Tag Archives: SPLOST

Agenda: Budget, Personal Care Home, streets and transit, 2 sewer repairs @ VCC 2024-06-06

Nobody attended the First Hearing of the proposed FY 2025 Valdosta Budget, so Thursday is your last chance, at the Second Hearing, at the Valdosta City Council meeting.

[Agenda: Budget, sewers, Personal Care Home, streets, and transit @ VCC 2024-06-06]
Agenda: Budget, sewers, Personal Care Home, streets, and transit @ VCC 2024-06-06

That budget includes a pending $67 million bond for water and sewer projects, with interest to be paid from the Water and Sewer Revenue Fund.

The agenda also includes a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for a Personal Care Home, two street resurfacing projects, an amendment to the contract for the on-call transport cars, and two sewer repair projects.

Here is the agenda.

See also the preceding Planning Commission meeting.

5:30 PM Thursday, June 6, 2024

  1. Opening Ceremonies
    1. Call to Order
    2. Invocation
    3. Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag
  2. Minutes Approval
    1. The Minutes from the May 9, 2024 Regular Meeting and the May 15, 2024 Special Called Meeting are forthcoming.
  3. Public Hearings
    1. Public Hearing for the Adoption of the Fiscal Year 2025 Budget. (Second Hearing)
    2. Consideration of an Ordinance for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for a Family Personal Care Home in a Single-Family Residential (R-6) Zoning District as requested by Roche Kempson (File No. CU-2024-04). The property is located at 1206 West Magnolia Street. The Planning Commission reviewed this at their May 20, 2024 Regular Meeting and recommended approval subject to four conditions (5-0 Vote).
  4. Ordinances and Resolutions
    1. Consideration of a Resolution authorizing the execution of a Contract with the Georgia Department of Transportation for the Patterson Street Resurfacing and Utility Adjustments Project.
  5. Bids, Contracts, Agreements and Expenditures
    1. Consideration of bids for the resurfacing of streets in the City of Valdosta through the SPLOST VIII Funding and GDOT Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant.
    2. Consideration of a request to amend the Contract with River North Transit, LLC and extend Via On-Demand Transportation Services for the City of Valdosta.
  6. Local Funding and Requests
    1. Consideration of a request to authorize payment for an emergency bypass and sewer repairs on Pebblewood Drive.
    2. Consideration of a request to authorize payment for Phase III final billing for emergency sewer repairs at Knights Creek near the intersection of U. S. Highway 84 and Blanchard Street.
  7. Citizens to be Heard
  8. City Manager’s Report
  9. Council Comments
  10. Adjournment


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Packet: Proposed Annual Budget, City of Valdosta, FY 2025, for Budget Meeting 2024-05-22

In this Proposed Annual Budget for the City of Valdosta Budget Meeting Wednesday afternoon, 3-8 PM, there are two bond series, one refinancing, the other new, both for water and sewer improvements.

Apparently the city has previously financed more than $32 million in loans from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA), and last year floated a bond at a lower interest rate for about $22 million still to be paid.

Even more interesting, if I am reading it correctly, this budget proposes a new bond for $67 million.

Maybe the Valdosta City government is getting more serious about fixing their sewer system problems.

This is all in addition to the water and sewer improvements paid for by Special Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) line items, by American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, or from other revenue; see below.

[Extracts, Proposed FY 2025 City of Valdosta Budget]
Extracts, Proposed FY 2025 City of Valdosta Budget

W&S 2020 Bond Series

  • Purpose: Refinance GEFA notes at a lower interest rate
  • Maturity Date: 2033
  • Original Principal Amount: $32,134,000; July 1, 2023, Principal Outstanding $22,264,065
  • Interest Rate: 2.29%
  • Funding Source: Water and Sewer Revenue Fund

Pending for FY 25 – estimate
W&S 2024 Bond Series

  • Purpose: Upgrades Water and Sewer
  • Maturity Date: 2054
  • Original Principal Amount: $67,000,000; July 1, 2023, Principal Outstanding $67,000,000
  • Interest Rate: 4.5%
  • Funding Source: Water and Sewer Revenue Fund

See page 49, Debt Service, FY 2025, City of Valdosta. Continue reading

Videos: LAS, TIA, Facilties, Emergency @ LCC 2022-09-27

Last month, the most time was spent on a six-minute Hurricane Ian report by EMA Director Ashley Tye, plus a minute on an added Local Emergency Declaration, at the Lowndes County Commission Regular Session of September 27, 2022.

