Maybe it was “custom fit” that caused Commissioner Clay Griner to ask for
postponement of approval of purchase of firefighting equipment until after the county’s retreat.
All five Commissioners voted for tabling.
below in the notes on that item.
Bob Dewar has discovered the county wants an 80-foot right of way to pave Clyattstone Road,
“What we do not want is a highway. It’s a quaint county road.”
Well, that’s not why the county paves roads.
the item notes below.
Everything else was passed with little or no discussion.
Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE video playlist.
See also the Continue reading →
Not on the agenda, Chairman Bill Slaughter
at the end of the meeting said Utilities Director Steve Stalvey
had been testing water quality on the Withlacoochee River.
On December 31, bacterial counts were acceptable.
But on January 6, 2020, counts were quite high, so the county made and
posted some warning signs at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line (GA 31) Boat Ramps.
Here is one of the county’s signs, at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp,
with a sign by WWALS Watershed Coalition (Suwannee Riverkeeper)
at the bottom of the other pole with Continue reading →
They’re setting the
Special Assessment interest rate “for all paving and utilityassessments that are not paid off within the initial 90-day phase. Unpaid assessments revert to installment agreements which are to be paid over a period of up to ten years.”
New rate: 6.75% for 2020, down from 7.50% for 2019.
They’re setting qualifying fees to run for office, primary or general election: Continue reading →
Finance Director Stephanie Black said due to the
Property Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights,
if the tax digest (total assessed property value in the county)
goes up, the county has to reduce the millage (tax per $1,000 of property value),
or announce the difference as a tax increase and hold three public hearings,
so they’re rolling back the millage rate slightly: 0.126 mills,
down from 11.064 for 2018 to 10.938 for 2019.
That’s Georgia Senate Bill 177, Act 431, signed April 30, 1999, effective January 1, 2000.
Here is the millage resolution they adopted half an hour later,
board packet, which LAKE only received after this millage meeting and after the Commission voted on this millage change:
She showed some quite informative slides, which for unknown reasons do not
seem to be on
the Finance Department’s web page.
For example, she had a nice summary slide of the five chunks of sales tax these days:
4 cents to the State of Georgia,
1 cent to Local Option Sales Tax (LOST),
split between county and its cities for property tax reduction,
1 cent to Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), split between county and its cities for capital improvements,
1 cent to Educational Special Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST),
split between the county and city school systems for capital improvements
1 cent to Transportation Special Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST),
regionally approved, and split between the county and its cities for transportation capital improvements.
Billed on the lowndescounty.com calendar as
5PM, Tuesday, 27 August 2019, in Commission Chambers before the voting Regular Session,
as usual almost nobody attended, and nobody from the public spoke.
Lowering the Millage Rate
Millage Meeting, Lowndes County Commission (LCC Millage),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, August 27, 2019.
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!
Since she made that table, Valdosta actually lowered its millage to 7.916, which in the above example would mean $50.32 less per year, for an example of how little difference
these minor millage rollbacks or increases actually mean to taxpayers.
Valdosta Board of Education wants to increase its tax rate (but not its millage).
The added agenda item
6e. Emergency Repairs to Rocky Ford Road
got a couple of bids (unusual procedure; different from their
usual no-bid emergencies) passed.
The Chamber sent
Gary Wisenbaker to speak in Citizens Wishing to Be Heard
to ask for (after a very long preamble by John Page)
apparently money from GDOT for a long list (in a letter the taxpayers
did not get to see) of
transportation projects to help “the business community”,
apparently including the truck bypass.
They only appointed six of the seven members of the
Development Authority of Lowndes County,
although a Commissioner did ask about that.
It’s also curious they said all the terms expired right then,
since the Wayback machine has a snapshot of 4 April 2017, which shows three expiring in June 2017 and four already
expired in December 2016.
Apparently they just didn’t bother to appoint anybody to the four slots
that expired in December 2016 until eight months later,
and then they didn’t appoint anybody to one of the 2017 slots.
Bids for an emergency repair!
This could be a first, instead of their usual sole source approve-it-right now method.
the County Manager’s Report, in which County Engineer Mike Fletcher
describes bids incoming from both Scruggs and Reames for temporary
repair to Rocky Ford Road.
Below are links to each LAKE video of yesterday morning’s Work Session with a few notes, followed by a LAKE video playlist.
the agenda with notes about appointments and millage.
And see also
the 5 PM today Millage Rate Meeting.
Maybe the county would have enough applicants their Work Session,
Monday morning at 8:30 AM,
if they advertised for applicants for open board seats,
such as on the Development Authority of Lowndes County,
And if they posted the application sheets for the applicants they did get,
such as for the Lowndes County Library Board,
we’d have some idea of who they are.
They could even say whether the millage is going up or down.
There is a vacant seat on the Lowndes County Library Board. The
Board of Trustees of the South Georgia Regional Library System
respectfully requests the appointment of Mr. Gene Toffolo to fill the
Front Left to Right: Kay Scott, Janet Toffolo, Mary Helen Watson (President), Merrilee Casady,
Sarah Smart (Vice President), Robert DeVan (Treasurer)
Back Left to Right: Gene Toffolo, Patricia Marks, Riley Howard, Karl Osmus, John Swiderski (Secretary)
The county’s agenda and agenda sheet for the Lowndes County Library Board
don’t say whose seat expired or maybe somebody resigned.
web page for this board
is no more helpful, listing these members and expirations,
none of which expires in 2017: Continue reading →
3.5 minutes of actual meeting after a minute of invocation and pledge and a minute of welcomes.
welcomed Cub Scout Pack 400 and Troup 410,
a member of the Lowndes County Explorer Program,
for their interest in the gubmint.
Also a Valdosta City Council member (Sandra Tooley, although Chairman Bill Slaughter didn’t name her), and Carl Smith.
Plus Tax Commissioner Felicia Williams.
He didn’t name any of the regulars in the room,
yet the welcomes took more than a minute which, plus the minute for
the invocation and prayer, that was two minutes of non-business in the entire 5 and a half minute meeting, so that was only 3 and a half minutes of actual meeting.
Which was more than 2.5 minutes of the previous morning’s Work Session.
It does make you wonder: where and when do they actually discuss the county’s business, and why isn’t it in the public meetings?
Below are links to each of the LAKE videos of the August 23nd 2016 Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission.
See also Continue reading →