Tag Archives: bridge

Deputy Butler, Jacobs Ladder road paving, and seven minutes on the agenda @ LCC 2017-02-28

Front camera They started with some words about Deputy Chris Butler and a moment of silence (see VDT Obituary. Then they plowed through agenda. Commissioner Demarcus Marshall did introduce a little levity by asking if the drug testing for the MIDS bus service was just for the drivers. Answer: yes.

On the dozen Sheriff pursuit vehicles bid, Commissioner Marshall also noted that a few years ago (they voted 25 March 2014 there was a similar bid of Cass Burch vs. Langdale Ford for which they had additional testimony. The excuse for picking Cass Burch even though once again not the low bid was that it was that the Burch price was still less than the state contract price, and maintenance would cost less. It’s refreshing to see them actually discussing bids. It’s curious they only ever seem to choose a bid that is not the lowest when it’s from Cass Burch.

The County Manager had no additional report to his no report of the previous morning.

There was one citizen wishing to be heard: Leslie Jacobs of Jacobs Ladder on 5866 Bradford Road North, in Continue reading

Videos: Three minute Work Session @ LCC 2017-02-27

Why do they bother having Work Sessions at all, if they’re not going to discuss anything? Chairman Bill Slaughter, who at the recent planning session said, “Lowndes County is as transparent as we could possibly be,” was absent. Commissioner Demarcus Marshall, who argued at the planning session for moving the Work Session to a time when citizens are not working, also was not at the Work Session as usual, I hear because he works during the day. I don’t know why Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker was not there. Other than Vice-Chair Joyce Evans, who didn’t read the agenda item numbers, only Commissioners Scottie Orenstein and Clay Griner were there this morning. They asked no questions, as Griner had said at the planning meeting there was no need to, because staff supplied them with everything they needed to know.

To her credit, Joyce Evans asked the only question, whether the Rural Transportation Drug and Alcohol Testing Program was new (It’s not new, answered County Engineer Mike Fletcher.)

The only two citizens there were Gretchen Quarterman and Jody Hall, each of whom had hour-long round-trips to attend this three-minute non-meeting.

The Valdosta Daily Times reporter arrived after the meeting was adjourned. He at least got the packet provided at each meeting to the “Legal Organ”. You, the citizens and taxpayers did not get that courtesy from the county.

You can see for yourself the lack of information in the links below to each of the LAKE videos, followed by a LAKE video playlist. I didn’t bother with notes on the items this time. See also the agenda, which I spent more time posting than they did holding the meeting. Continue reading

CSX road closure and bridge + dozen sheriff vehicles @ LCC 2017-02-27

Back on the agenda this morning, the Old Quitman Road Bridge replacement over the CSX RR has been discussed since at least 2011 when it was on the T-SPLOST list, and in September 2016 it came up for discussion again, and the Commission approved surveying and engineering. Last month they discussed the plans, drawings, etc., and approved those. See this playlist of LAKE videos of this item in previous meetings.

This morning’s item for voting tomorrow evening is Continue reading

Videos: HEAT on Sheriff finances @ LCC 2016-09-13

Half the meeting (11 1/2 minutes) Tuesday was Commissioners grilling Sheriff Chief Deputy Joe Crow about the cost of High Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic (Heat): how less funding is provided the more successful the program is, and federal funding may go away, leaving the county to foot the bill. Chairman asked for monthly statistical updates. Commissioner Demarcus Marshall moved to approve continuation of the grant, plus a statement in favor of the grant including a disclaimer that the county would “work to preserve” as much of the grant as possible if state funding goes away.

They approved finally fixing the railroad bridge over Old Quitman Highway. and similar but less complicated (no railroad) for the Jumping Gulley Road bridge. Nobody mentioned that the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline proposes to cross Jumping Gulley Road half a mile west of that bridge, and then to open cut through Jumping Gulley Creek just south of the state line.

Snake Nation Road is getting an emergency $168,928 box culvert repair, which isn’t fast enough for former Commissioner Richard Lee, who Continue reading

Videos: Finally, Wright Road RR Bridge @ LCC 2016-09-12

They vote 5:30 PM this evening on finally fixing the railroad bridge over Old Quitman Highway. As you can see in the videos below of yesterday morning’s Work Session, County Engineer Mike Fletcher said it’s taken long negotiations with CSC and GDOT, ending up with realigning the road to go across the railroad at 90 degrees.

Way back in 2011 this Old Quitman Road bridge was on the T-SPLOST list. Old Quitman Road itself was announced on a striping and citing list 2013-10-08 and on an LMIG resurfacing list 2014-03-24 and 2014-03-25. It was said to be the only road for which the speed limit is being changed 2015-03-23 and 2015-03-24. And they fixed a culvert on private Carter Way before they got to this RR bridge on Old Quitman Road. But now they’re doing it, and they didn’t need T-SPLOST for that after all.

See also Continue reading

Two subdivisions, 3 road abandonments, 2 bridges, MIDS @ LCC 2016-09-12

This morning at 8:30 AM at the Lowndes County Commission, the two subdivisions from the previous Planning Commission meeting, REZ-2016-16 Livingston Properties, Bemiss Knights Academy Rd and Merriman Ct.

What’s with all the road abandonments these past many months? REZ-2016-17 Grove Pointe Ph 6, Dasher Grove Rd, a public hearing on Abandonment of Strong Road, probably scheduling of one for Abandonment of Unopened Right of Way off of Pikes Pond Road, and finishing up with a Quit Claim Deed for Abandoned Right of Way on Old Miller Concrete Property.

Surveying and engineering for two bridge replacements, on Old Quitman Road and Jumping Gully Road. And the annual renewal of Section 5311 Rural Transportation Program Capital Contract, which is the MIDS on-call bus service, in case you can’t tell from the obscure agenda item.

Plus lots more on the agenda. Will they speed through it all in their usual 15 minutes? They vote tomorrow (Tuesday) evening at 5:30 PM.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2016, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2016, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Two appointments, a Presidio, a library, and a highway @ LCC 2014-01-27

What’s a “Presidio Change Order”? (Not like those change orders in DeKalb County, let’s hope.) A GEFA loan application for what? What’s going on with the Moody AFB Library?

Apparently Nottinghill is going to have a community water system, since it’s on the agenda for a trust deed, but you wouldn’t know that unless you’d followed other trust deeds, such as the one for Raisin’ Cane approved in December.

At least we know they’ve been itching to turn Cat Creek Road into a highway at least since they put widening it on their T-SPLOST list in 2012, and on this agenda is replacing the old bridge on Cat Creek Road.

The agenda actually says the final item is only in the Work Session. Maybe this will avoid the kind of confusion that happened with the Sabal Trail pipeline presentation in November and December.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

PROPOSED AGENDA

WORK SESSION, MONDAY, JANUARY 27, 2014, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2014, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street — 2nd Floor
Continue reading

Internet access lunacy maybe partly corrected by Google Fiber

Slower and more expensive than the rest of the world: U.S. Internet access doesn’t have to be that way. Bob knows about our Internet issues here and is interested in helping.

Chunka Mul wrote for Forbes 26 April 2013, The Lunacy of Our Internet Access, and How Google Fiber Could Provide Needed Shock Therapy,

Imagine you are the world’s largest operator of shopping malls, and shoppers can only get to your malls via the equivalent of dirt paths and country roads. What’s more, those meager routes are all controlled by an oligopoly of private, toll-road operators that focus on their profitability, not on getting consumers to the stores in your malls.

The result would be a mess. The roads would be slow yet expensive. Consumers would limit shopping trips. The stores in your malls would have a hard time generating business, so your malls would languish.

Yet the entire online economy runs on an analogous network. The network could easily be lightning fast, pervasive and cheap (or even free). Instead,

Continue reading

Georgia Trend Propagandizes for T-SPLOST

When did state tax policy become a plaything for companies, instead of a source of services for taxpayers? There’s a lot of fudging in the T-SPLOST article in the current Georgia Trend. I guess that’s not surprising when it’s mostly about the viewpoint of the CEO of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

Ben Young wrote for Georgia Trend June 2012, Transportation Game Changer: July’s statewide referendum will determine Georgia’s economic future. There’s a lot at stake for all 12 regions.

“The reason our port is the fastest growing is because our road and rail network is so efficient,” says Chris Cummiskey, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic De-velopment, another top RTR advocate. “If Zell Miller and other former administrations hadn’t done something to make the port more of a growth engine, we would now have little to no success in advanced manufacturing.”

Yet the rest of the article is all about roads, with little or nothing about rail, except for metro Atlanta and Charlotte as a comparison. Where are the rail projects linking Valdosta to Atlanta and Savannah, or the Valdosta MSA commuter rail or bus system? Nowhere in T-SPLOST.

It is also unclear how Georgia can sustain growth in logistics-related sectors that depend on moving goods quickly and efficiently — sectors believed to be leading us out of the recession — without strengthening the highway network, which has suffered due to lower gas tax revenues. Without an additional tax, there is no way to keep up what we have, much less build anything new, proponents say.

Um, then maybe the governor shouldn’t have refused to extend Georgia’s gas tax by 8/10 cent (almost as much as proposed the 1 cent T-SPLOST tax, but on gasoline, not on everything including food). And note “believed to be” and “proponents say”. Later in the same article:

People are desperate for more transportation funding and the improvements it will bring, but the referendum itself is complex.

Who are these unnamed “people”? The same “proponents” by whom things are “believed to be”? Isn’t it wonderful to base tax policy on hearsay?

If Georgia was serious about creating jobs to lead us out of the recession and into a national and world leader, Georgia legislators Continue reading

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.

-jsq