Tag Archives: Norman Bennett

Videos: Candidates, Landowners, Methane and Solar Power @ SpectraBusters 2014-03-29

Candidates for Lowndes County Commission went on the record ( Mark Wisenbaker and Tom Hochschild both running for District 3, and Norman Bennett and Gretchen Quarterman both running for District 5), plus a statement by County Chairman Bill Slaughter, in addition to essential background information from directly affected landowners in the audience and from the panelists on why the proposed Sabal Trail methane pipeline is bad for property values, is hazardous here and elsewhere, and will be obsolete in a few decades, all at a SpectraBusters panel on the Sabal Trail pipeline at VSU, Saturday 29 March 2014.

The panelists were Continue reading

VLCIA high noon last week @ VLCIA 2014-03-13

An Industrial Authority board member resigned to run for an office he qualifed for the previous day, at a meeting that had apparently been rescheduled the day before he qualified. OK, who’s going to replace him, and when and by whom will that be decided? Oh, and that rescheduling means there’s no VLCIA meeting today.

The Industrial Authority rescheduled its March meeting for Thursday last week at noon, and at that meeting, according to the VDT, VLCIA board member Norman Bennett said:

“I am announcing that at the end of the day today, I will resign from the Industrial Authority,”

Puzzled by that, I called the Board of Elections to ask if they had told him there was some conflict of interest. They said no, they had read about it in the newspaper like everybody else.

I asked when he qualified to run for District 5. Answer: March 12th, which was the day before he resigned from VLCIA at its rescheduled board meeting.

When was that meeting rescheduled? Their website gives no clue. But their facebook page notice of the new meeting is dated March 11 at 3:15pm.

What do all those dates mean? Probably nothing, since local appointed and elected boards reschedule on whims around here. But it’s a curious series of coincidences:

More interesting is: when and by whom will a new board member be appointed to the Industrial Authority?

Here’s the agenda. Maybe some year we’ll get to see their minutes. It’s been more than two years since Roy Copeland said he’d try to make that happen. He’s no longer Chairman (although he did get reappointed to the board), and another board member has just resigned. You know, that VDT editorial I’m fond of quoting was actually about the Industrial Authority’s minutes:

When officials act like they have something to hide, they often do….
Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority
Thursday, March 13, 2014 12:00 p.m.
Industrial Authority Conference Room
2110 N. Patterson Street


General Business

  • Call to Order
  • Invocation
  • Welcome Guests


  • Regular Meeting, February 18, 2014


  • Review Compiled Balance Sheet and Income Statements for February 2014

Public Relations & Marketing Update-Meghan Duke

  • Public Relations Opportunities
    • International Trade Representatives
    • County Commission Presentation
  • Marketing Opportunities
    • Marketing Materials
    • ValdostaLowndesProspector Mobile Site
    • South Georgia Classic

Project Report-Allan Ricketts

  • Project Maroon

Existing Industry-Allan Ricketts

  • Existing Industry Visits
  • Existing Industry Expansion Projects
    • Project Wire
    • Project Treadway
    • JHS-14
  • Community Business and Industry Partnership

Executive Director’s Report- Andrea Schruijer

  • Business Development Opportunities
    • Georgia Quail Hunt February 2013
    • March Regional Marketing Trip to Consultants
    • Recruitment activities
    • International Representative Visit South Joint Regional Development Authority
    • Staff Planning Session
    • Board Planning Session
    • Met with Department of Agriculture to discuss regional food processing activity

Attorney Report

Citizens to Be Heard

Adjourn General Meeting Into Executive Session

Adjourn Executive Session into General Meeting

Adjourn General Meeting

Mission of the Valdosta Lowndes County Industrial Authority
“Create an environment to attract new industry and promote the growth of existing industry to drive job creation and capital investment.”


Crazy Qualifying Season Finally Completed

Update 31 March 2014: Withdrawals of Thomas Sims and Don Thieme from Lowndes County Commission District 3 and of Crawford Powell from House 174. See also school board election.

Additional entries in County Commission Districts 3 and 5, plus a swap and a withdrawal, continued the musical chairs in local qualifying. Plus three out of four County Commission seats up for election will actually be decided in May, not November. And one state House seat and the state Senate race are hotly contested.

The three County Commission seats that will be decided May 20th are: Continue reading

Revenue Bond for health care projects @ VLCIA 2014-01-28

It’s good they posted the detailed agenda item, but since when do tax-funded authorities hold public hearings in a private attorney’s office?

The Industrial Authority posted a meeting notice for their own special called meeting on their facebook page (a day in advance) and their website (at some unknown time). And the agenda does say what it was for:

For the consideration of the adoption of a bond resolution of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority authorizing and providing for (a) the extension of the maturity date of its Economic Development Revenue Bond (Langdale Hospice House Project), Series 2006, in the original principal amount of $2,800,000, the proceeds of which were used to finance or reimburse, in whole or in part, the cost of the acquisition, construction and equipping of a hospice house and related facilities located in Lowndes County, Georgia, and operated by South Georgia Health Alliance, Inc., a Georgia nonprofit corporation, and (b) the execution of certain documents for such purpose.

