Tag Archives: Corey Hull

Public Transit Open House @ VLMPO 2016-06-28

Received yesterday via email:

June 28 2016 Open House Dear Stakeholders,

I am pleased to let you know that the Valdosta Urbanized Area Transit Implementation Study is well under development and it is time to share the draft recommendations with you and with the community. With your help, we reached over 500 members of the community through our online survey this Spring! The input has been very helpful in the development of the study and in fine-tuning our Pilot Shuttle Program which just received additional funding to operate through September of this year.

We will hold a Transit Implementation Study Open House from noon to 7pm on Tuesday, June 28 at the Lowndes County Judicial and Administrative Complex, 327 N. Ashley Street, Valdosta, GA 31601. We look forward to Continue reading

Live Oak bus service starts Monday 2015-07-20

How come Live Oak (pop. 6,974) in Suwannee County (43,734), Florida can do what mighty Valdosta (56,481) in Lowndes County (112,916), Georgia can’t?

Amber Vann, Suwannee Democrat, 17 July 2015, Live Oak bus route starts Monday,

The Suwannee Valley Transit Authority’s Live Oak bus route will begin operating on Monday, July 20, running continuously from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. throughout every direction of the city, Monday through Friday. The route’s unofficial stops include apartment complexes and other residential neighborhoods, public schools, grocery stores, parks, government offices, nursing homes, the library and the hospital.

The route starts at the intersection of Walker Avenue and US 90 West Continue reading

Transportation explained to Lowndes County Commission @ LCC 2015-07-13

The county asked SGRC a bunch of questions about the $15,957 public transit and trucking studies at yesterday morning’s Work Session that they didn’t ask about the $16,915 they spent two weeks ago to upgrade a water main to subsize a developer. Commissioners seemed to think VLMPO hadn’t involved them in planning the study proposals, when in fact their own Chairman and County Manager and Engineer had been involved all along, plus five county-appointed citizens.

300x225 Corey Hull, in Public Transportation and Trucking Studies Explained, by Gretchen Quarterman, 13 July 2015 County Manager Joe Pritchard said Commissioner Joyce Evans and Chairman Bill Slaughter had asked him to get the Southern Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC) to explain its proposed transportation studies. He also introduced Lisa Crib, whom he said was the new SGRC Executive Director.

Corey Hull spoke for SGRC, saying he first wanted to know their questions. Chairman Bill Slaughter asked: Continue reading

Open House at Mildred Hunter on Common Community Vision @ VLMPO 2013-10-23

“We have broadband”, said Bill Slaughter, while other people had different opinions on that and other topics Wednesday night at the Mildred Hunter Community Center.

Corey Hull introduced the session and a small but vocal group of citizens discussed all the main topic headings. He noted that there are more than twelve plans already in place in the various cities and counties in the Valdosta Lowndes Metropolitan Planning Area. Yet there were many common themes in those plans, and VLMPO was looking for other common areas in these meetings and online, and more specifically strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. If you have a community group of any size, VLMPO can come talk to it. They’ve been to the Chamber, to Rotary, to churches, etc. They expect to wrap this process up in December, with common vision and goals for the next ten or twenty years.

Matt Martin Local officials present included Matt Martin, Planning and Zoning Administrator for the City of Valdosta, and Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter. Martin didn’t say much, but Bill Slaughter was quite vocal. I thanked him for speaking up, even though I didn’t agree with everything he said. He helped clarify current county codes for stormwater retention, and Martin helped clarify the city’s codes.

As a long-time participant in local development (he’s CEO of Waller Heating and Air) Slaughter said when people are buying houses all they look at is Continue reading

Common Community Vision for Lowndes County

What do you the citizens want Lowndes County to be? Here’s a chance to speak up, so when somebody asks where were you when the decisions were being made, you don’t have to answer “lying on the couch watching television.” (Thanks to Nolen Cox for that phrase.)

Corey Hull wrote on facebook today, Help Spread the Word for the Future of Lowndes County,

My office is conducting a survey and gathering public input on Facebook (go to www.facebook.com/valdostalowndesmpo) about what they want the Lowndes County Common Community Vision to be ( www.bit.ly/LowndesCCV). So far our participation has been low. I am calling on all of you to encourage your friends, family and colleagues to spread the word and let us know what you think about the future of Lowndes County and its cities.

Over the next two months there will be future opportunities for public input so stay tuned.

Thanks for your help.

