Tag Archives: rural

Videos: Taxes, water, sewer, LAS, paving, road abandonment @ LCC 2019-03-12

Five minutes and 46 seconds Sixteen minutes to vote on the people’s business in the Lowndes County Commission Regular Session. Where do they actually discuss things?

By far the longest item at three minutes and fourteen seconds was 5a. REZ-2019-04 Southeastern Freight 2120 West Hill Ave., C-H/R-1 To M-2,, and that only because somebody spoke in favor of the request in the Public Hearing.

Second longest at one minute and 46 seconds was the controversial 7 a. North Lowndes Spring Creek Utility Inter-connection Project Phase II, for which they made a decision about the yellow paper. They still never said who the rest of the bidders were, nor how much they bid, on this $3,889,825.23 project.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with Continue reading

Videos: Taxes, water, sewer, LAS, paving, road abandonment @ LCC 2019-03-11

They don’t have any wheelchair seating areas, so Jody Hall planted his wheels in front of the front row, to see the county not tell the public who bid what on an almost $4 million item.

By far the longest item at almost seven minutes was North Lowndes Spring Creek Utility Inter-connection Project Phase II, because one bidder objected that the others did not use the correct color paper. They never said who any of the bidders were, nor how much they bid, on this $3,889,825.23 project.

The third longest was 6.f. Water and Sewer Service Areas – Lake Park Area, as the county continues its plan to encircle Valdosta. Yet the county has no plan for additional sewage treatment beyond the Land Application Site (LAS), where Lowndes County sprays sewage onto land near Grassy Pond, close to the state line, and where they’re reducing the Row Crop Lease Agreement by 71 acres for unexplained reasons.

Second longest was Continue reading

Taxes, water, sewer, LAS, paving, road abandonment @ LCC 2019-03-11

How much will they drive development into places it does not belong this time? GMASS Rural Land Maintenance Contract:

The Lowndes County Board of Assessors has approved a contract between the Board of Assessors and GMASS to perform maintenance updates to the Rural Land schedules for the 2019 Digest.

Rural land re-evaluation, 15 July 2015

They continue encircling Valdosta with county water and sewer, with the North Lowndes Spring Creek Utility Inter-connection Project Phase II. And on the south side of Valdosta, Water and Sewer Service Areas within and in the Vicinity of Lake Park, with “maps… attached” that as usual they did not show we the taxpaying public. Is the one rezoning, REZ-2019-04 Southeastern Freight Lines, 2120 West Hill Ave., C-H/R-1 To M-2, County Water/Sewer, ~18.96 Acre , related to the recent expansion of water and sewer across that same US 84? Apparently not: “existing water and sewer customer.” They’re removing 71 acres from the 219 acres they rent at the Land Application Site (LAS), where Lowndes County sprays sewage onto land near Grassy Pond, close to the state line.

They’re buying the former office of Coleman-Talley law firm at 910 N. Patterson Street for use by the Public Defender.

And no agenda is complete without a road abandonment.

Here is the agenda.

WORK SESSION, MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2019, 8:30 a.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

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Land is not just money: appeal tax valuations today

Appeal today if you think there’s more to land (or business) and woods and fields and streams than money, unlike the Tax Assessors, whose revaluation would drive development into agricultural areas of the county where it doesn’t belong, while avoiding populated areas such as the south side of Valdosta. We can expect pipeline companies and utilities from other states to think nothing of pillaging our lands for their profit. We shouldn’t expect that of our neighbors whom we elected Tax Asssessors. If you have affection for your land, your county, your neighborhood, today’s the deadline to appeal your valuation. And there will be an election later.

As Wendell Berry said,

Whatever has happened in what economists call “the economy,” it is generally true that the land economy has been discounted or ignored.

Are the Tax Assessors boomers? Are you a sticker? Wendell Berry explains: Continue reading

Clean Green Metro Florida by Brookings Institution

Amy Liu spoke about globalization last week in Orlando, Leaders will seize the clean economy about clean industries leading economic growth. Even though she was talking linear growth, her Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings Institution has some interesting points that mesh with the exponential growth like compound interest Georgia can get on with in solar and wind power.

The Florida Economic Development Council 2013 FEDC Conference 26-28 June 2013 was the venue for Amy Liu’s A Globally Competitive Florida: Regional Opportunities in the Next Economy. To summarize her slides (which are in a format not easily linkable, she bashes Congress to motivate cities leading. In particular, Florida’s 20 metro ares have 61.75 of land area, 94.1% of population, and 95.9% of output. Nothing surprising there: cities are densely populated. Two of the biggest in Florida are in our Floridan Aquifer: Orlando and Jacksonville. (She didn’t mention the aquifer; I did.)

The national economic recovery is slow, the middle class has been hard-hit, and Florida is recovering faster, except on unemployment. The U.S. population is rapidly getting older and by 2050 53.7% will be minorities, each of which have very different educational achievements, and much of this is happening in metro areas.

