Received today; he sent it to all the Commissioners. -jsq
To the commission on the proposed idea of road abandonment on County
On the morning of 2/25/13 after the county commission’s morning work
session, my wife and I spoke with Joyce Evans and Bill Slaughter on
some of our concerns and new found technical information about road
abandonment, Georgia state waterways, and what the county and state
are expected to protect.
During our conversation we were told that for unexplained legal
reasons the county would have to give the road back to the land
owner. At this time my thoughts and questions come back to: Why if
for legal reasons do we have to give the land back or away, and why
are we even having to have a public hearing on this matter, if the
public has no say?
The good news: they didn’t close the road to Hotchkiss Crossing
at the Alapaha River.
They tabled it until their next meeting, which is in two weeks,
26 February 2013. Video will follow tomorrow, in which you will
see the room was packed, mostly with people opposed to the road closing,
some from as far away as Tifton.
All concerned now have two weeks to absorb all the new information
and work out a solution.
Below is what I sent to the Lowndes County Commission at
Commissioner Joyce Evans’ request before the meeting tonight,
followed by a bit more information.
Subject: River Corridor Protection Plan
Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2013 16:49:50 -0500
Dear Commissioners and County Planner,
When I was talking to Joyce Evans just now, I mentioned the
100 foot natural vegetative buffer state law requires
local governments to establish next to perennial rivers.
Here is a summary of the state law, the definition it contains,
the GA EPD rules, and some notes on the relevant parts of
the Lowndes County Comprehensive Plan.
Received Monday; she sent it to all the Commissioners; I added a few links. -jsq
To the Lowndes County Commission:
My name is April Huntley, and I have lived in Naylor for over 13
years. I have used the boat ramp at the end of Old State Rd. that
gives access to the Alapaha River for most of those years. Until
yesterday, when I spoke to Phillip Connell, I didn’t know I was
trespassing when I swam in the river. I thought this was public
access. I thought this belonged to Lowndes County.
I thought about this some more and questions rose up in my mind. Why
hadn’t the game wardens and sheriff deputies that came to check the
area at times notified me and others we were trespassing? Why would
Lowndes County not claim their ONLY boat ramp to the Alapaha River
for the benefit of their residents?
that despite what the tax assessor has on their website and in their
records, their attorney viewed the deeds showing Phillip Connell
bought the property from Dr. Acree 2 or 3 years ago. His lawyer (I’m
assuming Mr. Connell’s) filed something wrong and that’s why it
isn’t showing up with the tax assessor. The story when
I spoke to
Bill Slaughter, Commission Chairman, Friday afternoon was that we
need to prove ownership because he and Commissioner Evans had walked
the property with Phillip Connell. Mr. Connell says he owns both
sides of the road.
So from Friday afternoon to
Monday morning deeds have been found to
prove ownership of the land? And these deeds contradict tax records?
So is it 2 or 3 years? Doesn’t a deed have an exact date on it? Who
has been paying the taxes for the last 2 or 3 years? Wouldn’t
somebody notice if they were paying taxes on land they didn’t own
for 2 or 3 years?
In light of these new discoveries, the people immediately request
information on what exactly the lawyer filed wrong which caused
Phillip Connell’s supposed property along Old State Rd. not to show
up in the tax assessor’s records, the exact date Mr. Connell
purchased the property from Dr. Acree which gives him ownership of
the land on both sides of Old State Rd. and the deeds. Most
importantly the people request to know when and why Lowndes County
lost the boat ramp to private property.
Oh, one more question, did the state of Georgia build the boat ramp
with prison labor?
Commissioners, I respectfully request this information and that you
deny the proposed abandonment of .17 miles of County Road 16, Old
State Rd., leading to the Alapaha River.
Received Monday; he sent it to all the Commissioners. -jsq
To the Lowndes County Commission:
My name is Brett Huntley. I have lived in Naylor Georgia for 13
years. I am also a business owner in Lowndes County.
In the past 13 years I have used the location at the end of Old
State Rd. as an entry point to the Alapaha River for all kinds of
outdoor recreation. An example of these things are fishing, camping,
boating, hiking, canoeing and family get togethers.
This location is the only public access point to the Alapaha River
in Lowndes County. It would deeply sadden me to lose this place that
I have grown to love over the years.