On the Southern Georgia Regional Commission’s website, Lowndes County Common Community Vision, Continue reading

Transportation plan open house @ SGRC 2012-05-22

Received 1 June 2012 about the 22 May 2012 VLMPO Open House at SGRC. The “Transportation Improvement Program, or TIP, is the short-range plan approved by the VLMPO Policy Committee that allows federal funds to be spent on various transportation projects in the region.” -jsq

I attended the transportation plan open house on the day that anyone could come from early morning until 7:00 PM and when I went at 5, I was only the sixth person who had been there all day. Corey Hull showed me and four other people the plan, answered our questions, explained the difference between this long term plan and the TSPLOST and there was a discussion about how one might go about becoming a bus services provider in the area. The amount of money allocated to the city of Valdosta for transportation is not an amount that is near what a bus system would cost, so there still will have to be other funds available to make that possible. Even though our group brought the attendance for the day up to 10 citizens, it was a huge improvement over the last open house, when NO ONE showed. Corey Hull was very helpful and had a lot of information that probably would have been fascinating to others if they had attended, but once again there was virtually no input.

-Jane F. Osborn, MSSW
Valdosta, GA

According to projects submitted for T-SPLOST, a bus system would cost about $7.5 million (startup and a few years run-time), but that got cut first pass, while $12 million for widening one road is still in the T-SPLOST list. I’m told that public transportation is not an issue around here. If people think it is, maybe they should show up at meetings like the one SGRC organized about the other transportation plan and say they want a bus system.


Videos @ SGRC 2011-09-19

Almost all the speakers from Lowndes County or Valdosta opposed T-SPLOST at the 19 September 2011 public hearing, as you can see in these videos.

Some of the videos have already been blogged separately, along with some closely related posts:

And finally, beware! Most of the discussion in these videos is about specific lists of non-discretionary projects. There’s also 25% of the T-SPLOST money that could be spent on discretionary projects, which are already being specified by the local governments, and which may include many of the same projects that were on the original unconstrained project list but got bumped off the constrained list.

Here’s a video playlist:

T-SPLOST Public Meeting, Southern Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC),
Corey Hull, Travis Harper,
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 19 September 2011.
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).


Aviation Projects, and Valdosta is a substantial donor –Larry Hanson @ T-SPLOST 2011-09-19 @ SGRC 2011-09-19

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.

Here's the video:

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).


Why did old US 41 N increase from $8 M to $12 M? —John S. Quarterman @ SGRC 2011-09-19

I asked why the Old US 41 North widening project changed from $8 million on the unconstrained list to $12 million on the constrained list, an increase of $4 million or 50% when the description did not change? The answer indicates GDOT and local governments want to drive development north in the county, leaving pedestrians and bicyclists stranded yet having to pay.

Corey Hull responded:

Halfway through we received new cost estimates….

GDOT did the cost estimates, in cooperation with the local government that was responsible for that.

A state employee told me after the meeting that GDOT raised some estimates because it thought the local government, in this case the Lowndes County Commission and staff, didn’t put in enough to cover the project. I don’t know whether GDOT was figuring by Atlanta costs or not…. At least the cost didn’t go up further in the final project list; I just checked and it’s still $12 million.

Corey elaborated that some projects increased and some decreased. I asked him which ones did which. He said he’d have to go back and compare. Later he helped me produce a list of comparisons of costs of Lowndes County projects, which shows that one went down by 30% and three went up by 50% or more. One, RC11-000099 St. Augustine at Norman Intersection Improvements, went up by 131.5%.

That $12 million for widening less than 3 miles of one road is more than one item that was in the unconstrained list but cut from the constrained list: $7.5 million for a bus system, with three bus lines that would connect Wiregrass Tech, Five Points, Downtown, Moody, East Side, South Side, West Side, and the Mall. A bus system recommended by the Industrial Authority’s Community Assessment to aid in employee attendance, industry recruitment, and workforce.

You could probably even start up a substantial commuter rail system using existing freight line tracks for less than $12 million. Even though GDOT apparently only believes in roads and bridges, busses and trains are actually more cost-effective, especially for lower-income people. The same lower-income people who will be disproportionately taxed by T-SPLOST as a percentage of their income.

Instead, the description for the Old US 41 North project admits the county is driving Continue reading

Gasoline tax? —Roy Taylor @ SGRC 2011-09-19

Roy Taylor pointed out gas taxes are higher in Florida, and:

The people who use the gas pay the tax.

Then he told a story about a woman he knows who can't afford T-SPLOST.

Yes, he seemed to be proposing a gasoline tax to pay for transportation projects, an idea which I've been floating for some time. That's how Eisenhower paid for the Interstate Highway System: gasoline and diesel fuel taxes.

Here's the video:

Gasoline tax? —Roy Taylor
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).