Tag Archives: Economy

Videos: farewell Jason Davenport, approval limits, CALEA, personal care home @ LCC 2018-09-11

The county held a ceremony for departing Lowndes County Planner Jason Davenport. I asked the person sitting in his former seat, Engineering/Planning Technician Molly Stevenson, if she was confirmed yet. She would only say it was confirmed that she was sitting there right then.

They also had a 911 CALEA Re-Accreditation Presentation and the Chairman recognized Leadership Lowndes.

Citizens Bob Harlan and Fred E. Blanton Jr complained about road conditions. I thanked Utilities Director Steve Stalvey for sending information about recent Lowndes County sewage spills (two in July), and I thanked him advance for sending the NPDES-permit-required followup testing (not yet received).

On the REZ-2018-16 Stovall rezoning, the applicant revealed the reason for the previous restriction when Continue reading

Videos: Naylor Boat Ramp, approval limits, CALEA, personal care home @ LCC 2018-09-10

News about the Naylor Boat Ramp in an Engineering Projects Report! Chad McLeod also reported about the 911 center, the North Lowndes Soccer Complex, the fire warehouse classroom, the animal shelter, and the courthouse renovation project, all still to be completed from SPLOST VII funds, which run out next year. Even with that three-and-a-half-minute special engineering report, the whole meeting took ten minutes Monday morning.

Also not on the agenda, HR has a new employee. Also there will be a new traffic signal.

Should the County Manager and the Finance Director be able to approve Continue reading

CALEA, personal care home, and county manager approval limit @ LCC 2018-09-10

Should the County Manager and the Finance Director be able to approve 2.5 times as much in dollar value on budgeted items as they currently can?

Also a rezoning to reconfigure for two parcels and another to permit personal care homes, plus a 911 CALEA Re-Accreditation Presentation are on the agenda for 8:30 AM this morning at the Work Session and tomorrow evening’s voting Regular Session.

2015-03-09 rezoning for Stovall property

The rezoning REZ-2018-16 Stovall, 6002 N. Oak St. Ext. to permit personal care homes is “as a result of a potential buyer’s interest in developing the property into an assisted living facility”. This same Tuesday, the same property is on ZBOA’s agenda for a variance on the buffer condition.

The 2015-03-10 agenda for the earlier rezoning from R-21 to C-G, Well & Other did not say anything specifically about private care facilities, nor did the Continue reading

Church, manufacturing, subdivisions, Hahira annexation @ GLPC 2018-08-27

The Hahira annexation and rezoning from the Lowndes County Commission meeting two weeks ago (and see comment below) was on the agenda for the Greater Lowndes Planning Commission (GLPC) last night, along with another subdivision, a church expansion, and some industry, in Valdosta and Lowndes County. I did not go, and Gretchen is out of the county, so there is no LAKE video.

You may ask yourself, as I do: why doesn’t the county video GLPC meetings? Or the city of Valdosta? Both have the facilities to do so.

Hahira annexation and rezoning HA-2018-03, HA-2018-02
On the LAKE website, Hahira annexation and rezoning HA-2018-03, HA-2018-02.

LAKE received this comment yesterday on the Hahira case:

Here is more info on this project which I am proud to bring to the community and which I believe will be a wonderful addition to it that all will feel proud to have. It ties into the community roots, it honors those that came before, and it meets a need today in north Lowndes County and does so in a wall all can feel proud of. I am a concerned citizen like anyone else and that is a big part of why I have gone out of my way with my engineer and planners to create something not only compliant, but that goes well above the line to bring something truly beautiful, that reflects both my family and my community in a way I can hold my up about when I walk around the community. Thank you for your interest. Sincerely, Chris Connell http://www.mcnealestates.com

LAKE does not have a position on this case. We will be happy to publish other comments for or against.

Greater Lowndes Planning Commission
Lowndes County City of Valdosta City of Dasher City of Hahira City of Lake Park
REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
AGENDA

Monday, August 27, 2018 * 5:30 P.M. * Public Hearing
Lowndes County South Health District Administrative Office
325 West Savannah Avenue

Continue reading

Lowndes County rolled back millage @ LCC 2018-08-17

As Lowndes County Finance Director Stephanie Black always reminds everybody, of the total 8.814 county millage, 1 mil goes to the Development Authority, and 1.25 mils to Valdosta-Lowndes Parks and Recreational Authority. Here is a table from the PDF of her presentation slides.

Property Tax Example
City of Valdosta ResidentUnincorporated Resident
Property Value$200,000$200,000
Assessed Value (40%)$80,000$80,000
Homestead Exemption$(6,000)$(6,000)
Net Taxable Base$74,000$74,000
Tax Calculation:
Lowndes County — 8.814 PY 8.974$652$652
Development Authority — 1.00$74$74
Parks
& Recreation Authority — 1.25$93$93
Lowndes County Schools — 16.541 PY 16.839$1,224
City of Valdosta — 8.001 PY 8.001$592
Valdosta City Schools — 16.980 PY 16.980$1,257
Total Estimated Taxes$2,668$2,043

Since she made that table, Valdosta actually lowered its millage to 7.916, which in the above example would mean $50.32 less per year, for an example of how little difference these minor millage rollbacks or increases actually mean to taxpayers. The Valdosta Board of Education wants to increase its tax rate (but not its millage).

