Tag Archives: Gretchen Quarterman

Appoint Tax Assessors, 3 water, 3 road, 1 pandemic, 1 software @ LCC 2020-09-21

Applying this morning for Board of Tax Assessors are Mr. Gene Felts and Mrs. Gretchen Quarterman. The Lowndes County Commission will vote tomorrow (Tuesday) at 5:30 PM. That and almost $4 million in water, road, software, and fire items.

Cost What
$1,681,770.84Grading, Drainage, Base, and Paving of Clyattstone Road and Simpson Lane.
$1,417,333.98Clyattstone Water Main Extension
$489,310.00Motorola SUAII (Evergreen)
$128,075.58Firefighter Personnel Request
$41,217.6.00Foxborough Lift Station Pump
$34,169.28Drainage Improvements to Brinson Lane and Oak Hill Drive
$22,500.00FY2021 Joint Funding Agreement with USGS
$19,800.00Land Application System (LAS) Expansion Agreement
$3,834,177.28Total

Apparently paving does not solve all problems, because one of the four water items is Drainage Improvements to Brinson Lane and Oak Hill Drive to “eliminate flooding issues as a result of the paving of Oak Hill Drive.”. The other three water items are FY2021 Joint Funding Agreement with USGS for the Folsom Bridge (GA 122 Little River & Skipper Bridge (Withlacoochee River) USGS gauges, Foxborough Lift Station Pump, and Land Application System (LAS) Expansion Agreement.

In addition to Brinson Lane, there are two more road items: Grading, Drainage, Base, and Paving of Clyattstone Road and Simpson Lane (how much have they spent on that project combined so far?) and Acceptance of Infrastructure for Val Del Villas. The latter is listed as no cost, despite the Brinson Lane episode.

[Survey Plat]
Survey Plat

Also on the agenda: Grant Submission Request – COVID-19 Response Grant Application, partly to “Recruit and hire a sufficient number of poll workers and inspectors to ensure polling places are properly staffed,” , a Firefighter Personnel Request, and Motorola SUAll (Evergreen) software.

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

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2020, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2020, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Update: rezonings w. Tiger Creek, whose communications tower? @ LCC 2020-09-08

Here are the answers to these questions from Saturday:

  1. Why is the owner of the planned 300-foot communications tower off US 84 a secret?
  2. Why does the agenda sheet for REZ-2020-11 Bella Mill Plantation, 8450 Ousley Rd., next to Tiger Creek and a short distance upstream from the Withlacoochee River, make no mention of sewage or the size of the septic system relative to the number of expected attendees at the planned event facility?

[Proposed interior sketch]
Proposed interior sketch

  1. TWR 2020-02 is by Diamond Communications and AT&T.
  2. REZ-2020-11: the Department of Public Health determines septic system sizes. That Department won’t issue a septic system permit until they are satisfied.

These answers came from JD Dillard, Lowndes County Planning and Zoning Director. I called him yesterday before the Regular Session Tuesday, and he called back with the answers.

How does the Department of Health determine septic system sizes? Partly by Continue reading

Reappointment to GLPC, three rezonings w. Tiger Creek, whose communications tower? @ LCC 2020-09-07

Update 2020-09-09: Update: rezonings w. Tiger Creek, whose communications tower? @ LCC 2020-09-08

Why is the owner of the planned 300-foot communications tower off US 84 a secret? The Lowndes County Commission will deliberate on that rezoning and three more Monday morning at 8:30 AM and vote on it Tuesday at 5:30 PM, after these rezonings were heard Monday at the Planning Commission.

Why does the agenda sheet for REZ-2020-11 Bella Mill Plantation, 8450 Ousley Rd., next to Tiger Creek and a short distance upstream from the Withlacoochee River, make no mention of sewage or the size of the septic system relative to the number of expected attendees at the planned event facility? Why is there no mention of any speakers against this rezoning, even though there was at least one at the Planning Commission?

[Conceptual Plan]
Conceptual Plan
PDF

In addition to two other rezonings, the County Commission will most likely reappoint Tommy Willis to the Planning Commission.

Here is the agenda. The entire board packet for Monday and Tuesday is on the LAKE website, along with the minutes for the previous meetings two weeks ago, in response to a LAKE open records request. Thanks to new County Clerk Belinda Lovern and Sabrina Denson for speedy responses to such requests.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2020, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2020, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

  1. Call to Order Continue reading

Event facility on Tiger Creek, mystery communications tower @ GLPC 2020-08-31

Update 2020-09-05: Added to the LAKE website the files on late arrival Southern Tractor.

Lowndes County and Valdosta will hear several rezoning cases this week that were before the Planning Commission Monday. The County has a a family children partition case, an event center for weddings and such next to Tiger Creek, for which staff recommends four conditions, a 43.8 acre rezoning for Southern Tractor & Outdoors Valdosta Facility, and a 300′ communications tower for an unnamed company.

[Tiger Creek and Parcel 0017 096, Tax Assessors Map]
Tiger Creek and Parcel 0017 096, Tax Assessors Map

The GLPC board packet materials for the Lowndes County cases are on the LAKE website, thanks to new Lowndes County Clerk Belinda Lovern, in response to an open records request from LAKE.

The Lake Park and Hahira cases were already heard this week by their Councils and Mayors.

Here is the agenda. I’ve interpolated the WRPDO Site Map where I’ve got it (the county didn’t send anything for REZ-2020-12), and a Tax Assessors’ map otherwise. Continue reading

Notice: Budget Work Session @ LCC 2020-05-27

This is all we know:

[Notice]
Notice

Date: May 27, 2020

Time: 9:30 AM

Location: Board of Commissioners Administration Building

Address: 327 N. Ashley Street
2nd Floor—Multipurpose Room
Valdosta, GA 31601

Well, we know they never video these budget meetings.

-jsq

Investigative reporting costs money, for open records requests, copying, web hosting, gasoline, and cameras, and with sufficient funds we can pay students to do further research. You can donate to LAKE today!

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

Videos: Val Del rezoning, Appointments 3 Boards, Road abandonment, additions, and paving, fire dept. bids @ LCC 2020-03-09

Eighteen minutes for the whole meeting, mostly consisting of reading out the agenda sheet text for each item. The longest item was 7b. Accept Gaines Lane Quit-Claim Deeds, apparently because of a need for a title search and to prepare a plat, and who would pay for it, the county or other.

Here are the costs found in the agenda sheets for each item, most expensive first:

CostWhat
$399,414.00 Bid for a 3,000 Gallon Tanker for the Fire Department
$28,327.04 Request to Purchase New Firefighter Turnout Gear
$19,167 Solicitor-General’s Office 2020 VAWA Grant Award Activation
$4,836.00 Approval of Clyattstone Rd.-Simpson Ln. ROW Purchases
$451,744.04Total

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with a very few comments, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also: Continue reading

Videos: Hamm Estates roads, Deannexation, Rezonings, Right of Way, Software, Health Insurance, Repairs, KLVB @ LCC 2020-02-25

The longest regular item at 4 minutes on this voting Regular Session agenda was 6.b. Accept Hamm Estates Dr. into the County Road Inventory. Longer were two Citizens who spoke at the end about Keep Lowndes-Valdosta Beautiful (KLVB).

Hamm Estates

Here again are the costs found in the agenda sheets for the items, from most expensive down, with links back into the agenda.

CostWhat
$290,000.00 2020 Administrative Services Agreement with Allied Benefit Systems, Inc.
$50,433.00 Bid for Repairs to Knights Academy Road; emergency repairs for Culvert Aprons
$43,245.50 Approval of Clyattstone Rd.-Simpson Ln. ROW Purchases
$24,613.44 Microsoft Server 2019 Data Center License
$11,535.00 Approval of Clyattstone Rd.-Simpson Ln. ROW Acquisition
$419,826.94Total

The actual cost for the Clyattstone Road-Simpson Lane project is larger; more like $77,696.50 so far, before grading, base, and paving; see the LAKE notes on the preceding morning’s Work Session.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with a few notes. See also Continue reading

Videos: Appointment Development Authority, Mutual Aid, Quit Claim White Water Road @ LCC 2020-01-28

The Lowndes County Commission approved all items in four and a quarter minutes, at its Regular Session a month ago, including reappointing Teri Lupo to the Valdosta-Lowndes Development Authority. There were no other nominees.

The longest item at less than a minute was 6.a. 2020 Statewide Mutual Aid Agreement. Commissioners had no questions about that or any other item.

Lowndes County Emergency Management Director Ashley Tye

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