That bond was previously discussed at the Lowndes County Commission Work Session of 23 October 2006: Continue reading

Great Promise and Leadership at Industrial Authority @ VLCIA 2013-11-19

Really; those are the names of two of the organizations they spoke before: Great Promise Partnership and Leadership Lowndes. And what is the mystery Project XX2?

Here’s the agenda:

Valdosta — Lowndes County Industrial Authority
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 5:30 p.m.
Industrial Authority Conference Room
2110 N. Patterson Street
Continue reading

Videos: Special bid review meeting @ VLCIA 2013-10-29

With a bare quorum of 3 out of 5, VLCIA Chair Mary Gooding said they had finally purchased their own office space and would henceforth pay neither lease nor rent using our tax dollars. I’d like to congratulate them for a thorough public bid review.

Project Manager Allan Ricketts reviewed the project including the bids on “the second document in front of you” that the taxpaying public didn’t get to see. He did summarize the bids, and they even showed them on a slide:

$274,900Quillian Powell
$244,000True North


A board member wanted to know if the bids were all local. Ricketts said they were.

Mr. Matt Hart, with IPG, project manager on the project, clarified Continue reading

Special bid review meeting @ VLCIA 2013-10-29

The Industrial Authority’s new office is urgent enough for a special called meeting. Inquiring reporter Gretchen is going to see what the fuss is about.

Maybe it’s just because this office search has had more episodes than Star Wars. Before Roy Copeland was appointed to the VLCIA board, they were considering buying the old Board of Elections site from him. Now he’s even been Chairman twice and given that up, and they still don’t have a new office. Or maybe it’s something to do with who owns 103 Roosevelt Drive.

Interestingly, HG Pinnacle Properties, Inc. also owns the much larger surrounding lot, 2318 N Patterson Street, on which a Valdosta Electric trailer has been parked across from the hospital for so long it shows up on Google Maps.

On VLCIA’s website and facebook page (although oddly not in their current news page:

There will be a Special Called Meeting of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority 12 noon Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority Offices.

The purpose of this meeting is to review bids regarding the renovation and construction of 103 Roosevelt Drive.


Logistics, Ports, and Partnerships @ VLCIA 2013-10-15

More good news at Valdosta’s other wastewater treatment plant, Mud Creek, where more solar is being installed; more about that at tonight’s meeting of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority. Mud Creek was already upgraded in 2012 to handle expected wastewater flow.

Here’s tonight’s agenda:

Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 5:00 p.m.
Industrial Authority Conference Room
2110 N. Patterson Street
Continue reading

PR and Marketing materials, ads, and trips @ VLCIA 2013-08-20

One hopes all this PR and marketing pays off in jobs. Remember, the Industrial Authority has kept its cushy 1 mil of property tax throughout the economic downturn. Four new industry projects are on the agenda this time, plus more solar power at Valdosta’s Mud Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. Much better PR than Valdosta Fire Dept. helping put out Perma-Fix on fire.

Here’s the agenda in a slightly broken PDF on the VLCIA website and extracted below.

Continue reading

AT&T 4G LTE now in Valdosta @ VLCIA 2013-07-16

Verizon won’t be the only 4G LTE access in Valdosta anymore: AT&T has turned theirs on. It’s not clear how far out of town that extends (looks to me like I still need to go stand by my west gate if I want on), but at least it’s a start of competition, and maybe T will get around to increasing its coverage (see next post). If Softbank + Sprint + Clearwire comes here, as well, maybe we’ll see something like a competitive market. It’s not clear even that will be enough to get fast affordable access everywhere in south Georgia. For that, maybe our local elected and appointed officials will continue with the advocacy they started back in February.

Andrea Schruijer and the AT&T 4G LTE PR As mentioned at the Industrial Authority yesterday evening by Executive Director Andrea Schruijer (video to come), here’s AT&T’s PR of 2 July 2013, AT&T 4G LTE Available In Valdosta: Customers to benefit from nation’s fastest 4G LTE network on the latest devices,

VALDOSTA, Ga., July 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — AT&T* has turned on the nation’s fastest 4G LTE network** in Valdosta, bringing customers the latest generation of wireless network technology. Watch here to see several of the benefits AT&T 4G LTE provides, including:

  • Faster speeds. LTE technology is capable of delivering mobile Internet speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G***. Customers can stream, download, upload and game faster than ever before.
  • Cool new devices. AT&T offers several LTE-compatible devices, including new AT&T 4G LTE smartphones and tablets.
  • Faster response time. LTE technology offers lower latency, or the processing time it takes to move data through a network, such as how long it takes to start downloading a webpage or file once you’ve sent the request. Lower latency helps to improve services like mobile gaming, two-way video calling and telemedicine.
  • More efficient use of spectrum. Wireless spectrum is a finite resource, and LTE uses spectrum more efficiently than other technologies, creating more space to carry data traffic and services and to deliver a better network experience.

“Wireless infrastructure investment is critical to Georgia’s future and I am very pleased to see AT&T investing in Valdosta and Lowndes County and bringing LTE service to our community,” said Andrea Schruijer, Executive Director of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority. “Advanced technology like LTE will help stimulate our economy and provide new tools and services that we need to compete for business.”

“We continue Continue reading