Tag Archives: LMIG

Lift Station Pump, Juvenile Justice Grant, Fees for Web and Telephone Payments, 3 rezonings, 1 withdrawn, 1 lighting, beer @ LCC 2020-10-12

Here is a map of “North Central Lowndes County” which is the area the county wants most to develop with subdivisions. It’s in the board packet materials for Addition to Basic Decorative Street Lighting District – Coventry Villas Subdivision, for last week’s Lowndes County Commission meeting.

[Exhibit B: Basic Decorative; North Central Lowndes County 2; Revised 9/2020]
Exhibit B: Basic Decorative; North Central Lowndes County 2; Revised 9/2020
PDF

This the first table of tax dollar amounts we’ve had add up to a positive total.

Cost What
($1,107,500.64) 2021 LMIG Resurfacing Grant Application
($99,938.00)2020 Addressing Victimization within the Juvenile Justice System Grant Application
$42,067.69 Nelson Hill Lift Station Pump Upgrade
$5.00Approval of Increase in Convenience Fees for Web and Telephone Payments
($1,165,370.95)Total

The real total should be both less than that (the LMIG grant has a 10% match) and more (the $5.00 is times each telephone or online payment).

Here’s a list of what they plan to do with the 2021 LMIG Resurfacing Grant Application: Continue reading

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: Roads, rezoning, sales tax, Sunday alcohol, and Troupville River Camp @ VCC 2019-12-05

Other than the three Awards and Presentations, the longest agenda item was 5.a. Alcohol Ordinance Revision (Brunch Bill), which had already been approved by a referendum of the voters. On implementing it, all voted aye except one.

Almost as long was 7.b. Request for letter of support by WWALS for the Troupville River Camp project. Valdosta City Manager Mark Barber described the project and the situation. In Citizens To Be Heard (CBTH), WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman thanked Council for approving the letter.

The first speaker in CTBH asked for the city to rebuild streets in the Highland subdivision. He said there had been insufficient engineering and lack of maintenance of streets, including for water flow.

Unfortunately, can’t really make out what the pair of second speakers were asking for.

Below are LAKE videos of each item, followed by Continue reading

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

Roads, rezoning, sales tax, Sunday alcohol, and Troupville River Camp @ VCC 2019-12-05

Unusual on the Valdosta City Council agenda for Thursday are an award to Valdosta Main Street and a request by WWALS Watershed Coalition for support for its Troupville River Camp project; see also WWALS blog post.

Downtown Valdosta aerial logo
Photo: via Valdosta Today.

Possibly controversial is the item to allow Sunday Alcohol Sales to begin at 11:00 a.m. Business as usual includes a rezoning several road widening and other traffic improvement items.

Here is the agenda.

AGENDA
REGULAR MEETING OF THE VALDOSTA CITY COUNCIL
5:30 PM Thursday, December 5, 2019
COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL

  1. Opening Ceremonies
    1. Call to Order
    2. Invocation
    3. Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag
  2. Awards and Presentations
    1. Special Recognition of the Valdosta Main Street Program as a Georgia Exceptional Main Street (GEMS) by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Office of Downtown Development.
    2. Consideration of a request for a Special Presentation at the December 5, 2019 Regular City Council Meeting.
    3. Consideration of the December, 2019 Employee of the Month Award (Sergeant Heather Willis, Valdosta Police Department).
  3. Minutes Approval
    1. Valdosta City Council – Regular Meeting – Nov 7, 2019 5:30 PM
  4. Public Hearings
    1. Consideration of an Ordinance to rezone 6.70 acres from Planned Mixed Use Development (PMD) to Highway-Commercial (C-H) by Quick Trip Corporation (File No. VA-2019-08). The property is located at 1394 North St. Augustine Road. The Greater Lowndes Planning Commission reviewed this request at their November Regular Meeting and recommended approval (8-0 Vote).
    2. Consideration of an Ordinance for Text Amendments to Chapter 102 – General Provisions, Chapter 106 – Definitions, Chapter 242 – Zoning Procedures, Chapter 302 – Subdivision and Site Development Standards, and Chapter 332 – Infrastructure and Site Improvements of the City of Valdosta Land Development Regulations (File No. VA-2019-09). The Greater Lowndes Planning Commission reviewed this request at their November Regular Meeting and recommended approval (8-0 Vote).
  5. Ordinances and Resolutions
    1. Consideration of an Ordinance to amend the City of Valdosta’s Alcohol Ordinance to allow Sunday Alcohol Sales to begin at 11:00 a.m.
    2. Consideration of a Resolution authorizing the Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Revenue to provide sales tax information to the City of Valdosta’s Finance Director.
    3. Consideration of a Resolution authorizing the acceptance of a Contract with the Georgia Department of Transportation for the Eager Road/Jerry Jones Widening Project.
  6. Bids, Contracts, Agreements and Expenditures
    1. Consideration of bids for traffic improvements at the intersection of Park Avenue and Forrest Street.
    2. Consideration of bids for a Front-End Loading Dumpster Garbage Truck for the Public Works Department.
    3. Consideration of a request to approve a Contract for new water meters for the City of Valdosta.
  7. Local Funding and Requests
    1. Consideration of a request to approve street selections for the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) Program.
    2. Consideration of a request from the WWALS Watershed Coalition for a Letter of Support for the Troupville River Camp.
  8. City Manager’s Report
  9. Council Comments
  10. Citizens to be Heard
  11. Adjournment

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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!

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