Tag Archives: Economy

Half-way house for ex-offenders, Country Club tower, six Appointments @ VCC 2020-02-10

Postponed from last Thursday due to weather, the Valdosta City Council meets tonight, to consider some rather contentious cases from the Planning Commission, and to make a bunch of appointments, plus some bids for equipment.

CU-2020-02 Natalie Bailey, 4019 Forrest Run Circle - Halfway House @ GLPC 2020-01-27
Photo: Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, CU-2020-02 Natalie Bailey, 4019 Forrest Run Circle – Halfway House @ GLPC 2020-01-27.

This Valdosta City Council bid item is interesting:

4.d) Consideration of bids for a Trailer-Mounted Mobile Televising Unit for the Utilities Department (Bid No. 27-19-20 A).

Maybe with that Valdosta Utilities can see what’s happening with equipment they leave in a park overnight, for example maybe in McKey Park after today’s 200-gallon sewage spill.

Here is the agenda. It says February 6, but the Valdosta calendar entry for today says “RESCHEDULED – Valdosta City Council Meeting, Monday, February 10, 2020 – 5:30pm” See also Continue reading

Videos: New Valdosta Mayor, Mayor Pro-Tem, and $2 million budget surplus while record raw sewage was spilling @ VCC 2020-01-09

A month ago at the Valdosta City Council we learned that Valdosta has a $2,410,000 budget surplus.

Valdosta municipal audit and budget surplus
5b) Presentation of the Municipal Audit for Fiscal Year 2019

Maybe they could spend some of that to help fix the well and river testing costs downstream on the Withlacoochee River of Valdosta’s record 7.5 million gallons of raw sewage spill into Sugar Creek, which has taken two months to maybe finally get diluted down the Withlacoochee River, twice entering Florida, with three Florida river advisories, and with Georgia warning signs on the Withlacoochee River downstream of Sugar Creek by Lowndes County and by WWALS (but not by Valdosta).

One City Council member tells me that audit doesn’t mean Valdosta has $2 million cash lying around. But they do have several hundred thousand unspent.

Maybe they could also budget some of that surplus to help fix the stigma, the decades-long reputational damage to all our rivers, caused by Valdosta’s chronic sewage spills. That would involve for example water quality testing or paying for testing downstream on the Withlacoochee River and doing marketing.

Four Citizens spoke at the end of the meeting: Continue reading

New Mayor and Mayor Pro-Tem @ VCC 2020-01-09

Here is the agenda and a few pictures of the first Valdosta City Council meeting of 2020, including the installation of new Mayor Scott James Matheson and new Mayor Pro-Tem Tim Carroll.

[Seldom seen this full]
Seldom seen this full

A few City Council members were re-elected and took the oath of office again; none are new. LAKE videos will follow. Continue reading

Videos: Clyattstone Road Paving, Bids, Lease, Appointments, nothing for Fire Dept. @ LCC 2020-01-14

Maybe it was “custom fit” that caused Commissioner Clay Griner to ask for postponement of approval of purchase of firefighting equipment until after the county’s retreat. All five Commissioners voted for tabling. More detail below in the notes on that item.

Bob Dewar has discovered the county wants an 80-foot right of way to pave Clyattstone Road, “What we do not want is a highway. It’s a quaint county road.” Well, that’s not why the county paves roads. More in the item notes below.

Everything else was passed with little or no discussion.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the Continue reading

Videos: Water quality testing, Bids, Leaase, Appointments @ LCC 2020-01-13

Not on the agenda, Chairman Bill Slaughter at the end of the meeting said Utilities Director Steve Stalvey had been testing water quality on the Withlacoochee River. On December 31, bacterial counts were acceptable. But on January 6, 2020, counts were quite high, so the county made and posted some warning signs at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line (GA 31) Boat Ramps.

Here is one of the county’s signs, at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, with a sign by WWALS Watershed Coalition (Suwannee Riverkeeper) at the bottom of the other pole with Continue reading

Bids $1.4 million, insurance $1 million, and $0.4 million lease plus two Appointments @ LCC 2020-01-13

A million dollars for Paving – Quail Hollow Acres Subdivision and $0.4 million for Bid for a 3,000 Gallon Tanker for the Fire Department. Another million for 2020 Stop Loss Insurance Coverage through Symetra Life Ins. Company. A quarter million to relocate utilities at I-75 Exit 2 will be paid by GDOT. And a million in income for a Lease Agreement with the State Properties Commission for the Division of Family & Children Services (DFACS).

