Tag Archives: grant

Packet: Stream monitoring, trash franchises, wetlands credits, force main, quit claims, paving, and Accountability Court @ LCC 2020-04-28

Apparently there was no legal public notice and no recording of the April teleconference meeting with the dial-in code changed less than three hours before, with $6,913,575.06 in taxpayers’ money being decided.

[Photo: Pine Grove Road Collection Center]
Photo: Pine Grove Road Collection Center

For that Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission, at which everything was approved unanimously except the one split vote on the single-source no-bid stream monitoring contract, LAKE sent an open records request for “the teleconference audio recording and the log of teleconference attendees (who dialed in, by name, or, if name is not known, by telephone number) for the April 28, 2020, Lowndes County Commission Regular Session.”

The response from the County Clerk was:

The April 28th telephone meeting was not recorded other than the minutes that were taken. Further, the program used does not record a phone log for the option utilized for this meeting. This being case, there are no records responsive to your request. I do expect the next meeting to be held in the Commission Chambers with social distancing requirements observed. This being the case, citizens will have an opportunity to attend in person which is a much better format for everyone.

Well, that’s a matter of opinion. Do you think it’s better to have to wear a mask to the Commission Chambers and risk getting infected, than to listen on the phone?

The Valdosta City Council had their meeting this Thursday on facebook live. The Madison, Florida, BOCC has been doing theirs on gotomeeting. It’s curious how the most populous county in the region can’t manage a teleconference or video meeting.

LAKE received the full board packet two days after the meeting, at 5:07 PM on Thursday, April 30, 2020, in response to an open records request. It’s on the LAKE website. We look forward to Lowndes County putting its full packet on its website along with the agenda and one-page agenda sheets per item. Many other counties in Georgia and Florida have been doing this for years.

When will the Lowndes County Commission catch up with the 21st century?

April-28-2020-Commission-Meeting-Packet

By far the biggest item was the $6,545,729.00 Coleman Road Force Main Replacement. The county apparently saved a bunch of money by removing many amounts from the bid for the county to do directly.

[Amount Removed from Bid]
Amount Removed from Bid

Curious how they didn’t do that for the sole-source no-bid $45,120.00 Professional Services for Sampling, Monitoring and Reporting of Impaired Streams. More on that in another blog post.

The county bid everything else that could be bid, including the $228,400.95 Continue reading

Teleconference: Stream monitoring, trash franchises, wetlands credits, force main, quit claims, paving, and Accountability Court @ LCC 2020-04-28

Update 2020-05-10:

Update 2020-05-09: Board packet.

Update 2020-05-02: Gretchen’s notes on each agenda item.

Was this even a public meeting? The Lowndes County Commission approved everything on its agenda yesterday, even though only really perceptive citizens could figure out how to listen to the teleconference. In which they approved everything, with only one split vote, for a $45,120.00 single-source item.

[Agenda Versions]
Agenda Versions

At 2:38 PM, less than three hours before the 5:30 PM voting Lowndes County Commission Regular Session, they made this one change to the online agenda:

Old:
“The call in number is 813-769-0500 and the access code is 373-829-614#”

New:
“The call in number is 813-769-0500 and the access code is 584-852-611#”

Can you spot the change? It’s the access code.

I didn’t notice the agenda had changed, so I used the old access code. Which only started a teleconference five minutes late, and then had 18+ minutes of silence.

Gretchen did notice the agenda had changed, but there was no indication of what had changed. She carefully looked to find that different access code. It’s a good bet Gretchen was the only citizen on the conference call, because likely few other people figured that out.

But that didn’t stop the Commissioners from approving everything on the agenda.

The only split vote was for: Continue reading

Trash franchises, Stream monitoring, wetlands credits, force main, quit claims, paving, and Accountability Court @ LCC 2020-04-28

Bids or negotiations for everything except the Professional Services for Sampling, Monitoring, and Reporting of Impaired Streams, which is on the agenda for Tuesday as a single proposal from an engineering firm. The agenda sheets are on the LAKE website. We do not yet have the full agenda packet.

This April 28, 2020, Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission will be held by teleconference. There will be Citizens Wishing to Be Heard, but as usual that will be after the Commissioners vote. This is the only County Commission of the many counties I’ve been to in two states that does not let citizens speak either at the beginning of the session or on each agenda item as it comes up.

Citizens wishing to be heard should email County Clerk, Paige Dukes at pdukes@lowndescounty.com or call 229-292-6142 during normal business hours to register to speak. Please register prior to 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28th. Thank you.

Notice no Work Session is listed on the agenda, and a Commissioner tells me there will be no Work Session, which is marked in the county calendar as Cancelled.

