Tag Archives: taxes

Videos: Clyattstone Road Paving, Bids, Lease, Appointments, nothing for Fire Dept. @ LCC 2020-01-14

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. More detail 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. More in 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

Videos: Water quality testing, Bids, Leaase, Appointments @ LCC 2020-01-13

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

Bids $1.4 million, insurance $1 million, and $0.4 million lease plus two Appointments @ LCC 2020-01-13

A million dollars for Paving – Quail Hollow Acres Subdivision and $0.4 million for Bid for a 3,000 Gallon Tanker for the Fire Department. Another million for 2020 Stop Loss Insurance Coverage through Symetra Life Ins. Company. A quarter million to relocate utilities at I-75 Exit 2 will be paid by GDOT. And a million in income for a Lease Agreement with the State Properties Commission for the Division of Family & Children Services (DFACS).

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Molly Deese wants to be reappointed to the Valdosta Lowndes County Conference Center and Tourism Authority. Incumbents almost always get reappointed if they say they want to, and the chances of them not reappointing the Vice President and General Manager of Wild Adventures is pretty slim. Ditto Dr. Frances Brown on the Lowndes County Board of Health.

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

Cities and Lowndes County settle service delivery dispute @ LCC 2020-01-08

Update 2020-01-10: Not quite settled. Valdosta still has to agree to it.

These must be golden words indeed, to have been worth the hundreds of thousands of legal fees expended over them:

  1. In regards to water and sewer services:

    The Parties’ current water and sewer service areas are delineated on the service area maps attached to the DCA Forms for water and sewer services approved herewith.

    All existing intergovernmental agreements of the Parties regarding the provision of water and sewer services shall remain in effect.

    Any request for an extraterritorial extension shall be negotiated by the requesting Party and the affected Party. Approval of the affected Party shall not be unreasonably withheld.

The wording is “based on trust,” said Commissioner Clay Griner. “Where’s the document?” responded Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker? “It’s on your ipad,” clarified Chair Bill Slaughter.

As the County Clerk proceeded to hand out paper copies, Griner elaborated:

And it’s all based on trust. It’s us trusting, the County Commission trusting the City Council, whichever municipality it is, to do the right thing. The city council has to trust the County Commission to do the right thing. And the citizens to trust all of us to sit down and do the right thing.

After the county didn’t put anything for the citizens to see on the county website about this Wednesday morning meeting until 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

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.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2019, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, MARCH 12, 2019, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Neighbors oppose Val Del rezoning @ LCC 2018-10-09

If not consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, nor with the water and sewer growth plan, fire and rescue doesn’t want it, and the Planning Commission recommended rejecting it, what does it take for the Lowndes County Commission to reject a zoning, in this case for REZ-2018-17 for The Settlement North, 5999 Val Del Road?

Five hands go up, REZ-2018-17

Only three people were allowed to speak against, of the five whose hands went up.

The developer promised restrictive covenants enforced by nobody but the homeowners. County-imposed conditions on the Nelson Hill development, also on Val Del, were largely waived by county staff without public hearings. What promises should we believe?

Will the developer’s demand to ignore the Comprehensive Plan because of “market conditions, supply and demand” prevail? Do property values of neighbors not matter? How about saddling the county school system with houses priced too low for property taxes on them to cover expenses of sending school buses? Or is profit for a few all that matters?

See the Continue reading