Tag Archives: 31 March 2012

County told VDT curbside pickup would be non-exclusive @ LCC 2012-03-31

Former Chairman Ashley Paulk may say he didn’t tell Cory Scarborough of Deep South Sanitation that any contract by the county for curbside pickup would be non-exclusive (VDT 30 May 2013), but David Rodock reported for the VDT from Ashley Paulk’s guest house at a Lowndes County Commission retreat chaired by Ashley Paulk that:

Commissioners decided that getting out of the “trash business” was best and that a non-exclusive agreement with current curbside pickup companies (which about 12,000 citizens already employ) would provide service without putting any people out of business.

The VDT reported ( Commission tackles key issues: Waste management, tax lighting districts and SPLOST discussed at retreat by David Rodock, 31 March 2012) Commissioners “decided”. Yet there is no vote recorded, in contravention to Georgia open meetings law and a recent Georgia Supreme Court decision.

How is this doing “the people’s business”? Maybe if they took a vote and recorded it properly we’d all know what they said.


County quantifies some infrastructure payback times @ LCC 2012 03 31

Water and sewer take decades for return on investment, and roads and bridges probably aren’t any better. That’s worth remembering whenever solar, busses, or trains come up.

David Rodock wrote for the VDT Sunday, Commission wraps up annual retreat: Utility payments, road projects and waste disposal discussed

The cost of one mile of construction for water takes 23 years for a return on the initial investment; sewer takes 21.3 years.

The VDT didn’t specify the similar return times for road paving or bridge construction, but it’s a safe bet they’re at least as long. The farther water or sewer lines or roads or bridges are from population centers, the more they cost both directly in installation and indirectly in trips for fire and sheriff vehicles, and especially school busses. The county commissioned a report on that several years ago, as Gretchen reminded them last year. In the particular rezoning case on Cat Creek they were discussing then (Nottinghil), they made a decision to table which seems to have caused the developer never to come back with that particular sprawl plan. I congratulated the Commissioners at that time, and I congratulate them again on not promoting sprawl.

Sprawl costs the county, payback takes years, and longer the farther out it goes. What if we did something different? More on that later.




Commissioners panic about trash at undisclosed location @ LCC 2012 03 31

The Lowndes County Commission continues to hide when it talks about waste disposal. The VDT got slightly more specific about the undisclosed location of the Lowndes County Commission Retreat, and much more specific about what they were doing, yet according to state law their minutes need to be still more specific. And it’s not clear why they’re panicking about waste disposal when the deficit on that public good has come down rapidly in recent years.

David Rodock wrote for the VDT Saturday, Commission tackles key issues: Waste management, tax lighting districts and SPLOST discussed at retreat,

Commissioners and staff from Lowndes County buckled down Friday at Chairman Ashley Paulk’s guest home to address issues such as waste management, special tax lighting districts, SPLOST negotiations and necessary expenditures for equipment and staff.

A LAKE roving reporter (not me) observed many vehicles at Shiloh Farms’ recent acquisition in Berrien County on the north side of GA 122 a bit east of Old Valdosta Road (Cat Creek Road), so that seems likely the undisclosed location.

By the end of the afternoon, Commissioners made decisions on a few key issues.

It’s good to hear our elected representatives were working, even though they do not appear to have followed state law about this open meeting. And we can look forward to the names of which of them voted for each decision, according to the recent Georgia Supreme Court decision.

Here’s one thing they were working on:
Solid waste management, which is currently handled with collection centers, has run at a deficit of over $300,000.

That’s less than the deficit it was running last time (23 May 2011) the Commission had a meeting at an undisclosed location with no agenda where they talked about waste disposal. According to David Rock in the VDT 24 May 2011, Commissioners want Lowndes out of the trash business,

In total, the county is currently spending $782,058.34 each year for solid waste disposal, a reduction from $1,176,207.75 in 2007.

So that’s a rapid reduction in cost to less than a third of what it used to be, and less than half of what it was only a year ago. Back to Saturday’s VDT report:

County manager Joe Pritchard assured them the budget was in better shape than last year.

So why are they panicking about waste disposal?

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Georgia Legislators

I blogged about State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver and then happened to run into her about an hour later, along with her partner in ethics. This time she was in color.

Stephanie Stuckey Benfield (D-85 Atlanta) and Mary Margaret Oliver (D-83 Decatur):
Roswell, Georgia, 31 March 2012.
Pictures by John S. Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).