Local counties and cities
sold off one landfill in Lowndes County in the late 1990s,
and a second one in 2005 through the Deep South Solid Waste Management Authority.
Yet in 2007 the
Deep South Municipal Regional Solid Waste Management Authority (WMA),
with the same county and city member governments,
was still active, discussing a regional recycling station.
And it is still active today, including some of the same board members
the entire time since 2005,
Valdosta City Manager Larry Hanson.
Hanson was not present last week
when Valdosta Mayor John Gayle said
Valdosta does not control the landfill, or perhaps he would have
mentioned that Valdosta through its longterm seat on the WMA board
does have some degree of control over the landfill’s operations.
“I ask you and FERC to stop Sabal
Trail from telling newspapers things that Spectra
Energy’s own corporate documents refute, and to start
paying attention to multiple requests by county commissions
and other affected parties.”
“The SONAT pipeline that broke in
Berrien County, Georgia was only a 9- or 10-inch line,
I’m told at 800PSI. Sabal Trail proposes a 36-inch
line, at much higher pressure. I’m no expert, but that
seems like at least twenty times the explosive capacity. I
don’t want that risk for any of my neighbors anywhere.”
“Like a bomb going off,” said the evacuated neighbor.
Like a waterfall, was the sound by the time I got there about 11:20 AM EST,
tipped off by a friend with a 911 radio.
Several Kinder Morgan trucks were parked on Bradford Road,
with KM personnel standing near the leak.
The break in the ditch across from 986 Bradford Road
The Lowndes County Commission has retreated to Berrien County once again
So far they’ve talked about budgets and finance, LOST and SPLOST,
departmental requests, and the local Land Bank Authority,
with the occasional policy interjection.
Commissioners and staff were clearly taking their tasks very seriously,
although not without humor from John Page’s sneeze.
And I congratulate them on
going some place that couldn’t have cost much.
I wish they’d talk more about policy and strategies for increasing the pie,
rather than almost entirely about how to divvy up the existing pie.
Video will follow; meanwhile here are a few notes.
On the one hand, it’s great that county staff have pulled together
and managed with 30 fewer people, and while Commissioner Page
was right that that’s efficiency, I think Chairman Slaughter was
even more right in saying it’s beyond that, it’s beyond capacity.
County Manager Joe Pritchard noted if there’s no SPLOST, the
current Commission will have to decide between cutting some
services and raising taxes.
That’s no doubt true, and he indicated that Valdosta seemed to
be waiting to hear what the County wants to do about SPLOST,
while the county is waiting to hear what Valdosta wants to do.
Several people remarked that the prior LOST negotiations (which
are currently on judicial hold pending one participant returning from
the current session of the state legislature)
did affect SPLOST losing in the most recent election.
I didn’t hear anybody suggest holding public hearings this time,
but Commissioner Marshall did say it would be good to say what
SPLOST funds would be for in some detail.
Now here’s a T-SPLOST project I like:
upgrading the railroad that runs
from Valdosta to Moody AFB
and on to Ray City and Nashville in Berrien County,
and Willacoochee in Atkinson County.
This proposal is to aid freight, but with this upgrade to the track,
the same track would be even more readily usable for passenger rail.
That same track was used for passenger travel up into the 1950s.
My mother used to catch the train at Barretts (just north of Moody) to go visit her relatives in Pearson (a bit east of Willacoochee).
It’s true the project sheet talks about “potential customers in the region”:
This project will provide for more efficient train operations along
the rail corridor to accommodate the increase rail traffic serving the
existing and potential customers in the region.
However, rail promotes development in existing population
centers and at stations, unlike all along automobile roadways.
This project is also another example of how
the economic area of Moody AFB includes
Continue reading →
Georgia has gained enough population in the past ten years to add
a congressional seat. This means redrawing the Congressional
district lines not only to balance population, but to also add
another representative in Congress. Lowndes County has been split
between the first and second districts, and all spring rumors of
where we might end up were circulating. Eventually we saw a draft
map that had Lowndes completely in the 8th District,
other counties along Interstate 75. That map made some sense south of Macon.
Some communities of interest were preserved (most of the Lowndes-Valdosta
MPO was in the same district) and the hospitality corridor of I-75
was in one district, along with the rural farms that surround it.
Valdosta to Macon is easier to traverse than Valdosta to Savannah,
or Valdosta to Columbus.
But then Congressman Jack Kingston stuck out his green tongue.
Gretchen found this in the public notices in the VDT:
The Valdosta-Lowndes Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) has developed the Draft Fiscal Year 2011-2014 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for the Valdosta Urbanized Area which includes all of Lowndes County and portions of Berrien and Lanier Counties.
This TIP is available for public review and comment from April 20, 2010 through June 3, 2010 at the Southern Georgia Regional Commission, 327 W. Savannah Ave.; the South Georgia Regional Library located at 300 Woodrow Wilson Dr.; the Valdosta City Hall located at 216 E. Central Ave.; the Lowndes County Administrative Offices located at 325 W. Savannah Ave.; or on the internet at www.sgrc.us/transportation; www.valdostacity.com; or
A Public Open House will be held on Monday, May 17, 2010 from 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Southern Georgia Regional Commission located at 327 W Savannah Ave., Valdosta, GA, for interested parties to view the document and ask questions of staff.
Comments are being accepted by email at email@example.com by fax at 229-333-5312, or by mailing them to VLMPO, 327 W Savannah Ave., Valdosta, GA 31601.
For more information, please call Corey Hull, MPO Coordinator at 229-333-5277.