Her solution is Continue reading

How to make a rural economy desirable: beyond retirees

Basing a local economy on attracting retirees may not work so well anymore. Fortunately, there are plenty of things we can do here to provide jobs for our graduates and to attract non-retirees.

Jim Galloway wrote for the AJC Saturday, Rural areas a less populated place as Baby Boomers shy away,

This week, the U.S. Census Bureau issued 2012 population estimates showing that, for the first time ever, the rural population of America has suffered a measureable drop.

“First time ever”? I guess Galloway has never heard of Continue reading

Senate Farm Bill adds Rural Gigabit Amendment

The U.S. Senate just adopted an amendment to invest in gigabit (1,000 megabit per second) rural broadband networks. Our local leaders need to lobby for the House to pass this, if they are serious about fast affordable Internet service for everyone here. Senator Leahy’s tiny Vermont, with the population of a single Congressional district, is already well along towards gigabit Internet. Our three House members can help get south Georgia on the road to better jobs, education, and health care through better Internet service.

Jennifer Reading wrote today for WCAX, Leahy’s high-speed internet amendment passes,

What I want to make sure is that a rural area can compete the same way an urban area can. It’s actually the argument, the debate that went on before I was even born about whether you had rural electricity, rural telephone or not and if we hadn’t done that much of this country would be a wasteland,” said Sen. Leahy.

Don’t we want that, too?

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Georgia missing out on solar jobs behind New Jersey and Michigan

Other states, even New Jersey and far-north Michigan, are beating Georgia to solar jobs. Why isn’t sunny Georgia leading in one of the fastest-growing industries in the country that is deploying rural jobs everywhere else? Hint: who’s holding a shareholder meeting this month?

Carin Hall wrote for energydigital 13 May 2013, Solar Jobs Outnumber Texas Ranchers and US Coal Miners: New statistics show that solar is one of the fastest growing industries in the US, creating thousands of jobs across the country

There are now more solar energy workers in the state of Texas than there are ranchers, according to solar research group The Solar Foundation.

The group’s data mapping out solar jobs across the nation also showed that there are more solar jobs in California than actors, and more solar workers than coal miners nationwide. Sunny states like California and Arizona topped the list. Wyoming came in last, with just 50 workers, while Utah showed a mere 290 solar workers despite being one of the country’s sunniest states.

Even the states with less sunshine like New Jersey and Michigan showed a high number of solar jobs—thanks to favorable tax and regulatory policies that help attract developers to cope with high electricity prices.

New Jersey is #9 and Michigan is #15 according to The Solar Foundation’s map of State Solar Jobs. Where’s Georgia? Number 41 in solar jobs per capita. Yet Michigan is #47 by maximum solar resource and New Jersey is #36, while Georgia is #18: much sunnier than those northern states. Why is Georgia so far behind?


Because of Continue reading

Fast fiber to rural Georgia: Georgia Public Web

What connects Tifton, Omega, Lenox, Adel, Valdosta, Moultrie, and Thomasville? Georgia Public Web’s 3,000 miles of fiber optic cable, plus wireless last mile.

Who is Georgia Public Web?

Georgia Public Web is a member owned non-profit corporation formed in 1998 to help “Bridge Georgia’s Digital Divide” by delivering high-end technology services to metro Atlanta and communities throughout the State of Georgia.

That emphasis on metro Atlanta is unfortunate from a south Georgia point of view, yet their map extends right down here. “High-speed Internet access”; how fast is that?

Internet Connectivity for Business (DS-1, DS-3, OC-3, OC-12, GigE)

That means Continue reading

Rural hospitals closing

A state that forces hospital closings by refusing Medicare expansion while spending a billion dollars a year on locking up too many prisoners has its priorities wrong.

Tom Baxter wrote for SaportaReport yesterday, Ominous signs for rural Georgia as hospitals shut their doors,

Lewis forecast at the beginning of the year that five to six rural hospitals might be forced to close in 2013, and already there have been two. Calhoun Memorial Hospital in Arlington closed in February, and Stewart-Webster Hospital in Richland shut its doors last week.

That’s only a foretaste, Lewis says, of what’s going to happen when the Affordable Care Act next year eliminates the subsidies which have been key to the survival of many of these hospitals, and imposes new standards — for instances, penalizing hospitals for readmitting patients in less than 30 days — which will directly impact their bottom line.

“We will probably get hurt worse than any state in the nation,” Lewis said last week. “It’s not like we will be friendly faces to the feds, and they’re going to come in and do major damage to us. ” He’s certainly not an enthusiastic fan of Obamacare, but thinks the state has no choice but to accept the Medicaid expansion which was intended as compensation for what the new law takes away.

“With Obamacare coming down the pike, if we don’t get some kind of relief in (Medicaid) expansion, we will face certain death,” Lewis said last week.

Ah, so the problem isn’t ObamaCare: it’s Gov. Deal’s refusal to accept Medicaid expansion! The AJC warned us about that back in August:

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