Tag Archives: Coleman Road

Packet: Stream monitoring, trash franchises, wetlands credits, force main, quit claims, paving, and Accountability Court @ LCC 2020-04-28

Apparently there was no legal public notice and no recording of the April teleconference meeting with the dial-in code changed less than three hours before, with $6,913,575.06 in taxpayers’ money being decided.

[Photo: Pine Grove Road Collection Center]
Photo: Pine Grove Road Collection Center

For that Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission, at which everything was approved unanimously except the one split vote on the single-source no-bid stream monitoring contract, LAKE sent an open records request for “the teleconference audio recording and the log of teleconference attendees (who dialed in, by name, or, if name is not known, by telephone number) for the April 28, 2020, Lowndes County Commission Regular Session.”

The response from the County Clerk was:

The April 28th telephone meeting was not recorded other than the minutes that were taken. Further, the program used does not record a phone log for the option utilized for this meeting. This being case, there are no records responsive to your request. I do expect the next meeting to be held in the Commission Chambers with social distancing requirements observed. This being the case, citizens will have an opportunity to attend in person which is a much better format for everyone.

Well, that’s a matter of opinion. Do you think it’s better to have to wear a mask to the Commission Chambers and risk getting infected, than to listen on the phone?

The Valdosta City Council had their meeting this Thursday on facebook live. The Madison, Florida, BOCC has been doing theirs on gotomeeting. It’s curious how the most populous county in the region can’t manage a teleconference or video meeting.

LAKE received the full board packet two days after the meeting, at 5:07 PM on Thursday, April 30, 2020, in response to an open records request. It’s on the LAKE website. We look forward to Lowndes County putting its full packet on its website along with the agenda and one-page agenda sheets per item. Many other counties in Georgia and Florida have been doing this for years.

When will the Lowndes County Commission catch up with the 21st century?

April-28-2020-Commission-Meeting-Packet

By far the biggest item was the $6,545,729.00 Coleman Road Force Main Replacement. The county apparently saved a bunch of money by removing many amounts from the bid for the county to do directly.

[Amount Removed from Bid]
Amount Removed from Bid

Curious how they didn’t do that for the sole-source no-bid $45,120.00 Professional Services for Sampling, Monitoring and Reporting of Impaired Streams. More on that in another blog post.

The county bid everything else that could be bid, including the $228,400.95 Continue reading

Teleconference: Stream monitoring, trash franchises, wetlands credits, force main, quit claims, paving, and Accountability Court @ LCC 2020-04-28

Update 2020-05-10:

Update 2020-05-09: Board packet.

Update 2020-05-02: Gretchen’s notes on each agenda item.

Was this even a public meeting? The Lowndes County Commission approved everything on its agenda yesterday, even though only really perceptive citizens could figure out how to listen to the teleconference. In which they approved everything, with only one split vote, for a $45,120.00 single-source item.

[Agenda Versions]
Agenda Versions

At 2:38 PM, less than three hours before the 5:30 PM voting Lowndes County Commission Regular Session, they made this one change to the online agenda:

Old:
“The call in number is 813-769-0500 and the access code is 373-829-614#”

New:
“The call in number is 813-769-0500 and the access code is 584-852-611#”

Can you spot the change? It’s the access code.

I didn’t notice the agenda had changed, so I used the old access code. Which only started a teleconference five minutes late, and then had 18+ minutes of silence.

Gretchen did notice the agenda had changed, but there was no indication of what had changed. She carefully looked to find that different access code. It’s a good bet Gretchen was the only citizen on the conference call, because likely few other people figured that out.

But that didn’t stop the Commissioners from approving everything on the agenda.

The only split vote was for: Continue reading

Trash franchises, Stream monitoring, wetlands credits, force main, quit claims, paving, and Accountability Court @ LCC 2020-04-28

Bids or negotiations for everything except the Professional Services for Sampling, Monitoring, and Reporting of Impaired Streams, which is on the agenda for Tuesday as a single proposal from an engineering firm. The agenda sheets are on the LAKE website. We do not yet have the full agenda packet.

This April 28, 2020, Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission will be held by teleconference. There will be Citizens Wishing to Be Heard, but as usual that will be after the Commissioners vote. This is the only County Commission of the many counties I’ve been to in two states that does not let citizens speak either at the beginning of the session or on each agenda item as it comes up.

Citizens wishing to be heard should email County Clerk, Paige Dukes at pdukes@lowndescounty.com or call 229-292-6142 during normal business hours to register to speak. Please register prior to 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28th. Thank you.

Notice no Work Session is listed on the agenda, and a Commissioner tells me there will be no Work Session, which is marked in the county calendar as Cancelled.

[Map: Coleman Road, VALORGIS]
Map: Coleman Road, VALORGIS

These are the costs of the agenda items, sorted most expensive first:

Continue reading
CostWhat
$6,545,729.00 5.h. Coleman Road Force Main Replacement
$228,400.95 6.a. LMIG Resurfacing Contract
$48,079.00 5.f. Approval of Clyattstone Road-Simpson Lane ROW Purchases
$45,120.00 5.c. Professional Services for Sampling, Monitoring and Reporting of Impaired Streams
$26,246.11 5.i. Lowndes County Accountability Court Grant Approval and Cash Match
$20,000.00 5.e. Purchase of Wetland Credits for Clyattstone Road – Simpson Lane Paving Project

Videos and packet: Millage, SPLOST VIII, Wastewater, roads, bridges, mosquitos, Construction Board @ LCC 2019-08-12

County Manager Joe Pritchard said Finance Director Stephanie Black has received a millage report from the Tax Commissioner. He and she will prepare something from it for the Lowndes County Commissioners for a later meeting.