I would also like to not only suggest keeping this location open to
the public, but ask the county to consider spending money on it. It
would benefit the county to fix this location so it can be easier
maintained and the public can access it.
I would also like to point out that this time the idea of shutting
down the entry point to the river has been a lot more under the
radar. I would like to know why a counter has not been placed across
the road to show proof of how many people use this location. Also
why was the sign notifying the public of this matter not put up
until the last minute?
Received Monday; he sent it to all the Commissioners; I added a few links. -jsq
To the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners:
My name is Travis Bennett, and I’ve lived in Naylor for 9 years. One
of the reasons I moved to Naylor was the river.
When I moved here
there were picnic tables and trash cans down there. It was really
nice to have a picnic and family get together!
I live less than a mile from the boat ramp. My step son, Levi
Giddens, and I go down and fish all the time. He loves fishing that
I’ve worked with
the local DNR officer, Keith, on the litter and
unruly people. In the past couple of years the river has stayed a
lot cleaner. So I’m not sure why it is being said it is trashed down
I am disappointed that it took until late last week to get the
public hearing sign up. I was at
the last hearing on this and spoke
with Joyce Evans. She stated the river should remain open. I hope
she still thinks the same thing. I just wanted to state a few things
I was thinking about.
Received Sunday; he sent it to all the Lowndes County Commisioners. -jsq
My name is Christopher L. Graham I’m a citizen of Naylor. I am
concern about the river shutting down to the public. Because it is
the only public access to the Alapaha river in Lowndes county.
Because then we have to go to lake land in Lanier county to there
public access boat ramp to put in or go to Stateville in Echols
county to there DNR public access boat ramp to put in. The
Hotchkiss Bridge or now people are calling it Hotchkiss landing is a
good check point for the fisherman. I’m concern because there is
not many public a ccess on this Alapaha river. Well if Naylor ever
expands there wouldn’t be any water recreation use in this
community. That is not good for our community. People all over this
area use this public access for fishing & they bring there kids and
there family together to have a family picnic, swimming. People go
down there to relax and listen to the water hitting the rocks and
hear the birds making different noise. This is a nice place to take
picture of the nature. The Hotchkiss Bridge is a top location for
bird watching in the State of Georgia. Birding enthusiasts
interested in experiencing the many wonderful bird families in the
surrounding areas of Hotchkiss Bridge. The Hotchkiss Bridge has a
historic value to our community. It use to be the old major highway
to go to the next town. Many of our community had there ancestry use
that old Hotchkiss Bridge. I know the bridge has been gone for many
years. Now it’s a public boat ramp. The Hotchkiss Bridge has history
and It would be a good asset for Lowndes county to have….
P.S. I would like a park down there and a sign that tell the history
of the old Hotchkiss Bridge.
Boating, walking, birding, hunting, fishing: our watersheds provide
us all that, plus what goes in upstream comes out in your drinking
water. Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, and Little Rivers: WWALS
Seminar tomorrow in Tifton. Good talks, good food, good water. Y’all come!
10:00 – 10:20
10:20 – 10:35
Karen Hendrix, WATER MATTERS: Co-Chair
Focus & Function
10:35 – 11:10
Veteran Conservation Lobbyist
at the GA General Assembly
The Political Economy of Water
Conservation in Georgia
11:10 – 11:45
Jesslyn Shields, Georgia River Network
River Protection Success Stories in Georgia
11:45 – 11:55
11:55 – 12:10
Water Trails: Conservation and
12:10 – 12:45
Best Management Practices for
12:45 – 1:00
University of Georgia
SEEDN smartphone app
1:00 – 2:00
and Pot Luck Lunch
2:00 – 4:00pm
Walk to the Arboretum and
Practice SEEDN App
WWALS Watershed Seminar
10:00 am Saturday
22 September, 2012
2360 Rainwater Road
University of Georgia
Coalition is an Advocacy
Organization working for
of the Willacoochee,
and Little River Systems
watershed in south
Georgia and north Florida
monitoring, and citizen
Introducing WWALS Board
Dave Hetzel — President
John S. Quarterman — VP
Brittney Hull — Treasurer
Nathan Wilkins — Secretary
Karan A. Rawlins
Pot Luck Lunch
All Attendees, please bring
your favorite dish to share
WWALS is Providing
the Main Course
In the spirit of conservation
please bring your own set up:
Plate, fork, knife, spoon, cup