Tag Archives: infrastructure

Videos: Budget, Tax, Sewage Pump Station, Road Abandonment @ LCC 2017-06-27

They unanimously approved everything except the one withdrawn item, and except for the Executive Session, the whole thing took 9 minutes. They meet again 8:30 AM Monday morning 24 July 2017.

Below are links to each LAKE video of the 27 June 2017 Lowndes County Commission Regular Session, with a very few notes, followed by a video playlist. See also the LAKE videos of the previous morning’s Work Session including the Zika Presentation by Ken Lowery; and the agenda.

Videos: Budget, Tax, Sewage Pump Station, Road Abandonment, Zika @ LCC 2017-06-26

Tonight at 5:30 PM they vote on what they discussed yesterday morning at the Lowndes County Commission. But you won’t hear the Zika Presentation by Ken Lowery; that was only in the Work Session. It was by far the longest item, at seven minutes, longer than all the rest of the meeting, which took less than six minutes. The second longest item at almost a minute and a half was abandonment of a portion of Ponce de Leon Trail (CR 374).

You will see them adopt the Fiscal Year 2018 budget. See the previous post for more background about the budget requests that the county almost all denied.

Below are Continue reading

Budget, Tax, Sewage Pump Station, Road Abandonment, Zika @ LCC 2017-06-26

They’re going to adopt the county budget Tuesday, after talking about it this morning at 8:30 AM, after complaining that nobody showed up at a budget hearing they didn’t announce. Also after refusing budget requests due to revenue continuing down for several years, and not being willing to adjust taxes.

The VDT summarized, Thomas Lynn, VDT, 23 May 2017, County Manager: Proposed budget austere; Most new funding requests denied. And Thomas Lynn, 22 June 2017, Public absent from county budget hearing. No wonder, since the county didn’t even post the meeting online until that same morning, with no agenda. The VDT wasn’t there most of the time, but Gretchen was, with the LAKE video camera.

LAKE video by Gretchen Quarterman of Harrison Tillman and Stephanie Black about Budget at the Lowndes County Annual Planning Meeting Day 1 @ LCC 2017-02-16
Photo: Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE of Harrison Tillman and Stephanie Black about Budget at the Lowndes County Annual Planning Meeting Day 1 @ LCC 2017-02-16

Gretchen also videoed Continue reading

Videos: 3 no-bid lift station pumps, BHDD Appointment, USGS GA 122 Little River gage @ LCC 2016-09-27

Citizen Delores Matchett wanted to know why Howell Lane isn’t paved when all the streets around it are; she mentioned several new subdivisions. She said Commissioners had no idea how fast people drive on that dirt road.

Commissioner Demarcus Marshall noted (as a different Commissioner did Monday morning) that the three lift station pumps are no-bid. The agenda sheets for them said because of some unexplained county policy.

Below are links to each LAKE video, followed by a video playlist. See also the LAKE videos of yesterday morning’s Work Session and the agenda.

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Videos: 8.5 minutes, Appointment to BHDD, USGS GA 122 Little River gage, 3 lift station pumps @ LCC 2016-09-26

They vote Tuesday night at 5:30 PM. In these LAKE videos of Monday morning’s 8.5 minute Work Session, you can see they are buying three new lift station pumps, and for each: “This pump has not been bid due to it being a sole source item in accordance with the County’s standards and specifications.” One commissioner did ask about that. Where can we see these no-bid standards and specifications? In other water news, they are likely to approve the annual renewal of the USGS Little River GA 122 stream gauge, which they started paying for after the 2009 floods.

In transportation, Continue reading

Internet access lunacy maybe partly corrected by Google Fiber

Slower and more expensive than the rest of the world: U.S. Internet access doesn’t have to be that way. Bob knows about our Internet issues here and is interested in helping.

Chunka Mul wrote for Forbes 26 April 2013, The Lunacy of Our Internet Access, and How Google Fiber Could Provide Needed Shock Therapy,

Imagine you are the world’s largest operator of shopping malls, and shoppers can only get to your malls via the equivalent of dirt paths and country roads. What’s more, those meager routes are all controlled by an oligopoly of private, toll-road operators that focus on their profitability, not on getting consumers to the stores in your malls.

The result would be a mess. The roads would be slow yet expensive. Consumers would limit shopping trips. The stores in your malls would have a hard time generating business, so your malls would languish.

Yet the entire online economy runs on an analogous network. The network could easily be lightning fast, pervasive and cheap (or even free). Instead,

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Industrial Authority goes solar, broadband, and conversational!

The Industrial Authority apparently listened to its focus groups, and discovered that broadband and solar energy are important to attract industry. Andrea Schruijer even recommends conversation, which has been sorely lacking in recent years. Congratulations, Industrial Authority!

Jason Schaefer wrote for the VDT today, Authority analyzes Valdosta business: Broadband, solar power, professional services targeted for growth,

The Authority also plans to work toward the availability of more broadband Internet service and solar power in Valdosta and surrounding communities. These amenities would help support local industries as well as draw new ones to the greater Valdosta area for the creation of new jobs.

That’s a good start. Although it’s not clear from the writeup that VLCIA quite got it about Internet access.

As part of presenting Valdosta as an attractive package for prospective industries, the Authority attempts to ready the land set aside for development before beginning the recruitment process. This means investing in infrastructure, including broadband internet.

“It’s not that we don’t have broadband,” Schruijer said. “What we’re looking at is the technology behind the broadband. We have it in certain areas, but in order for us to grow some of these core targets, such as professional services, we need that infrastructure.”

Well, actually, no, we don’t have broadband. 6Mbps is the fastest most people can get around here, and 30Mbps is the slowest you can even buy in many countries. Plus, it’s not just fast Internet to industrial sites that’s needed: it’s fast Internet access everywhere knowledge-based employees may want to live.

But they’re on the right track:

Because the Authority can’t “buy” industries into coming to Valdosta—though it can offer tax abatements—it is necessary to make sure that new businesses have what they will need before ground is even broken, Schruijer said. To this effect, the Authority will “stimulate the conversation” to actively attract more broadband companies to the area.

A conversation! Now there’s something we’ve been needing around here. And it’s a refreshing change from only a year ago when all we heard was

“Debate is not allowed.”

Maybe the Industrial Authority will be the organization that will show the rest of us how to hold civil discussions about things that affect all of us!

The VDT’s writeup skips quickly over another big change:

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Video: Infrastructure, Westside Business Park @ VLCIA 2012 01 17

According to what Col. Ricketts said at their most recent regular meeting, apparently what VLCIA is accepting bids for today is Phase 2, not Phase 1, of Infrastructure for Westside Business Park. I still give them credit for at least posting an announcement of today’s meeting on their website.

The red rectangle indicates the area of clearing and grading for Phase 1 Infrastructure for Westside Business Park. Col. Ricketts said that had already been completed. This is all on Belleville Road near Lake Park.

They had already asked for bids for Phase 2, which is for an internal roadway, storm water and sewer, lighting, paving, etc.

They called for bids on the 24th, so the special called meeting of today (27th) is presumably to accept a final bid for Phase 2.

Here’s the video:


Video: Infrastructure, Westside Business Park @ VLCIA 2012 01 17
Regular Meeting, Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA),
Norman Bennett, Tom Call, Roy Copeland chairman, Mary Gooding, Jerry Jennett,
Andrea Schruijer Executive Director, J. Stephen Gupton attorney, Allan Ricketts Project Manager,
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 17 January 2012.
Videos by John S. Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

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Glen Laurel (Old Pine Road) infrastructure at County Commission work session

That’s one thing on the 8:30 AM agenda for this morning. Work sessions are where most discussion among the commissioners usually occurs. The actual vote will be in tomorrow’s (11 Jan) 5:30 PM regular session.

Background on the contentious rezoning for the Glen Laurel subdivision is in the continuing series in this blog.

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