The board packet is on the LAKE website, in response to a LAKE open records request.

Below are Continue reading

$1.5 mllion on wastewater, SPLOST VIII, roads, bridges, mosquitos, Construction Board @ LCC 2019-08-12

The resolution to reimpose the SPLOST tax as SPLOST VIII, was not included with the agenda for the tax-paying public to see. LAKE has filed an open records request for the entire board packet. Perhaps the county will supply it before they vote tomorrow.

[Land Application Site]
Land Application Site

Four bids were received for LAS and Pump Station Improvements with the high bid at $3.3 million, and the low at $2.5 million, but apparently the county negotiated the low bidder, Doyle Hancock & Sons, down to $1,520,858.00. This is “for improvements to the LAS [Land Application Site, aka wastewater spray field], Bevel Creek, Francis Lake, and Coleman Road lift stations.” The LAS is between Grassy Pond and Pike Pond, a few thousand feet from the GA-FL line, in the Withlacoochee River watershed. Continue reading

Updated Packet: Lowndes County Commission @ LCC 2019-05-14

Lowndes County did supply the items missing from the May 14 and 15, 2019 board packet, on 11 June 2019, and those items are now on the LAKE website.

[Letter]
Letter

LAKE looks forward to the county putting all these packet documents on the county’s own website, along with the agenda and agenda sheets.

-jsq

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!

Packet: Lowndes County Commission @ LCC 2019-05-14

Update 2019-07-09: Missing items supplied by the county.

Here’s the mysterious Moody AFB “Helicopter Corridor and Class D Airspace” map from item 6.c. TWR-2019-01 Value Concepts, Inc., US Hwy 84 E. E-A, New 300′ Telecommunications Tower on the May 13 and 14, 2019, Lowndes County Commission agenda.

[Page 24]
Page 24

This in the agenda packet, now on the LAKE website, including files returned by the county in response to a LAKE open records request. The county supplied those files on a USB drive, for which it charged LAKE $6.65.

Missing from what the county sent: Continue reading

Videos: Tower, appointments, sewer main, boat ramp, water trails, Paddle Georgia @ LCC 2019-05-14

All three rezonings breezed through, except slightly the longest was the tabling of the proposed 300′ communications tower off of US 84 East. The tower had the most people: those sitting in the back.

Surprisingly, one of the two Authority appointments was not the incumbent. None of the candidates were introduced, and none spoke.

One Citizen spoke, me, on behalf of WWALS, thanking them and inviting them.

Commissioner Clay Griner was not present. The other four voting Commissioners unanimously approved everything, including the one tabling. At least two staff speakers were not introduced, one not named except by last name, and one never named at all.

Below are Continue reading

Videos: Tower and online packets @ LCC 2019-05-13

As expected, the longest item was about the 300′ communications tower proposed south of US 84 E. Second was bids for rotary mowers (really). And a Commissioner wanted to know what’s a blade.

Afterwards, at 9AM, was a special appearance by Tax Commissioner Rodney Cain and his staff, which at 16 3/4 minutes, took almost as long as the entire Work Session.

In between, Commissioners answered my question: Continue reading

378x872 Coleman Road along Val-Tech Road to James Road, Map, in Coleman Road force main, by John S. Quarterman, for www.l-a-k-e.org, 13 May 2019

Sewer main replacement, 2 Authority appointments, roads and rezonings @ LCC 2019-05-13

Appointments to two more Authorities with no prior public notice nor requests for applicants: the Hospital Authority and the Airport Authority.

About the Hospital Authority:

HISTORY, FACTS AND ISSUES: The term of Dr. Mary Richardson on the Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County will expire on June 1, 2019. Ms. Shirley Garland, Mrs. Elsie Napier, and Dr. Mary Margaret Richardson’s names have all been submitted for appointment.

For the Airport Authority, Anthony Payton’s term is up and he wants to be reappointed.

Lowndes County Commissioners will be hearing about a bunch of purchases and bids. Two of them are water items: Georgia Department of Transportation – TIA Project Agreement – Hightower Road/Cooper Road NE Paving and Drainage Improvements and Professional Services for Coleman Road Lift Station Force Main Replacement. Look at this about that lift station:

HISTORY, FACTS AND ISSUES: Lowndes County received a Proposal from Lovell Engineering for the engineering and construction plan preparation for Coleman Road lift station force main replacement. Coleman Road force main has experienced repeated failures and is in need of replacement. Coleman Road force main is the beginning of the main trunk line that transports waste water from the north Lowndes region to the LAS. Costs will be 9% of construction.

Lowndes County is replacing a sewer main because it has failed before. Wait, is this the same main from back in October, when Commissioners approved $99,935 to fix “The 16” force main between Coleman Road lift station and James Road”?

Coleman Road along Val-Tech Road to James Road, Map
Map: VALORGIS.

There are two transportation items: that TIA paving and drainage project, and Professional Engineering and Surveying Services for TIA Projects.

The two rezonings and the communications tower from the recent Planning Commission meeting are on the agenda.

No, we haven’t posted the LAKE videos of that Planning Commission meeting yet. Yes, we will do so soon. Meanwhile, Lowndes County has its own video equipment and editing software and could video Planning Commission meetings, and budget meetings, for that matter.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, MAY 13, 2019, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2019, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading