Tag Archives: Valdosta

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: Hospital Authority appointment, 6 rezonings, paving and resurfacing, subdision infrastructure, probationers @ LCC Work 2024-05-13

This Work Session was long by Lowndes County Commission standards, more than half an hour.

[Collage @ LCC 13 May 2024]
Collage @ LCC 13 May 2024

Almost half of that, 13 and a half minutes, was on 7.c. REZ-2024-08 River Road, 4374 River Road, mostly about spacing between houses and fire risk.

Another five minutes was on 7.d. REZ-2024-09 Dasher Grove, about the timeline for Val Del Road improvements.

Notice the Val Del Road improvements are TIA projects, which means tax-paid road improvements to benefit a private developer. Yet this and other such rezonings appear in the agenda as “BUDGET IMPACT: NA”.

Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker asked if the packet materials could be projected on the screen for 6.a. Appointment – Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County. ITS Director Aaron Kostyu said he did not have the ability to do that.

Well, the County Planner manages to project all the materials for the rezonings. Why can’t the ITS Director project materials for other board agenda items?

Or the County Commissioners can look at the LAKE website, I suppose.

Or county staff could put the board packet on the county’s own website.

Either way, the Commissioners could use the Internet to look at it on their tablets.

The Commissioners could just direct staff to put the packet on the county’s website.

Commissioners also had some questions about why the increases in Continue reading

Two Remerton setback cases, 1 Lowndes County multiple residence rezoning, 1 Valdosta CUP @ GLPC 2024-05-20

These cases for the Greater Lowndes Planning Commission (GLPC) Monday evening seem unremarkable to me.

We do not yet have the packet materials for the Remerton cases, so I inserted a map from the Lowndes County Tax Assessors. We will post the Remerton materials when we get them.

[1 Remerton, 1 Valdosta, 2 Lowndes @ GLPC 2024-05-20, Woodard St., Glenn Road, W Magnolia St.]
1 Remerton, 1 Valdosta, 2 Lowndes @ GLPC 2024-05-20, Woodard St., Glenn Road, W Magnolia St.

Here is the agenda.

The packet materials we have received from Valdosta and Lowndes County, in response to a LAKE open records request, are on the LAKE website.

Greater Lowndes Planning Commission
~ Lowndes County ~ City of Valdosta ~ City of Dasher ~
~ City of Hahira ~ City of Lake Park ~ City of Remerton ~
Monday, May 13, 2024 5:30 P.M. Work Session
Monday, May 20, 2024 5:30 P.M. Regular Session
Lowndes County South Health District Administrative Office
325 West Savannah Avenue, Valdosta, Georgia

Continue reading

Packet: Hospital Authority appointment, 6 rezonings, paving and resurfacing, subdision infrastructure, probationers @ LCC 2024-05-13

Update 2024-05-17: Videos: Hospital Authority appointment, 6 rezonings, paving and resurfacing, subdision infrastructure, probationers @ LCC Work 2024-05-13.

This week the Lowndes County Commission takes on six rezonings and other business, including $1,194,081.20 in 2024 Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) Resurfacing Bids, paid for by your Transportation Improvement Act (TIA) sales tax.

[Hospital Authority, 6 rezonings, probationers, paving and resurfacing, subdivision infrastructure, road abandonment @ LCC 2024-04-13]
Hospital Authority, 6 rezonings, probationers, paving and resurfacing, subdivision infrastructure, road abandonment @ LCC 2024-04-13

Here is the agenda.

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

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, MAY 13, 2024, 8:30 A.M.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2024, 5:30 P.M.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Videos: 6 Lowndes County cases, 1 Lake Park, 1 Valdosta @ GLPC 2024-04-29

Update 2024-04-10: Packet: Hospital Authority appointment, 6 rezonings, paving and resurfacing, subdivision infrastructure, probationers @ LCC 2024-05-13.

For an hour and 42 minutes the Greater Lowndes Planning Commission discussed and recommended for or against eight rezoning cases.

Two Lowndes County Commissioners attended: Scottie Orenstein and Joyce Evans. The Lowndes County Commission will hear these cases this week, or so we assume, since they have no agenda posted yet.

At the Planning Commission, nobody spoke against most of the cases on the agenda, and the Commissioners unanimously recommended approval of those, sometimes with conditions.

Only two cases were very slightly controversial.

[Collage @ LCC 29 April 2024]
Collage @ LCC 29 April 2024

Clint Joyner said, “I’m telling you, Continue reading

Videos: Appointment to Land Bank Authority, Mutual Aid Agreement, SetterPointe Subdivision, grants, offsite alcohol, data center switches, and failed land sale @ LCC Regular 2024-04-23

With no discussion, the Lowndes County Commission unanimously appointed James Miller to the Land Bank Authority. Gretchen note, “I’m guessing that this was pre-discussed because there was no discussion at either the work session, nor at this meeting. How do they decide? It’s a mystery.”

At that same Regular Session of April 23, 2024, they also approved everything else unanimously.

There was some discussion of how many single-parent families would be affected by the 6.a. FY 2025 Juvenile Justice Incentive Grant.

Commissioner Clay Griner asked where are the 6.g. North Lowndes Data Center Switches. Answer from Aaron Kostyu: “I would be happy to discuss that with you offline, but it’s probably not best for us to discuss data center locations in a public meeting.”

Jeff Hardy asked in Citizens Wishing to be heard about the timeline for replacement of the Frank’s Creek Bridge on Shiloh Road and about emergency services. The Chairman said he would speak to him after the meeting. Seems to me more citizens would like to know the answers.

