Tag Archives: Transparency

Videos: Process for non-profit applications for ARPA funds 2022-05-27

The Valdosta meeting about grants to non-profits from American Rescue Program Act (ARPA) funds consisted of a five-minute welcome by Valdosta City Manager Mark Barber, and a summary of the application process by Mike Smith of Valdosta United Way, followed by a half hour of questions and answers.

[Chuck Dinkins, Valdosta Finance Director, and Mike Smith, Valdosta United Way ]
Chuck Dinkins, Valdosta Finance Director, and Mike Smith, Valdosta United Way

The actual application is thirteen pages, yet is pretty straightforward.

Below are links to LAKE videos of those three segments, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also Continue reading

Process for non-profit applications for ARPA funds 2022-05-27

Update 2022-06-23: LAKE videos.

Posted yesterday on facebook and twitter, one of the committees announced a week ago is having a presentation this morning:

City of Valdosta
@CityofValdosta

Join the City of Valdosta tomorrow at 9 a.m. as we present to the community our Non-Profit Committee application process from the ARPA allocation. @greatervaldostaunitedway @valdostachamber

[Flyer, Committee members]
Flyer, Committee members

When: 9 AM, Friday, May 27, 2022

Where: Women’s Building, 1409 N. Patterson St., Valdosta, GA Continue reading

Videos: Budget Work Session, Lowndes County Commission 2022-05-23

No citizens showed up other than Gretchen Quarterman, behind the LAKE video camera. Commissioners did not vote, because this is presumably the first of several Budget Hearings. Or is it? It was billed as a Work Session. Anyway, it took seventeen minutes.

[Executives and Revenue]
Executives and Revenue

County Manager Paige Dukes said Continue reading

Budget Work Session, Lowndes County Commission 2022-05-23

Update 2022-05-23: Videos: Budget Work Session, Lowndes County Commission 2022-05-23.

Appeared on lowndescounty.com/calendar a few days ago:

[Budget Work Session Notice]
Budget Work Session Notice

No agenda. No draft budget on the Finance Department web pages (the most recent is the one about to expire).

The budget meeting is after the 8:30 AM Work Session. Continue reading

Videos: Camelot Crossing subdivision tabled for two weeks @ LCC 2022-04-12

The Camelot Crossing subdivision, with no currently-planned outlet on Val Del Road, was tabled for two weeks at the request of the opponents, who filled the room. The county also still has an issue with a chokepoint through which both exits route, as mentioned by Commissioner Clay Griner, who made the motion to table, seconded by Demarcus Marshall. Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker said there was an outlet onto Old US 41 North, and he voted against tabling.

[Presentation and rezonings]
Presentation and rezonings

Commissioner Scott Orenstein mentioned that the YMCA still plans to build “an aquatic center” on its nearby property.

The other two subdivision rezonings were approved unanimously, as were all the other voting items.

Below are links to Continue reading

Videos: Turn lanes and EV charging @ LCC 2022-04-11

Videos: Camelot Crossing subdivision tabled for two weeks @ LCC 2022-04-12.

An updated plan that no longer has any egress onto Val Del Road arrived Friday for 6.b. REZ-2022-07 Hayden Park. Nonetheless, the turn lanes on Val Del Road were already scheduled as a T-SPLOST project, expected to be completed in 2023. Not clear whether there are two egress points in the current plan.

[Rezoning, EV, VAWA, Quit claim]
Rezoning, EV, VAWA, Quit claim

The county’s sound system is working, so the LAKE video camera was plugged into it at yesterday morning’s Lowndes County Commission Work Session.

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

Subdivisions subsidized by roads, EV charging, VAWA, Soccer complex, Courtroom AV @ LCC 2022-04-11

Update 2022-04-12: Videos.

Thanks to Joe Brownlee of Georgia Power for getting Lowndes County to agree to Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at the county palace.

REZ-2022-06 Kinderlou Forest aims to go pretty close to Spring Branch and the Withlacoochee River.

[Rezonings, Val Del Road traffic, Electric Vehicle Charging]
Rezonings, Val Del Road traffic, Electric Vehicle Charging

The agenda item for REZ-2022-07 Hayden Park, Camelot Crossing & Val Del Rd says “BUDGET IMPACT: N/A” for “a mixture of residential and commercial sites for development in various stages.” Yet the Lowndes County Commission board packet contains 52 pages of traffic study for the intersection of Val Del Road and North Valdosta Road. Staff notes “Plans for two left-turn lanes from Val Del to North Valdosta Road are anticipated to be complete by 2023.” The applicant’s Letter of intent says, “Lowndes County has been wise to pro-actively invest in infrastructure here, anticipating and preparing for new growth.” Continue reading

Unanimously voted down: Miller Bridge Road subdivision @ LCC 2022-02-08

The Commissioners unanimously denied the rezoning for the subdivision on Miller Bridge Road. Applicants spoke a minute over their time, yet did not present the slides they said the previous morning they were going to present; we include scans of those slides here for historical reference, for when the next subdivision like this comes up, next week or next year.

