Tag Archives: Internet access speed

Unanimously voted down: Miller Bridge Road subdivision @ LCC 2022-02-08

The Commissioners unanimously denied the rezoning for the subdivision on Miller Bridge Road. Applicants spoke a minute over their time, yet did not present the slides they said the previous morning they were going to present; we include scans of those slides here for historical reference, for when the next subdivision like this comes up, next week or next year.

Commissioners unanimously approved the other two rezonings.

They also unanimously approved 6.a. Transportation Investment Act (TIA) Local Project – Coleman Road NW and 6.b. Transportation Investment Act (TIA) Local Project Kinderlou-Clyattville Rd. Road building and improvement projects attract subdivisions. But the opponents to the Miller Bridge Road subdivision had already left after that one item. Chairman Bill Slaughter mentioned that the crowd was gone in 6.c. Internal Network Firewalls.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with a few notes, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the LAKE videos of the previous morning’s Work Session, the agenda and board packet and the LAKE videos of the preceding Planning Commission meeting, as well as Secrecy of Lowndes County Commission and Staff.

Here’s a LAKE video playlist:


Unanimously voted down: Miller Bridge Road subdivision @ LCC 2022-02-08
Lowndes County Commission Regular Session, Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),

Applicant Slides REZ-2022-03 Miller Bridge Road

How did we get them? The County Manager handed them to LAKE’s Gretchen Quarterman at the previous morning’s Work Session.

Images below (apologies for the accidental cropping of the right side), and the whole thing as PDF.

The developer’s last point in their Justification for Zoning Request does identify a widespread problem:

7. Almost every subdivision built in Lowndes County is adjacent to some form of agriculture or timber production

However, there is no need to make it worse.

Another point in that same slide is plain wrong:

5. There will be minimal impact to County facilities or services, while increasing the taxes of the county approximately $70k per year

The Dorfman Report

sprawl The Local Government Fiscal Impacts of Land Use in Lowndes County: Revenue and Expenditure Streams by Land Use Category, Jeffrey H. Dorfman, Ph.D., Dorfman Consulting, December 2007.

As Dr. Dorfman summarized in a different presentation,

Local governments must ensure balanced growth, as
sprawling residential growth is a certain ticket to fiscal ruin*
* Or at least big tax increases.

It’s interesting that the developers put Groundwater Recharge Area first in their OPPOSITION POINTS ADDRESSED:

  1. Groundwater Recharge Area:
    1. Lowndes County adheres to Local and State standards when in the Groundwater Recharge Area
    2. Notable Developments in Recharge Area in Lowndes County)
      1. Landfill
      2. Kinderlou Forest and Foxborough Subdivisions
      3. Valdosta Regional Airport
      4. Moody Airforce Base
      5. City of Dasher
      6. City of Lake Park and surrounding area
      7. Lake Park Industrial Park

While probably all these points are true (I haven’t checked each location), most of them precede current concerns about groundwater recharge, and there is no need to make the problem worse.

[WINDY HILL SUBDIVISION, Lowndes County Rezoning Application, REZ-2022-03]
WINDY HILL SUBDIVISION, Lowndes County Rezoning Application, REZ-2022-03


-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!

Ten minute Work Session @ LCC 2022-02-07

Update 2022-03-18: Unanimously voted down: Miller Bridge Road subdivision @ LCC 2022-02-08.

The developer of the proposed 5.c. REZ-2022-03 Windy Hill Subdivision, 7532 Miller Bridge Rd. plans to make a presentation this evening at the voting Regular Session, we heard at yesterday morning’s February 7, 2022, Work Session of the Lowndes County Commission.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with a few notes by Gretchen, who was there, followed by a LAKE playlist. See also the agenda and board packet, and that post has links to the previous relevant meetings and materials.