Chairman Bill Slaughter was absent due to illness. Commissioner Scottie Orenstein presided. Commissioner Demarcus Marshall was also absent.

The most discussion on the regular agenda, at more than three minutes, was on the high-dollar item, the ongoing redo of the facilities at the county palace. Next at more than a minute was more than a minute on widening of Old Clyattville Road. The whole thing took twenty minutes.

[LAS, TIA, Facilties, Emergency @ LCC 2022-09-27]
LAS, TIA, Facilties, Emergency @ LCC 2022-09-27

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 the LAKE videos of the preceding morning’s Work Session and the agenda and board packet. Continue reading

Videos: LAS, TIA, Chiller, Ian @ LCC 2022-09-26

Update 2022-10-24: Videos: LAS, TIA, Facilties, Emergency @ LCC 2022-09-27.

A report on Hurricane Ian by EMA Director Ashley Tye (could be here by Wednesday) took eight minutes of the eighteen minutes of yesterday morning’s Lowndes County Commission Work Session.

[LAS, TIA, Chiller, Ian @ LCC 2022-09-26]
LAS, TIA, Chiller, Ian @ LCC 2022-09-26

Nonetheless, there was a surprising amount of discussion of other items, especially on 5.c. Transportation Investment Act (TIA) Old Clyattville Road Widening and on the $1,364,736.00 5.d. Comprehensive Facilities Energy Savings Project Amendment, which everybody agreed should not have needed so much fixing so soon.

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

Packet: Sewage LAS expansion testing, Old Clyattville Road widening, Replace county palace chiller @ LCC 2022-09-26

Update 2022-09-27: Videos: LAS, TIA, Chiller, Ian @ LCC 2022-09-26.

This week the Lowndes County Commission will spend $1.4 million, mostly on fixing faulty chillers on their meeting building, but also $45,460 on the South Lowndes Land Application Site (LAS) which handles the county’s sewage.

Their Work Session is 8:30 AM this morning. They vote at their Regular Session, 5:30 PM tomorrow evening, September 27, 2022.

Cost What
$1,364,736.00Comprehensive Facilities Energy Savings Project Amendment Resolution
$45,460.00South Lowndes LAS Expansion Assessment and Testing

Plus some amount of previously-authorized funds to widen Old Clyattville Road.

And there’s a beer and wine license.

[Collage Lowndes County Commission Packet 2022-09-26]
Collage Lowndes County Commission Packet 2022-09-26

The board packet, received in response to a LAKE open records request, is on the LAKE website. Here is the agenda:

327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Videos: slides @ LCC Millage 2022-08-23

Update 2022-09-14: Videos: Millage, tax assessment, 3 utilities, ZBOA, Juvenile Justice @ LCC 2022-08-23.

They rolled back the millage slightly. Millage rates for Parks and Rec and Development Authority were unchanged, also for the unincorporated county fire district.

[Pie and Commissioners]
Pie and Commissioners

As usual, no citizens showed up for the millage rate public hearing. Gretchen was the only person there who was not a Commissioner or staff, and since she is a Tax Assessor, I guess she’s staff, too, although she was there for LAKE, taking these videos.

Two of the Lowndes County Commissioners also did not show up for that meeting nor for the Regular Session that same evening. But they voted to adopt the millage anyway.

