Tag Archives: DCA

Videos: Day 2, Planning, Lowndes County Commission @ LCC 2018-02-20

These videos are for those of you who have jobs, or responsibilities, which prevent you from taking random days or hours off at a time. Commissioner Marshall was absent from the second day of the retreat because he has a job which does not allow him the flexibility of daytime hours off. (The first day of the retreat was on Presidents Day.)

The topics of discussion ranged from the ever popular litter and trash collection, to special tax districts, fire and emergency response, animal control and the animal shelter, and one of my favorites, electronic records. Most presentations were made either by the county manager or clerk but the current Deep South Solid Waste Authority Chairman Kevin Beals was first up to talk trash.

Below are links to each LAKE video of Day 2, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the LAKE videos of Day 1 and Continue reading

How to read Comprehensive Plan documents

I’m always getting a civics lesson, learning more and more about how our local and state governments work. Most recently, I had the opportunity to have explained two documents related to the Lowndes County Comprehensive Plan: the Short Term Work Projects (STWP) and the Report of Accomplishments (ROA). In the spirit of information exchange, I share what I learned with you.

The state of Georgia requires a Comprehensive Plan and collects and approves them through the Department of Community Affairs (DCA). The current plans for all of Georgia are available at the DCA Planning Site.

The current STWP documents that are being reviewed locally are the projects that the local governments and agencies expect to actively work on in the next five years. The ROA documents report on what was done in the past five years: what was completed, or will no longer be pursued. Many municipalities and counties file separate reports. Locally, because there is significant cooperation among the cities and Lowndes County there is one document with all the projects included and a place that indicates which agency is participating in the project. However, their input documents are filed separately, and LAKE has collected them on the LAKE web pages. Also, each local municipality holds its own public hearings.

Reading the STWP and ROA can be a bit tricky but once I understood the format, the process became much easier. The overall topics are prescribed by the state and are in general categories like “Population”, “Economic Development”, “Housing” and “Land Use”. There are sub-categories in each of the ten major categories, like “Secure High-Wage Jobs” and “Address Workforce Adequacy” in the “Economic Development” major category. Then, under each of these items are one or more specific projects that will be done in the next five years to help achieve each goal.

One reason the draft STWP is complex is that it redlines projects that were performed in the previous five years and are now being removed or modified for a variety of reasons. Many projects were completed, some moved from one stage (investigate) to another (implement or market), and still others simply lacked the staff or funding resources to continue being pursued.

The ROA document is in a similar format but the focus of it is to report the status of the STWP for the previous five years. An Explanation Column gives details on the status of each previous project. For example, it says that the “Feed the Elderly Senior Citizen Nutrition Program” has been discontinued because “Budgetary constraints have limited Lowndes County’s role in this supporting action.”.

The STWP and ROA documents are meant to be read as a pair, giving the reader an understanding of where we have been, where we are going and how we are going to get there as a community.