[Page 60]
Page 60

Molly Deese wants to be reappointed to the Valdosta Lowndes County Conference Center and Tourism Authority. Incumbents almost always get reappointed if they say they want to, and the chances of them not reappointing the Vice President and General Manager of Wild Adventures is pretty slim. Ditto Dr. Frances Brown on the Lowndes County Board of Health.

They’re setting the Special Assessment interest rate “for all paving and utilityassessments that are not paid off within the initial 90-day phase. Unpaid assessments revert to installment agreements which are to be paid over a period of up to ten years.” New rate: 6.75% for 2020, down from 7.50% for 2019.

They’re setting qualifying fees to run for office, primary or general election: Continue reading

Cities and Lowndes County settle service delivery dispute @ LCC 2020-01-08

Update 2020-01-10: Not quite settled. Valdosta still has to agree to it.

These must be golden words indeed, to have been worth the hundreds of thousands of legal fees expended over them:

  1. In regards to water and sewer services:

    The Parties’ current water and sewer service areas are delineated on the service area maps attached to the DCA Forms for water and sewer services approved herewith.

    All existing intergovernmental agreements of the Parties regarding the provision of water and sewer services shall remain in effect.

    Any request for an extraterritorial extension shall be negotiated by the requesting Party and the affected Party. Approval of the affected Party shall not be unreasonably withheld.

The wording is “based on trust,” said Commissioner Clay Griner. “Where’s the document?” responded Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker? “It’s on your ipad,” clarified Chair Bill Slaughter.

As the County Clerk proceeded to hand out paper copies, Griner elaborated:

And it’s all based on trust. It’s us trusting, the County Commission trusting the City Council, whichever municipality it is, to do the right thing. The city council has to trust the County Commission to do the right thing. And the citizens to trust all of us to sit down and do the right thing.

After the county didn’t put anything for the citizens to see on the county website about this Wednesday morning meeting until Continue reading

Videos: Roads, rezoning, sales tax, Sunday alcohol, and Troupville River Camp @ VCC 2019-12-05

Other than the three Awards and Presentations, the longest agenda item was 5.a. Alcohol Ordinance Revision (Brunch Bill), which had already been approved by a referendum of the voters. On implementing it, all voted aye except one.

Almost as long was 7.b. Request for letter of support by WWALS for the Troupville River Camp project. Valdosta City Manager Mark Barber described the project and the situation. In Citizens To Be Heard (CBTH), WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman thanked Council for approving the letter.

The first speaker in CTBH asked for the city to rebuild streets in the Highland subdivision. He said there had been insufficient engineering and lack of maintenance of streets, including for water flow.

Unfortunately, can’t really make out what the pair of second speakers were asking for.

Below are LAKE videos of each item, followed by Continue reading

Videos: End-of-calendar-year wrapup and Remerton SPLOST Resolution @ LCC 2019-12-09

Remerton can’t use SPLOST VI funds for an office building, since the old mill building intended for that has been torn down. That was the longest item in the Lowndes County Commission Work Seesion of December 9, 2019: 7. Reports – County Manager – Remerton SPLOST Resolution.

Then Commissioner Clay Griner moved to go into Executive Session to discuss personnel. Chairman Bill Slaughter reminded him the Commission has only one employee. Griner agreed, and they went into Executive Session. The one employee is the County Manager.

They breezed through everything else their last meeting of calendar year 2019.

Below are LAKE videos of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the Continue reading

Packet: End-of-calendar-year wrapup @ LCC 2019-12-09

In its last meeting of calendar year 2019, the Lowndes County Commission had many items to wrap up, as you can see in the board packet, on the LAKE website. We don’t know why the county sent this packet in black and white.

LAKE videos of the Work Session and Regular Session will follow.

[WRPDO Site Map]
WRPDO Site Map

LAKE sent an open records request Continue reading