Here’s a LAKE video playlist: Continue reading

Millage Rate Hearing w. new fire millage @ LCC 2021-08-24

With the new 2.5 mil fire millage on unincorporated Lowndes County, property taxes in unincorporated Lowndes County will still be lower than in Valdosta.

The slides, presented by Finance Director Stephanie Black, were informative, although somewhat hard to read on the screen behind the Commissioners. They are not on the county’s website, and also not in the board packet.

Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker asked one question, wanting to know what the total millage would be for residents in the unincorpated parts of the county. Answer: 13.1.

Nobody spoke for or against at the Millage Rate Hearing, so it took less than eleven minutes.

[Slides, Finance, Fire millage, Commission]
Slides, Finance, Fire millage, Commission

The Lowndes County Commission voted in its Regular Session 20 minutes later.

Here is the LAKE video of the Millage Public Hearing. See also Continue reading

Valdosta Chamber Candidate Forum 2019-10-08

Meet the Candidates 2019, organized by the Valdosta Lowndes Chamber of Commerce: no questions from the audience, but Gretchen Quarterman videoed for LAKE the few minutes each candidate for Valdosta Mayor, City Council, or Valdosta Board of Education held forth. Plus seven minutes about SPLOST, the Special Local Option Sales Tax, the only thing voters in the unincorporated parts of Lowndes County get to vote on this election season.

Mike Gudley talks about the SPLOST referendum

Below are links to each LAKE video Gretchen took, followed by a LAKE video playlist.

Continue reading

Valdosta City Council Town Hall 2019-09-30

Most people missed a chance to ask whatever they wanted of the Valdosta City Council, without time limits or fear of ejection from the room. This town hall, hosted by Council members Andy Gibbs and Eric Howard, apparently was not announced on Valdosta’s own website nor in the Valdosta Daily Times. But Gretchen Quarterman was there for LAKE and videoed it, and provided the notes below. The few people who did attend were interested enough to take an hour and a half of their time to participate in the community and local government.

      People are sometimes afraid to speak

George Boston Rhynes noted that people might fear even coming to this kind of meeting, because of fear of retaliation, by being blackballed for jobs, or in other ways.

Lowndes County Commissioner Scottie Orenstein was there, and occasionally answered, as did Valdosta City Council Tim Carroll. City Council Sonny Vickers was also there.

Sidewalks were a major topic. Gretchen wondered why every street doesn’t have one. Instead, the city thinks it will improve traffic on Bemiss Road by making it wider.

Naturally, Taxes in County and City and property values were a major topic. Valdosta City Council Sandra Tooley said she thought sidewalks make property values go up, so why should the county get any of that tax money when the city paid to put the sidewalks in? Others misunderstood that, and more discussion ensued. People remain confused about how SPLOST works between city and county.

Back on transportation, a final speaker spelled out how Valdosta is not bicycle-friendly, so children can’t ride bicycles to school, students to VSU, employees to work, or people to see friends, because it is not safe. Same for Lowndes County: not safe for this healthy, family-friendly activity and transportation method. Andy Gibbs said this is one of the topics being gathered into the Parks and Rec. Master Plan, currently in progress.

Below are links to each LAKE video, followed by a LAKE video playlist. Continue reading

Lowndes County Budget Meetings 2019-05-07-09 @ LCC 2017-05-07

Lowndes County is holding its Budget Meetings this week. Typically Commissioners and staff hear from all departments, agencies, and Authorities that get tax funds collected by the county.

When: 8:30 AM – 4:15 PM Tuesday, May 7, 2019
8:30 AM – 2:15 PM Wednesday, May 8, 2019
8:30 AM – 2:45 PM Thursday, May 9, 2019

Where: Commission Chambers,
327 N. Ashley Street 2nd Floor,
Valdosta, GA 31601

All three Lowndes County calendar posts note:

Meetings could potentially run longer than the scheduled times.

I would guess one topic that will come up will be the remaining projects in SPLOST VII.

SPLOST VII pie chart

As usual, Continue reading