Here is Lowndes County’s SPLOST VIII Project List.
The biggest items are water and sewer at $23 million
and sports at $13,274,912,
followed by the historic Courthouse at $12 million.
Note nothing about Continue reading →
Save money, reduce CO2 emissios as much as planting 3 million trees,
and make local power more reliable.
Most any airport could do this, putting solar panels on rooftops and some of those buffer acres that can’t be used for anything else.
Not on the agenda, discussed for fifteen minutes, then suddenly
more funding for the Airport Authority,
14 July 2015 Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission.
Which was similar to the previous morning’s transportation study
discussion, except the Commission didn’t vote that time on any possibility
of funding that one.
TSA has reduced the amount of money it gives to small airports like
Valdosta and in order to have Continue reading →
The same company that sued Lowndes County in 2007 to try to put a
tall building above the 30-foot height limit in Valdosta’s Runway Protection Zone
now appears to want to put a contractor yard for Sabal Trail’s fracked methane
pipeline in the same location.
Will this involve any tall cranes?
What about Moody’s flights off of that runway at Valdosta Airport?
And what about those aquifer recharge zones?
What if the Industrial Authority used its bond-issuing power
to finance rooftop solar?
And what if it combined that with utility-scale solar projects
on its own industrial park lands, and for example at the airport,
or at the new Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant?
It is not just the technology that is evolving in the solar
industry; the financing of solar projects, both residential and
utility-scale is evolving quickly. The most notable development here
has been in the form of solar leasing, whereby the rooftop panels
are owned by a third party who effectively leases the rooftop from
the home/factory/office owner, the latter receiving payment normally
through a reduction in electricity bills paid for by the lessee.
This provides the benefits of cheaper and cleaner solar electricity
to the homeowner, whilst negating the need for the significant
initial capital outlay. The panel owner or lessee earns their return
via incentive mechanisms such as the U.S. Investment Tax Credit, and
via the sale of the electricity back to the local utility. This
financing mechanism has proved particularly successful in the U.S.
and is gaining traction in the UK, with companies in other countries
looking to follow suit.
Larry Hanson, Valdosta City Manager, asked for the regional council to reconsider aviation projects, especially considering that the tax was supposed to be for projects of regional significance. Then he pointed out
Out of that $503 million about 40% of it or $212 million is projected to be generated here in Lowndes County. And when you look at what's being returned, for instance to the city of Valdosta, it's $47 million. It is certainly one thing to be a donor, but that's a pretty substantial donor.
He said he appreciated all the other counties, but much of the money would go to counties that are not contiguous to Lowndes County and are not part of the Valdosta Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes the four counties of Lowndes, Brooks, Lanier, and Echols. He continued:
Lowndes County is about 26% of the region's population and we generate about 38% of the revenue, and we're not quite getting that back in terms of the distribution.
You may wonder why a City of Valdosta official was speaking for Lowndes County. County Manager Joe Pritchard was there at the start of the meeting, and I think County Engineer Mike Fletcher was, as well. County Chairman Ashley Paulk came in late and summoned Pritchard and Fletcher outside the glass doors of the meeting room. They stood there for quite some time, peering in, and then vanished.
Aviation Projects, and Valdosta is a substantial donor –Larry Hanson @ T-SPLOST 2011-09-19 T-SPLOST Public Meeting, Southern Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC), Corey Hull, Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 19 September 2011. Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).
A number of years ago, the City of Austin purchased this land
planning to install a new coal-fired power plant. When those plans
fell through, a landfill was proposed for the site that now boasts
280 acres of solar panels with a view of downtown Austin along its
Of course, it doesn’t have to be that big, or all in one place.
How about on top of a landfill?
How about on the cotton fields
next to Valdosta’s Sallas Mahone Elementary School?
Energy to air condition the school instead of drifting pesticides,
and profit to the landowner!
How about at the airport?
At the mall parking lot?
On top of the new county palace?
On the warehouses in Hahira?
Nelson Hawk, after an excellent panel presentation at the
Georgia Solar Summit,
repeated the old canard that there’s not much land available for solar in the
I couldn’t stand it, and blurted out “parking lots!”
And airports, and road rights of way, and, let me think: rooftops!
Or waste water treatment plants, like
Valdosta just used,
or barns on the north edges of fields, or the acreage
Georgia Power is wasting on nuclear plants, or….
Gretchen Quarterman and Dan Corrie
Dan Corrie notes that Cobb EMC bought up
3600 acres in Ben Hill County for a coal plant.
That acreage could generate quite a bit of solar power!
Let’s leapfrog Thomasville in the 21st century equivalent of roads, rail, and airports: Internet speeds!
Here’s another point from Chris Miller at the
2011 Economic Summit,
according to the VDT story by Dawn Castro 18 May 2011,
“Thomasville didn’t have hi-speed internet,
so the process of moving products quickly was not possible,”
he said, “With Rose Net hi-speed broadband, it is now able to
work 25 times faster.
That one simple step boosted economic product growth,
and as we all know, the technical industry creates a
wage growth path.”
In a generally congenial and well-received speech
to the Lake Park Chamber of Commerce (LPCoC), Industrial
Authority (VLCIA) executive director Brad Lofton
gave an update on various projects and concluded
by asking for input.
“Economic development is a team sport,” he said, and
“Give us ideas” and “There’s one of us and hundreds of you.”