[Chairman and Miller Bridge Road rezoning]
Chairman and Miller Bridge Road rezoning

Continue reading

Board’s Pleasure should be Deny: Miller Bridge Road rezoning @ LCC 2022-02-07

Update 2022-03-08: Ten minute Work Session @ LCC 2022-02-07.

On the agenda for tomorrow morning’s Lowndes County Commission Work Session, county staff included the petition against REZ-2022-03 Windy Hill Subdivision, 7532 Miller Bridge Rd.. County staff note “RECOMMENDED ACTION: Board’s Pleasure or Deny”, unlike the other two options, where the second option is “Approve”. Those who do not want that rezoning to pass would do well to contact their Commissioners before the meetings, and then show up at the meetings, or at least the Tuesday 5:30 PM voting Regular Session.

For REZ-2022-01 Hamilton Green Townhomes, Bemiss Rd., 045D 006A, they cited a parcel that does not exist. The correct parcel number, 0145D 006A, was in the Planning Commission agenda.

[Miller Bridge Road rezoning: Petition, Opposition parcels; Bemiss Road rezoning]
Miller Bridge Road rezoning: Petition, Opposition parcels; Bemiss Road rezoning

As usual, county staff say rezonings do not cost the county anything. Nevermind that subdivisions far from county services will never pay enough in property taxes to fund sending school buses, fire trucks, and Sheriff vehicles, so all the taxpayers subsidize those costs.

Cost What
$72,653.86Internal Network Firewalls
$72,653.86Total

Here is the agenda, and the board packet, on the LAKE website, received in response to a LAKE open records request. See also Continue reading

Discussion of court grants and Loch Laurel Road project, little of property subsidy @ LCC 2022-01-24

At yesterday morning’s Lowndes County Commission Work Session, there was no discussion by the Commissioners about 5.k. Property Purchase – Building Valdosta, LLC, but new wrinkles did come to some small light.

County Manager Paige Dukes said “This is a follow up on the Building Valdosta purchase of property we have discussed with you several times…” In what public meeting did those discussion take place? She also said the county attorney had worked out an agreement with Building Valdosta, yet that agreement was not in the board packet. And she remarked, “Any other claims related to this will continue through, um, any process with ACCG that they may have for lost profits.” She immediately called for an Executive Session for “Client-privileged communication regarding potential or pending litigation and for the purchase of property.”

Sounds like the county got sued by a developer, or was threatened with a lawsuit, and is resolving that by bailing out the developer with half a million of our tax dollars.

How can any developer who did the slightest due diligence not know that the subject property on GA 122 east of Bemiss Road is in the Moody Activity Zone (MAZ)? If that’s not their beef, what is?

[Joyce Evans presiding]
Joyce Evans presiding, VOCA/CESF grant, Loch Laurel Road project, Property Purchase — Building Valdosta, LLC

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

No rezonings: Moody AFB, Courts, DA, Safety, Road, Nelson Hill Lift State @ LCC 2022-01-24

Update 2022-01-24: Board packet and Why should Lowndes County spend half a million dollars to subsidize a developer? 2022-01-24

The neverending Miller Bridge Road subdivision is not in this Lowndes County Commission agenda for Monday and Tuesday. For that, see the Planning Commission agenda for January 31, 2022.

But the County Commission agenda does contain two examples of how taxpayers are subsidizing development in Lowndes Counta. The $45,742.00 for the 5.d. Nelson Hill Lift Station Pump Upgrade is “Due to growth in the area”: growth the county is actively promoting.

The $568,971.00 for 5.k. Property Purchase – Building Valdosta, LLC is a markup of $323,971 over the price that property sold for last year, supposedly to protect Moody AFB, even though how is not said and it’s 2.4 miles away.

[Agenda, Nelson Hill Lift Station]
Agenda, Nelson Hill Lift Station

Cost What
$568,971.00 Property Purchase – Building Valdosta, LLC
$45,742.00Nelson Hill Lift Station Pump Upgrade
$16,496.88 AT&T Switched Ethernet Circuit Continuation of Service
$631,209.88Total

Nelson Hill Sewer Lift Station

On the one hand, I commend Lowndes County Utilities for staying ahead of sewer system demand and thus preventing sewage spills. On the other hand, look at why the agenda sheet says: Continue reading

Videos: Four Lowndes County rezonings, communications tower, Hahira office buildings @ GLPC 2021-10-25

Longest at 26 minutes was the rezoning for relocation of an “automobile inventory” to 3436 Mt. Zion Church Road.

Second at 19 minutes was the Hahira rezoning for office buildings in Hahira at 515 South Church Street, which got conditions.

Third at almost 13 minutes was the communications tower for CitySwitch at 5010 Bemiss Road, just north of the Lowndes County fire station.

The other two county rezonings were four minutes each.

[Godfrey, Hahira, Tower, Sineath]
Godfrey, Hahira, Tower, Sineath

Below are LAKE videos of each agenda item with a few notes, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the agenda and the Hahira agenda packet item. The packet items for the four Lowndes County cases are also on the LAKE website, received Wednesday, two days after the GLPC meeting, in response to a LAKE open records request. We look forward to the county putting its board packets online like many other counties in Georgia and Florida have been doing for years. Continue reading

Videos: Commissioner Comments, Mud Swamp Road, Fire Millage, Hightower Road, GEFA @ LCC 2021-08-24

Very unusual: two Commissioners commented at the end. Chairman Bill Slaughter had already been quite clear that the new fire department millage was to aid population growth in unincorporated parts of the county. Mark Wisenbaker thought the fire department millage was premature because it did not consider land with no structures, agricultural land, etc. He was the only Commissioner to vote against 5.l. Adoption of Unincorporated Fire Millage. Clay Griner thought it was something they could improve as they go along.

None of them mentioned that the fire millage applies to personal property as well as to real estate (land). At least one of the Commissioners was unaware of this, and, since none of them ever seem to have mentioned it to the public, I’d bet the public is unaware unless they carefully examined their property tax statements. Applying that fire millage also to personal property is apparently how they kept it as low as they announced in the millage rate hearing. Nevermind such a personal property millage falls heaviest on companies with the most personal property, which would likely be Packaging Corporation of America (PCA), commonly known as the paper mill at Clyattville. It’s not clear that companies with much personal property are the most in need of new fire services.

[Hightower Road, Fire Millage, Mud Swamp Road, Commissioner Comments]
Hightower Road, Fire Millage, Mud Swamp Road, Commissioner Comments

The County’s support of unincorporated growth apparently includes building next to wetlands, or in areas the Army Corps of Engineers recently declared not to be wetlands, since that had just been discussed by County Manager Paige Dukes and the Chairman.

I have an idea! How about build only close in to existing services, instead of sprawling farther out, where no taxes will ever pay enough for sending school buses, Sheriff, and Fire. See this report the County commissioned: The Local Government Fiscal Impacts of Land Use in Lowndes County: Revenue and Expenditure Streams by Land Use Category, Jeffrey H. Dorfman, Ph.D., Dorfman Consulting, December 2007. As Dr. Dorfman summarized in a different presentation,

Local governments must ensure balanced growth, as
sprawling residential growth is a certain ticket to fiscal ruin*
* Or at least big tax increases.

sprawl Trees and crops don’t call the Sheriff or the Fire Department much and don’t need school buses, but subdivisions do, so forestry and agriculture are far more cost-effective in tax collection vs. services.

Everything except the Fire Dept. millage passed unanimously. Even the late-added mystery-location 5.j. Proposed Sale of County Real Property to Industrial Authority, which came with no map, no street address, and no parcel numbers.

Here are LAKE videos of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the Continue reading

Videos: Potential litigation, Millage, Hightower Road, Bellsouth, Val Del Estates, 911, Alapaha Plantation, Manhole Emergency, Private Roads, Alcohol * 2 @ LCC Work 2021-08-23

The Lowndes County Commission votes tonight at 5:30 PM, after minimal discussion yesterday morning.