[Map: Coleman Road, VALORGIS]
Map: Coleman Road, VALORGIS

These are the costs of the agenda items, sorted most expensive first:

Continue reading
CostWhat
$6,545,729.00 5.h. Coleman Road Force Main Replacement
$228,400.95 6.a. LMIG Resurfacing Contract
$48,079.00 5.f. Approval of Clyattstone Road-Simpson Lane ROW Purchases
$45,120.00 5.c. Professional Services for Sampling, Monitoring and Reporting of Impaired Streams
$26,246.11 5.i. Lowndes County Accountability Court Grant Approval and Cash Match
$20,000.00 5.e. Purchase of Wetland Credits for Clyattstone Road – Simpson Lane Paving Project

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

Videos: MIDS bus system, roof cleaning, truck bypass, new lift station generator @ LCC 2019-11-12

Longest at four and a half minutes on November 12, 2019, was 6.e. Grant Re-Application for the Rural (5311)Transportation Program, in other words, the MIDS on-demand bus system; follow the link for more notes, including a question about where have the county funds for this been coming from.


Commissioner Demarcus Marshall about the MIDS bus system.

Let’s hope the Arglass project doesn’t turn out like the James Road project a decade ago, with massive road paving and road and utilities rerouting, and nothing else, given that the county just approved a grant and VLDA match of more than a million dollars for road repaving for Arglass.

The truck bypass through downtown Valdosta had some discussion about when the bypass would happen and why the county is passing an ordinance now.

Um, it’s actually a generator for emergency management that took two minutes. 6.j. Hart Road Lift Station Pump took half a minute.

And another big item at three minutes: Continue reading

Videos: Grants and bids, Law, Transportation, Water, and Roof Cleaning @ LCC 2019-11-11

The longest item at yesterday morning’s Work Session was the unscheduled 8. Reports County Manager – Recognition of Fire Safety. The whole thing took less than nine minutes. They vote tonight at 5:30 PM.

Second longest was the Solicitor General combining the two items on Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

Third longest was 7.a.Judicial and Administrative Complex Roof Cleaning

Below are Continue reading

Grants and bids, Law, Transportation, Water, and Roof Cleaning @ LCC 2019-11-11

In a session of house-cleaning (including literally), Lowndes County is updating its Revision of the County Occupation Tax Ordinance,

with detailed definitions and tax classifications for every occupation in the county.

The mysterious Joint Ordinance the Planning Commission keeps cryptically alluding to turns out to be about revising the charter of the Planning Commission to add Remerton, to note Lowndes County now handles GLPC’s budget, and other updates.

The county is applying for a Georgia Department of Transportation Local Maintenance & Improvement Grant (LMIG) for resurfacing roads, many of them in subdivisions.

[2020 LMIG Project Report]
2020 LMIG Project Report

And a GDOT grant for the MIDS on-call bus system.

The county is approving Approval of the Submittal Resolution for the CDBG-EIP Grant Application for Street Paving and Drainage Improvements to Support the Arglass Project, with $750,000 to come from CDBG-EIP funds, and the remainder of $325,591 from the Valdosta-Lowndes Development Authority. The county also has A Resolution to Support Eliminating Through Tractor Trailer Truck Traffic Downtown Valdosta. And it is fixing a misfiling of the deed for Chitty Park by transfering it to VLPRA for VLPRA to then transfer back to Lowndes County.

Sewage will be aided by a new Hart Road Lift Station Pump, and safety by Bids for a New Generator for 911.

[Electrical Demolition Plan]
Electrical Demolition Plan

[Electrical New Work Plan]
Electrical New Work Plan

Plus Bids for Lowndes County Judicial and Administrative Complex Roof Cleaning.

There are two Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) items, for the Solicitor General and for the District Attorney, and one Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) item for the Solicitor General.

Received 3:48 PM, Friday, November 8, 2019, “The agenda packet for next week’s meetings is attached. The October 21 & 22, 2019, minutes will be available Monday.” That Lowndes County Commission in response to a LAKE open records request is now on the LAKE website.

Here is the agenda. Continue reading

Videos and packet: Millage, SPLOST VIII, Wastewater, roads, bridges, mosquitos, Construction Board @ LCC 2019-08-12

County Manager Joe Pritchard said Finance Director Stephanie Black has received a millage report from the Tax Commissioner. He and she will prepare something from it for the Lowndes County Commissioners for a later meeting.

The board packet is on the LAKE website, in response to a LAKE open records request.

Below are Continue reading

$1.5 mllion on wastewater, SPLOST VIII, roads, bridges, mosquitos, Construction Board @ LCC 2019-08-12

The resolution to reimpose the SPLOST tax as SPLOST VIII, was not included with the agenda for the tax-paying public to see. LAKE has filed an open records request for the entire board packet. Perhaps the county will supply it before they vote tomorrow.

[Land Application Site]
Land Application Site

Four bids were received for LAS and Pump Station Improvements with the high bid at $3.3 million, and the low at $2.5 million, but apparently the county negotiated the low bidder, Doyle Hancock & Sons, down to $1,520,858.00. This is “for improvements to the LAS [Land Application Site, aka wastewater spray field], Bevel Creek, Francis Lake, and Coleman Road lift stations.” The LAS is between Grassy Pond and Pike Pond, a few thousand feet from the GA-FL line, in the Withlacoochee River watershed. Continue reading