Commissioners unanimously approved the other two rezonings.

They also unanimously approved 6.a. Transportation Investment Act (TIA) Local Project – Coleman Road NW and 6.b. Transportation Investment Act (TIA) Local Project Kinderlou-Clyattville Rd. Road building and improvement projects attract subdivisions. But the opponents to the Miller Bridge Road subdivision had already left after that one item. Chairman Bill Slaughter mentioned that the crowd was gone in 6.c. Internal Network Firewalls.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with a few notes, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the LAKE videos of the previous morning’s Work Session, the agenda and board packet and the LAKE videos of the preceding Planning Commission meeting, as well as Secrecy of Lowndes County Commission and Staff.

Here’s a LAKE video playlist:


Unanimously voted down: Miller Bridge Road subdivision @ LCC 2022-02-08
Lowndes County Commission Regular Session, Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),

Applicant Slides REZ-2022-03 Miller Bridge Road

How did we get them? The County Manager handed them to LAKE’s Gretchen Quarterman at the previous morning’s Work Session.

Images below (apologies for the accidental cropping of the right side), and the whole thing as PDF.

The developer’s last point in their Justification for Zoning Request does identify a widespread problem:

7. Almost every subdivision built in Lowndes County is adjacent to some form of agriculture or timber production

However, there is no need to make it worse.

Another point in that same slide is plain wrong:

5. There will be minimal impact to County facilities or services, while increasing the taxes of the county approximately $70k per year

The Dorfman Report

sprawl The Local Government Fiscal Impacts of Land Use in Lowndes County: Revenue and Expenditure Streams by Land Use Category, Jeffrey H. Dorfman, Ph.D., Dorfman Consulting, December 2007.

As Dr. Dorfman summarized in a different presentation,

Local governments must ensure balanced growth, as
sprawling residential growth is a certain ticket to fiscal ruin*
* Or at least big tax increases.

It’s interesting that the developers put Groundwater Recharge Area first in their OPPOSITION POINTS ADDRESSED:

  1. Groundwater Recharge Area:
    1. Lowndes County adheres to Local and State standards when in the Groundwater Recharge Area
    2. Notable Developments in Recharge Area in Lowndes County)
      1. Landfill
      2. Kinderlou Forest and Foxborough Subdivisions
      3. Valdosta Regional Airport
      4. Moody Airforce Base
      5. City of Dasher
      6. City of Lake Park and surrounding area
      7. Lake Park Industrial Park

While probably all these points are true (I haven’t checked each location), most of them precede current concerns about groundwater recharge, and there is no need to make the problem worse.

[WINDY HILL SUBDIVISION, Lowndes County Rezoning Application, REZ-2022-03]
WINDY HILL SUBDIVISION, Lowndes County Rezoning Application, REZ-2022-03


-jsq

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!

Ten minute Work Session @ LCC 2022-02-07

Update 2022-03-18: Unanimously voted down: Miller Bridge Road subdivision @ LCC 2022-02-08.

The developer of the proposed 5.c. REZ-2022-03 Windy Hill Subdivision, 7532 Miller Bridge Rd. plans to make a presentation this evening at the voting Regular Session, we heard at yesterday morning’s February 7, 2022, Work Session of the Lowndes County Commission.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with a few notes by Gretchen, who was there, followed by a LAKE playlist. See also the agenda and board packet, and that post has links to the previous relevant meetings and materials.

[Chairman and Miller Bridge Road rezoning]
Chairman and Miller Bridge Road rezoning

Continue reading

Board’s Pleasure should be Deny: Miller Bridge Road rezoning @ LCC 2022-02-07

Update 2022-03-08: Ten minute Work Session @ LCC 2022-02-07.

On the agenda for tomorrow morning’s Lowndes County Commission Work Session, county staff included the petition against REZ-2022-03 Windy Hill Subdivision, 7532 Miller Bridge Rd.. County staff note “RECOMMENDED ACTION: Board’s Pleasure or Deny”, unlike the other two options, where the second option is “Approve”. Those who do not want that rezoning to pass would do well to contact their Commissioners before the meetings, and then show up at the meetings, or at least the Tuesday 5:30 PM voting Regular Session.

For REZ-2022-01 Hamilton Green Townhomes, Bemiss Rd., 045D 006A, they cited a parcel that does not exist. The correct parcel number, 0145D 006A, was in the Planning Commission agenda.

[Miller Bridge Road rezoning: Petition, Opposition parcels; Bemiss Road rezoning]
Miller Bridge Road rezoning: Petition, Opposition parcels; Bemiss Road rezoning

As usual, county staff say rezonings do not cost the county anything. Nevermind that subdivisions far from county services will never pay enough in property taxes to fund sending school buses, fire trucks, and Sheriff vehicles, so all the taxpayers subsidize those costs.

Cost What
$72,653.86Internal Network Firewalls
$72,653.86Total

Here is the agenda, and the board packet, on the LAKE website, received in response to a LAKE open records request. See also Continue reading