Last year the Lowndes County Commission voted on the millage during a Regular Session, Tuesday, August 22, 2017.

This year Continue reading

Solar and wind can power Georgia

Solar power is here right now. Georgia is #10 in the nation (up from #22 in 2017) by solar deployed (1,552.98 MW) and #7 in projected growth, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). That’s ahead of Florida, but still behind much farther north New Jersey and Massachusetts, which have less sun.

Graph: Top 10 Solar Power States, SEIA, Paul Horn, Inside Climate News
Graph: Top 10 Solar Power States, SEIA, Paul Horn, Inside Climate News

This Georgia solar improvement is despite Southern Company and Georgia Power cutting back on renewable energy investment last year and a hostile federal administration.

Graph: Georgia's Solar Boom, SEIA and Paul Horn, InsideClimateNews
Graph: Georgia’s Solar Boom, SEIA and Paul Horn, InsideClimateNews

Sheer economies of scale continue decreasing solar prices and driving more solar installations, with more jobs. Continue reading

Videos: Grants, Budget, Tax, Bonds, Parks, Land, Water, Waste, 911 @ LCC 2018-06-26

The most interesting items were not on the agenda of the Regular Session two weeks ago of the Lowndes County Commission Work Session. The County Engineer had One more thing: Loch Laurel Bridge Work and Closure 7/16 – 7/23, Commissioner Demarcus Marshall reminded everyone the Georgia hands-free driving law was going into effect, and the Chairman announced swearing in of the newly un-privatized Probation Officers the following morning.

The longest scheduled item at almost 3 minutes was New Consoles For 911 Dispatchers, followed by Contract With Parks And Recreation Authority, because both had questions from Commissioners.

The two grant items added the previous morning, for Accountability Court and DUI Court, sailed through, as did the Francis Lake Lift Station Repair and the LAS Storage Pond Improvements.

Below are Continue reading

Videos: Budget, Tax, Bonds, Parks, Land, Water, Waste, 911 @ LCC 2018-06-25

Videos of the Lowndes County Commission Work Session two weeks ago. See agenda post for background. The budget got no comments from Commmissioners.

County Manager Joe Pritchard asked for addition of two grant agenda items, for Accountability Court and DUI Court. Proponents of each spoke, and both items were added to the agenda for the next day’s Regular Session.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with a few notes, especially about the Hotel/Motel Tax and the still-mysterious Wisconsin Public Finance Authority Bond Issue, a rare verbal appearance by Joyce Evans on Continue reading

Budget, Tax, Bonds, Parks, Land, Water, Waste, 911 @ LCC 2018-06-25

A busy morning’s agenda starts with approving a new annual budget and related hotel and motel taxes. Plus a Contract with Valdosta Continuing Land Bank Authority.

Parks and Rec is negotiating a $3 million loan from Ameris Bank for improvements to Freedom Park and wants the county to guarantee its 1.25 mil tax base.

Utilities wants about $20,000 for impellers and wear rings for the pumps in the Francis Lake Lift Station and about $275,000 to improve the Land Application Site (LAS), where they spray sewer waste onto a field which they then rent out for hay production (the county does not have a wastewater treatment plant). See also WWALS blog post.

The mysterious out-of-state apartment bonds actually get an explanation this time:

The Board of Commissioners is requested to adopt the attached revised Resolution approving the issuance of bonds by a Wisconsin Public Finance Authority. A portion of the proceeds of the bonds will be used for a project located on Old Statenville Road. The project is a 204-unit multi-family affordable housing development known as Brittany Woods & Park Chase Apartments.

1110 and 1150 Old Statenville Road, Map
1150 Old Statenville Road, Parcel 0159D 014,

The reason for this revised Resolution is Continue reading

Budget, LMIG, tractor, truck, 3 sewer items @ VCC 2018-06-21

On the Valdosta City Council agenda this Thursday, a budget public hearing (no agenda nor draft budget linked for that), and a bunch of bids, including three about the sewer system, ioncluding sewer lines on Iola Drive, manhole rehabilitation, and the Cured-In-Place-Pipe (CIPP) Lining Project. Here’s the Invitation to Bid for CIPP.

Maybe this kind of Sewer System Imprrovements is why Valdosta has not had a major spill in a hear and a half, while Tifton continues to spill. Also, over on the Flint River, Albany recently spilled quite a bit. Don’t worry: if Valdosta spills again, you’ll hear about it.

AGENDA
REGULAR MEETING
OF THE VALDOSTA CITY COUNCIL
5:30 PM Thursday, June 21, 2018
COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL

Continue reading