So if Old State Road to the Alapaha River has, according to
the criteria recited by County Engineer Mike Fletcher,
“ceased to be used by the public to the extent that
no substantial public purpose is served by it”,
why did Keep Lowndes/Valdosta Beautiful (KLVB) do a cleanup there in 2007?
Is the removal of that section of road
“from the county road system… in the public’s best interest”?
Saturday’s Alapaha River cleanup will be held in cooperation with
Rivers Alive, a statewide annual volunteer waterway cleanup that
targets Georgia’s 70,150 miles of streams and rivers each October,
and Hands On Georgia Week 2007, which will culminate on Saturday
with Hands on Atlanta Day, the largest volunteer service day in the
country. A number of volunteers will spend the day cleaning
Georgia’s waterways, building wheelchair ramps, collecting cans of
food for Georgia’s food banks and as picking up trash along
Anyone interested in participating in the Alapaha River cleanup
Saturday should head on U.S. 84 East past Naylor, turn left on Good
Hope Road then turn right on Old State Road. Small boats and canoes
are welcome. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m., and participation
waivers must be signed.
One citizen actually got a response out of a Commissioner in Citizens Wishing
to Be Heard!
only half a dozen citizens where there to hear that,
or to see the Lowndes County Commission
vote on matters that affect everyone,
from abandoning a road leading to a river to an alcohol license.
This morning, you had a
really great report about the
jail ankle monitoring system.
And I would really like to encourage the county to do marketing.
To call a press conference, to get some graduates from that program,
to get the sheriff,
to get the gentleman that spoke this morning,
to stand out on the courthouse steps and talk about how great it was.
People would have a really great feeling if they knew.
This morning I was the only citizen here; now we’ve got three more.
People aren’t finding out..
So if they didn’t come to this chamber, they wouldn’t know.
So I encourage you, really, do a press release, do a press conference
It’s a gigantic huge important thing. Thank you.
The Chairman started to move on, but Commissioner Evans asked if she
could answer the citizen’s question.
Update 2013-01-25 9:48 AM: fixed an error and added some further detail. -jsq
Citing unspecified sources of information about water rights,
the Lowndes County Commission voted to move to a hearing to
abandon a road to a river they didn’t name, but which
happens to be: the Alapaha River (it was named this time).
This was at the
Regular Session of 22 January 2013.
See also the
Work Session the morning of the same day.
County Engineer Mike Fletcher describe the case like this:
Georgia Statute says that for an initial determination
that the section of county road has for any reason
ceased to be used by the public to the extent that
no substantial public purpose is served by it,
or that its removal from the county road system
the public’s best interest.
And just to remind you, as we spoke yesterday,
the bridge that goes across the Alapaha River has been washed out;
it has not been replaced,
so there is no access across the river to Lanier County.
Commissioner Demarcus Marshall remarked that this same
item had been voted down 26 October 2010(?).
Chairman Bill Slaughter asserted that the applicant had previously gotten
permission to close the road and was merely asking to extend the length;
he was corrected by staff (I think by County Manager Joe Pritchard) saying
no, it wasn’t approved.
Why doesn’t staff brief the Commission and the public on the history of a case
like this when it comes up again?
Commissioner Joyce Evans said
It was not approved because of different circumstances.
I think during that time, Mr. Fletcher,
you researched it all and you got the information
that we needed.
And that was the reason it was not approved;
we didn’t have the information that we needed
about the water rights.
Since then we have received that.
County Engineer Mike Fletcher added:
This is not considered a navigable waterway,
so therefore Mr. Connell owns the bottom of the riverbed,
so his property actually goes into the river, and not to the
high water mark.
Commissioners discussed several items much more than last year’s Commission
at this morning’s Work Session; they vote 5:30 PM tonight at their Regular Session.
However, you’d think with an
ankle monitoring program Commissioners praised so highly,
they’d want the public to know the details.
Nope, still none of the documents related to that nor any of the other
items they were discussing were revealed to the tax-paying public.
They don’t have a press release about that,
nor about the
Parade of Champions
the Chairman talked about
even though it wasn’t on the agenda.
He was silent, however, on who the
candidates for the Airport Authority
are, and none of them were present.
Phillip Connell requests that Old State Road that goes through his
property and dead ends at the river be closed.
They’re holding an initial hearing followed by a public hearing “I guess it will be in three weeks at the next regular meeting”
because state law requires it, according to County Engineer Mike Fletcher.
He also said the bridge had washed away, and there was no access into
And the river (it’s the Alapaha River, although I don’t think anybody ever
said the name)
…is not classified as a navigable waterway; therefore Mr. Connell
owns to the center of the river.
You can navigate down the river by boat,
but if you step out,
if you get out of the boat and step on the land,
you’re considered to be trespassing.
Engineer did not cite any statutes for his assertions.
It's curious how the Lowndes County Commission can hold a public hearing
for a single beer, wine, and liquor license, but not for
doing away with the solid waste collection sites
5,000 county residents.
And what's this "Special Assessment Rate for 2013"?
At today's early morning work session maybe they'll say,
or perhaps at tonight's regular session, both on the same day
because of yesterday's holiday.