No rezonings were on the agenda.

[Collage @ LCC 23 April 2024]
Collage @ LCC 23 April 2024

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with a few notes by Gretchen Quarterman, followed by a LAKE video playlist.

See also the LAKE videos of the previous morning’s Work Session, and the agenda and board packet. Continue reading

Videos: Appointment to Land Bank Authority, Mutual Aid Agreement, SetterPointe Subdivision, grants, offsite alcohol, data center switches, and failed land sale @ LCC Work 2024-04-22

Update 2024-05-10: Videos: Appointment to Land Bank Authority, Mutual Aid Agreement, SetterPointe Subdivision, grants, offsite alcohol, data center switches, and failed land sale @ LCC Regular 2024-04-23.

At their Work Session Monday morning, April 22, 2024, the Lowndes County Commission did not reveal which of three applicants they favor to appoint to the Land Bank Authority.

They breezed through everything else, with few questions, mostly wanting to know if there would be any surprises, to which the answer was always no.

This one was not anticipated in the original agreement: 5.d. TIA Supplemental Agreement for Hightower Road/Cooper Road NE.

No rezonings were on the agenda.

They voted the next evening.

[Collage @ LCC 22 April 2024]
Collage @ LCC 22 April 2024

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with a few notes by Gretchen Quarterman, followed by a LAKE video playlist.

See also the agenda and board packet. Continue reading

Videos: ULDC text amendments, Hahira Personal Service Shops, Valdosta PSS and rezonings @ GLPC 2024-03-25

The ULDC text amendments were on the agenda, at the Greater Lowndes Planning Commission, 5:30 PM, Monday, March 25, 2024. However, Lowndes County never published them for the public to see, so far as LAKE knows. But LAKE obtained a previous version of them by open records request and published that version of the amendments. Nobody spoke for or against the amendments at the Planning Commission, which then voted unanimously to recommend approval.

[Collage @ GLPC 25 March 2024]
Collage @ GLPC 25 March 2024

The Planning Commission also unanimously recommended approval of almost all the other cases. Except 7. VA-2024-06 Park-Hawthorne LLC (North Forrest Street Extension) – R-6(c) to R-M, which had two votes against.

They adjourned at 6:30, making it a 50-minute meeting, which was brief for the Planning Commission.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with a few notes by Gretchen Quarterman, followed by a LAKE video playlist.

See also the Continue reading

Packet: 6 Lowndes County cases, 1 Lake Park, 1 Valdosta @ GLPC 2024-04-29

Update 2024-05-10: Videos: 6 Lowndes County cases, 1 Lake Park, 1 Valdosta @ GLPC 2024-04-29.

The Greater Lowndes Planning Commission (GLPC) will be busy this evening, maybe with a packed audience, to review eight rezoning cases.

[Packet: 6 Lowndes County cases, 1 Lake Park, 1 Valdosta @ GLPC 2024-04-29]
Packet: 6 Lowndes County cases, 1 Lake Park, 1 Valdosta @ GLPC 2024-04-29

Considering waterways, these cases seem unremarkable.

The Lake Park W. Marion Ave. rezoning is near Long Pond, but not on it.

The Valdosta Williams Street rezoning apparently drains into One Mile Branch, which goes into Sugar Creek and the Withlacoochee River, but is not very near that creek.

The Skipper Bridge Road rezoning near Franklinville Road is uphill from the Withlacoochee River, but not near to it. This is the one case with no utilities, but it is for a single house.

The River Road rezoning backs up onto Pebble Creek, which runs into Crawford Branch into the Withlacoochee River, but that area is recognized as wetlands on the plat, with a detention pond.

The Dasher Grove Road and Val Del Road rezoning includes two creeks that run into Sermons Branch, into the Withlacoochee River, but at least they are recognized as wetlands and avoided in the conceptual plan.

The Old US 41 rezoning is near Sermons Branch, which runs into the Withlacoochee River.

The Whitewater Road rezoning is near creeks that end up in the Withlacoochee River.

The Carter Lane rezoning is at the top of Caney Branch, which runs into Enoch Creek, the Alapahoochee River, and the Alapaha River.

Here is the agenda.

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

Greater Lowndes Planning Commission
~ Lowndes County ~ City of Valdosta ~ City of Dasher ~
~ City of Hahira ~ City of Lake Park ~ City of Remerton ~

Monday, April 22, 2024 5:30 P.M. Work Session
Monday, April 29, 2024 5:30 P.M. Regular Session
Lowndes County South Health District Administrative Office
325 West Savannah Avenue, Valdosta, Georgia

Continue reading

Videos: Race Track Road SE abandonment and TXT-2024-01 ULDC Amendments @ LCC Regular 2024-04-09

“We’re down to one!” said Commissioner Scotti Orenstein, seeing Commissioners Joyce Evans and Demarcus Marshall coming out of the elevator before the April 9, 2024, Lowndes County Commission Regular Session.

“Due to an issue with some advertising, staff is requesting this item be tabled until until the May 14, 2024, meeting,” said Engineering Director Chad McLeod, in 5. Public Hearing a. Abandonment of a Portion of Race Track Road SE.

[Collage @ LCC 9 April 2024]
Collage @ LCC 9 April 2024

They meet again this morning at 8:30 AM for their Work Session, and Tuesday at 5:30 PM for their voting Regular Session.

Their Regular Session two weeks ago would have been very brief, except for Continue reading