covered in your homeowners policy”, says Christi Marsh, a State Farm Agent based in Valdosta.

Winnie Wright reports homeowner Carrie Eager found flood insurance preferable to evacuating by boat like before.

Continue reading

Retreat 2014 pictures @ LCC 2014-02-27

Gretchen is posting still pictures while videoing the retreat.

SPLOST and website @ LCC 2014-02-27

Retreating again this week, but not very far this time: next door to the Commission chamber, tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday. In addition to SPLOST (now that they’ve got it, they have to determine how to spend it), what’s this about website on the agenda?

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
2014 Commission Retreat Agenda
Lowndes County Judicial Complex, Administrative Wing
2nd Floor, Overflow Room next to the Commission Chambers
327 North Ashley Street, Valdosta, GA 31601
Continue reading

Secret meeting of Lowndes County Commission and state reps @ LCC 2013-12-20

Dexter Sharper (District 177) The VDT report doesn’t say when or where, and doesn’t say whether Dexter Sharper (District 177) wasn’t invited or chose not to attend.

There’s nothing about this meeting in the online agendas or calendar, even though that calendar lists Pictures with Santa at the Historical Courthouse (12/19/2013).

There is this undated public notice with no agenda:

Paige Dukes, Lowndes County Clerk The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners will meet with members of Lowndes County’s Legislative Delegation on Friday, December 20, 2013, at 4:00 p.m. in the Commissioner’s Conference Room located on the 3rd floor of the Judicial-Administrative Complex, 327 North Ashley Street, Valdosta, Georgia.

K. Paige Dukes, County Clerk

pdukes@lowndescounty.com 229-671-2400

Tim Golden (District 8) Matthew Woody wrote for the VDT 22 December 2013, Commissioners host local delegation, oddly omitting the when and where and much of the why from the traditional who, what, when, where, and why of journalism.

Amy Carter (District 175) The Lowndes County Commission hosted Continue reading