Tag Archives: Agriculture

Videos: Peace Officers, Public Works GA-EPD request, Regional T-SPLOST, 2 ZBOA appointments, 2 rezonings, surplus, quit claim, lift station pump, and Naylor Community Center bids @ LCC 2017-05-09

The T-SPLOST motion passed, but as a very unusual split vote, two weeks ago in the Lowndes County Commission Regular Session, 9 May 2017.

4. Peace Officers Memorial Week Proclamation Presentation,

Vice-Chair Joyce Evans presiding, they spent about five minutes on this item, including a speech by Sheriff Ashley Paulk, in which he said his department would be having a bigger presence. Chairman Bill Slaughter returned from his “good little trip” some time in there and took up the gavel after the minutes to be approved.

6. ZBOA appointments,

They reappointed Continue reading

Videos: Public Works GA-EPD request, Regional T-SPLOST, 2 ZBOA appointments, 2 rezonings, surplus, quit claim, lift station pump, and Naylor Community Center bids @ LCC 2017-05-08

Not on the agenda this morning: Public Works is applying to GA-EPD for a grant for tire disposal amnesty. 11 of 18 counties have voted to hold a Regional T-SPLOST referendum, and Lowndes County now needs to decide whether to support or oppose that: they vote Tuesday at 5:30 PM.

County Manager Joe Pritchard asked why all the lift station pump repairs. Utilities Director Steve Stalvey said the county has 114 lift station pumps, all either duplex or triplex, with the duplication very important to maintain service. They typically last about 15-20 years, there were periods when money was short and maintenance was slack, and quite a few of them are coming to end of life, most recently this one at US 84.

They spent the longest time, 3 3/4 minutes, on the Continue reading

Regional T-SPLOST, 2 ZBOA appointments, 2 rezonings, surplus, quit claim, and lift station pump, and Naylor Community Center bids @ LCC 2017-05-08 @ LCC 2017-05-08

They list the three applicants for ZBOA, Victoria Copeland, Michael Cooper, Mike Elkins, but they do not supply the actual applications. These are for two slots, currently held by Dr. Willie Houseal, who does not wish to be reappointed, and ZBOA Vice Chairman Gretchen Quarterman, who does.

Both the rezoning cases have different applicant names than the Planning Commission listed two weeks ago, this time as REZ-2017-05 Jay Carter rezoning from R-A to R-1 for subdividing for independent sale and REZ-2017-04 Rieffel rezoning to CON and E-A for animals. REZ-2017-04 is located at 3621 SE Johnson Road, which is just north of Mud Swamp Creek, which downstream joins with Grand Bay Creek to form the Alapahoochee River, which flows into the Alapaha, into the Suwannee, into the Gulf.

Parcel 0188 167H
Lowndes County Tax Assessors Parcel 0188 167H

After the regional T-Splost roundtable meeting 1PM Monday, April 17, 2017, in Pearson, the Lowndes County Commission this week votes to Take action to support or oppose Regional T-SPLOST. If I understand correctly, 10 of the 18 counties in the region voted Continue reading

Duke Energy solar: NC, SC, and now Florida

Duke’s new solar farms in Florida echo what Duke was already doing three and a half years ago when an independent study concluded more solar power in North Carolina would save utility ratepayers tens of millions of dollars annually.


Duke solar power farm in Perry, Florida, courtesy Duke Energy

John Downey, Charlotte Business Journal, 23 October 2013, Study: Solar benefits outweigh costs in NC,

It notes the gains from solar projects — such as lower transmission and distribution costs, avoided emissions, lower losses of electricity in transmission. The study calculates that such benefits outweigh the costs by 30 percent to 40 percent.

The utility buying most of that solar power in North Carolina is none other than Duke Energy. Parcel 25-01S-11E-1090700.0000 In Florida, Duke just got approval from the Suwannee Board of County Commissioners to build a 62-acre 8.8 MW solar plant next to its Suwannee Power Plant, while shutting down some old natural gas generating turbines, and keeping some newer ones going.

As we learned only a week before at a meeting about the Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs) required by the Florida legislature, nitrogen runoff from fertilizers is a huge problem in the Suwannee River Basin, and needs to be reduced 80-90% from every source. Duke Energy (or even FPL) could buy power from distributed solar farms on 1030 more acres in Suwannee County and produce enough power to shut down the rest of its gas turbines at that Suwannee River facility, while generating enough power for twice the number of households in Suwannee County. That would remove power plant emissions and use of cooling water, while helping solve the BMAP problem.

No, I’m not recommending cutting down trees for solar panels. Rooftop solar power and solar panels on marginal farmland would make far more sense. As even Duke says, solar panels produce “little to no waste”, which means no fertilizer or pesticide runoff from them. Graze cows, sheep, or goats around them, and the farmer has income from both the solar panels and the livestock, while still needing no pesticides to control weeds. That’s what Sandy Hill Solar of Elm City, North Carolina does, and the utility buying their power is Duke Energy.

Duke by February 2015 had expanded its solar buying into South Carolina, and by October 2015 announced a new solar farm near Perry, Florida, Duke’s second such project in Florida, and operational in Perry by September 2016. Funny how solar plants can go online in less than a year, unlike the three-year-plus permitting process of interstate natural gas pipelines.

The Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) lists numerous studies about the cost-effectiveness of solar power, including that North Carolina 2013 report, now with a copy on the LAKE website. SEIA also lists one for Virginia which is on the MDV-SEIA website, and now also has a copy on the LAKE website.

For Georgia SEIA lists the testimony of GSEIA before the Georgia Public Service Commission in 2013. See also other testimony at that same GA-PSC session, which resulted in GA-PSC requiring Georgia Power to buy twice as much solar power as it wanted to. GA-PSC did the same again in 2015, which was also the year Georgia Power finally stopped its dozen-year-long objections to fixing a 1970s law, and actively backed a 2015 version of that solar financing bill, which passed unanimously in the Georgia Senate and was signed by the same Georgia governor who had accepted campaign finance contributions from multiple pipeline company PACs. After the bill became law, Georgia Power started selling solar power.

Georgia Power’s parent company Southern Company is also installing solar power in the Florida panhandle through its subsidiary Gulf Power, including three projects at military bases totalling 120 MW.

All that is without even comparing solar power to natural gas pipelines such as Sabal Trail. I did that comparison, and I’m still watiing for somebody to show me any flaws in my arithmetic, which shows that FPL’s ratepayers, now stuck with a $3.2 billion bill for the Sabal Trail boondoggle, could get five times as much electricity through solar power at that price.

For Florida SEIA lists only a very old (2003) study with a broken link, which can be found as a google book, but now would mostly be worthwhile as a museum piece. Duke’s own actions in Florida in 2016 and 2017 indicate Duke Energy knows the sun is rising even on the Sunshine State.

Sure, Duke is going too slow (although not as slow as FPL). Duke’s “strategic, long-range plan to install 35 megawatts of universal solar by 2018, and up to 500 megawatts in the state by 2024” is pocket change for peanuts. Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson’s research project has spelled out what Florida (and each other U.S. state) needs in solar, wind, and water power to run everything, depicted on thesolutionsproject.org and backed up by a hundred-plus-page report.

The people of Florida are demanding more solar power. Tens of millions of dollars in fossil fuel and utility money didn’t convince the voters of Florida to support a fake solar amendment last November. The sun is rising, even on the Sunshine State. All the dirty dollars and all the bought politicians can’t stop it.

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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!

Videos: Community Policies, Comprehensive Plan Workshop #5 @ SGRC 2016-04-18

One video for all the fifth workshop on Community Facilities & Services and Intergovernmental Coordination for the Comprehensive Plan Update for Greater Lowndes County.

Here’s a video playlist: Continue reading

Videos: Policies, Workshop #6 @ SGRC 2016-05-09

Educating people upstream about things they could do to reduce flooding, was among the topics discussed by Gretchen with the small sixth workshop that on Monday May 9th 2016 reviewed the Policies section (Word, PDF) of the 19 April 2016 Workbook for the Update to the Greater Lowndes Comprehensive Plan, as Ariel Godwin said in advance.

Here’s a video playlist:

Continue reading

Existing and future land use and character area maps @ SGRC 2016-06-06

Received by email today this Reminder:

Lowndes County Future Development Map The final workshop for the Joint 2016 Lowndes County and Cities of Dasher, Hahira, Lake Park, Remerton, and Valdosta Comprehensive Plan Update will be:

Monday, June 6, 2016
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
SGRC office, 327 W. Savannah Avenue, Valdosta

At this workshop we will review the existing land use and future land use or character area maps.

The entire plan workbook can be downloaded at: Continue reading

Policies @ SGRC 2016-05-09

5PM today, a Comprehensive Plan Update Workshop for Lowndes County, GA. Introduction to Policies Received by email this Reminder:

The next two workshops for the Joint 2016 Lowndes County and Cities of Dasher, Hahira, Lake Park, Remerton, and Valdosta Comprehensive Plan Update will be:

Monday, May 9, 2016
5:00 p.m. — 7:00 p.m.
SGRC office, 327 W. Savannah Avenue, Valdosta

At this workshop we will review the Policies. We will not have time to review them in as much detail as we have with the Issues and Opportunities, which is why I sent them out for your review ahead of time.

Continue reading

Community Policies, Comprehensive Plan Workshop #5 @ SGRC 2016-04-18

6PM tonight at SGRC, fifth Workshop, as Ariel Godwin reminded us five days ago:

At our next workshop, we will finish reviewing the Issues and Opportunities for the Greater Lowndes Comprehensive Plan. We have two sections to review: Community Facilities & Services and Intergovernmental Coordination. I am attaching the Issues from those sections as they currently stand.

Since this is our second-to-last workshop, in the interest of time, I am attaching Continue reading

Videos: Lowndes Comprehensive Plan Workshop @ SGRC 2016-04-04

Here are links to the LAKE videos of the 4 March 2016 Workshop on the Lowndes County Comprehensive Plan Update, followed by a video playlist. The next Workshop is 6PM tonight.

Here’s a video playlist:


Videos: Lowndes Comprehensive Plan Workshop
Workshop, 2016 Lowndes County Comprehensive Plan Update (SGRC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
327 West Savannah Ave., Valdosta, GA 31601, 4 April 2016.

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