At the end of yesterday morning’s Work Session, County Manager Paige Dukes asked for an Executive Session to discuss pending litigation, plus a bigger than usual room to meet in, due to wanting many department heads there.

Earlier, Chairman Bill Slaughter asked to add an agenda item for sale of real property to the Industrial Authority. There was no discussion of this item, simply the addition of the item to the agenda for the voting session. Apparently all the commissioners know all about this from some executive session. The public knows nothing.

Also, Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker asked to move the two millage adoption items to the end of the agenda for tonight.

The only thing they spent more than two minutes on was 5.h. Adding Dispatch Consoles 11 and 12 for the 911 Center. 5.h. Adding Dispatch Consoles 11 and 12 for the 911 Center

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with a few notes, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the agenda and the board packet.

Millage, Hightower Road, Bellsouth, Val Del Estates, 911, Alapaha Plantation, Manhole Emergency, Private Roads, Alcohol * 2 @ LCC 2021-08-23, GA-EPD

Three million dollars for discussion this morning and voting tomorrow evening at the Lowndes County Commission, including an emergency manhole repair, 911 consoles, and roads north of Moody AFB.

Plus more expenses will come from accepting two subdivision roads plus two dirt roads as county roads. And the never-ending Lake Alapaha subdivision water treatment plant, which has attracted a GA-EPD Consent Order.

The County will be reducing the overall millage rate, while adding the the unincorporated fire millage.

Cost What
$2,775,068.91TIA-03 Hightower Road and Cooper Road NE
$162,308.45Whitewater Road Manhole Emergency Repair
$155,697.00Adding Dispatch Consoles 11 and 12 for the 911 Center
$2,520.00Approval of Lease Amendment Number Three to Bellsouth Telecommunications, LLC
$3,095,594.36Total

[Alcohol, Subdivision, Communications]
Alcohol, Subdivision, Communications

Here is the agenda. The board packet, received in response to a LAKE open records request, is on the LAKE website:
http://www.l-a-k-e.org/govt/loco/2021-08-23–lcc-packet

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, AUGUST 23, 2021, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2021, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Subdivisions, quit claim, fire tax district & draft pit, Chambers A/V, deannexation, resurfacing, soccer complex, shooting range shelter @ LCC 2021-04-21 2021-04-12

A couple weeks ago Lowndes County approved almost $3 million dollars in expenditures, including $110,147.78 for Commission Chambers Audio and Visual Upgrade, even though other counties and cities livestream their meetings using an iphone and facebook live.

[Rezoning, quit claim, audio-visual]
Rezoning, quit claim, audio-visual

Cost What
$1,811,758.00North Lowndes Soccer Complex Phase II
$429,634.23Resurfacing of Various County Roads
$304,252.00A New Shooting Range Shelter for the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office
$225,329.00A New 30,000 Gallon Draft Pit for Lowndes County Fire Rescue
$110,147.78Commission Chambers Audio and Visual Upgrade
$2,881,121.01Total

The shooting range was actually not listed as BUDGET IMPACT, but it comes from SPLOST taxes, so I don’t know how it’s not part of the budget.

Not marked as costing anything was the rezoning for REZ-2021-04 Union Station on Union Road, “for a multi-family housing complex to be constructed,” even though that sprawl will cost in sending fire, sheriff, and school busses out there.

Also not counted was Acceptance of Infrastructure for Creekside West Phase 6 & 7 for which “All roads will remain private. Lots will be served by Lowndes County water and sewer.” So if a water or sewer line breaks, the county will have to pay to fix it. And see above about sprawl.

Here is the agenda. The entire board packet is on the LAKE website, received in response to a LAKE open records request.
http://www.l-a-k-e.org/govt/loco/2021-04-21–lcc-packet Continue reading