Tag Archives: Valdosta

Retreat at Jekyll Island Club @ LCC 2021-02-25

Lowndes County Commissioners and staff are meeting tomorrow where those pesky taxpayers won’t be “distraction to strategically address community needs and set goals for the next year.”

Tripadvisor says: “A Historic Treasure not just for “Millionaires” of Jekyll Island Club Resort”, with rooms from $207 to $220 per night.

[Cherokee Cottage]
Cherokee Cottage

I do congratulate the newish Lowndes County Public Information Officer for putting out a press release, and for promising a daily “synopsis of discussions” to be posted on the county’s website.

How about a daily video, such as LAKE has posted for several years? Or livestream the meetings via facebook live, YouTube, or Zoom?

Meghan Barwick, Lowndes County Press Release, February 18, 2021, Lowndes County Board of Commissioners Host Annual Planning Meeting,

Lowndes County, Georgia- The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners will hold their annual planning meeting on Jekyll Island February 25-26, 2021 at the Jekyll Island Hotel, Cherokee Cottage, 371 Riverview Dr., Jekyll Island, Georgia. The planning meeting will begin on Thursday, February 25 at 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. and resume Friday, February 26 at 8:30 a.m. wrapping up at 12:00 noon.

The purpose of the annual planning meeting is Continue reading

Roads, Water, and Taxes @ LCC 2021-02-22

Four million dollars in tax money discussed this morning, to be voted on at 5:30 PM tomorrow (Tuesday) by the Lowndes County Commission.

[Table: Four Million Dollars]
Table: Four Million Dollars

Yet their video cameras seem to be broken and I haven’t seen anything about paying to fix them or buy new ones. Meanwhile, Valdosta City Council started online through an iphone, and numerous other counties in Georgia and Florida have made their meetings accessible online.

Cost What
$1,974,139.00Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) Loan Application for the Lake Park Bellville Road Widening Project
$1,875,000.00 Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) Loan Application for Lift Station & Manhole Rehab Project
$219,000.00Approve Purchase of West Savannah Avenue and Briggs Street Properties
$168,880.00Purchase of Wetland and Stream Credits for Old US 41 North Widening Project
$59,500.00Contract with Condrey and Associates, Inc.
$34,024.64Request for the Purchase of Motorola Radios for Public Works
$19,167.00 Approval of the Solicitor General’s VAWA Competitive Grant Award
$10,195.00Approval of Hightower Road and Cooper Road Right of Way Purchases
$6,000.00GMASS Rural Land Maintenance Contract
$339.00Just Compensation – Right of Way Parcel 10 Hightower Road and Cooper Road, TSPLOST Project
$4,366,244.64Total

We don’t know where are the lift stations or manholes to be financed through a GEFA loan for $1,875,000, but I’d say that’s a good use of funds. Not so sure about the $1,974,139 for relocating utilities for widening Lake Park Bellville Road, because I’m not clear on why that road needs widening. I do wonder why sewer and drinking water improvements have to be funded through loans while road building gets tax funds.

Here is the agenda. The board packet is on the LAKE website, received Friday in response to a LAKE Open Records request.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2021, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Alcohol, Public Defender, ULDC, Whitewater Road Lift Station Pump @ LCC 2021-02-08

Why does the county need a consultant to help revise its Unified Land Development Code (ULDC), to the tune of $39,370.00? On the agenda for discussion Monday morning 8:30 AM and voting Tuesday 5:30 PM by the Lowndes County Commission, February 8 and 9, 2021.

The Utilities Department wants a pump for its Whitewater Road Lift Station before it fails, which is a good thing: preventive maintenance.

Public Works wants to buy a lift instead of renting one. Probably this will reduce overall expenditures for “building maintenance, maintaining banners in the parking lots and for Christmas decorating.”

Cost What
$39,370.00 ULDC Revision – Agreement with Goodwyn Mills Cawood (GMC)
$39,261.63 Bid for a Lift for the Public Works Department
$39,158.7.00 Whitewater Road Lift Station Pump
$117,790.33Total

The annual 2021 Public Defender Contracts are up for renewal. While this is a good thing, it’s curious that it’s listed as having no effect on the budget, despite costing money.

And there are two alcohol licenses to vote on. Curious that those show no effect on the budget. Is there no fee for an alcohol license?

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

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2021, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

  1. Call to Order
  2. Invocation
  3. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
  4. Minutes for Approval
    1. Work Session – January 25, 2021 & Regular Session – January 26, 2021
  5. Public Hearing
    1. Beer, Wine, and Liquor License – Lucila Parker of Restaurante Mexicano San Judas Tadeo, Inc., DBA Restaurante Mexicano San Judas Tadeo, Inc. – 4333 Bemiss Rd. Suite 12, Valdosta, GA

      Documents:Beer, Wine, and Liquor License – Lucila Parker of Restaurante Mexicano San Judas Tadeo, Inc., DBA Restaurante Mexicano San Judas Tadeo, Inc.pdf

  6. For Consideration
    1. Wine License – Manishaben Patel of Sai Krupa 2018 LLC, DBA JP Foods #2 – 3663 New Statenville Hwy., Valdosta, GA

      Documents:Wine License – Manishaben Patel of Sai Krupa 2018 LLC, DBA JP Foods 2.pdf

    2. 2021 Public Defender Contracts

      Documents:2021 Public Defender Contracts.pdf

    3. ULDC Revision – Agreement with Goodwyn Mills Cawood (GMC)

      Documents:ULDC Revision – Agreement with Goodwyn Mills Cawood (GMC).pdf

    4. Whitewater Road Lift Station Pump

      Documents:Whitewater Road Lift Station Pump.pdf

  7. Bid
    1. Bid for a Lift for the Public Works Department

      Documents:Bid for a Lift for the Public Works Department.pdf

  8. Reports – County Manager
  9. Citizens Wishing to be Heard-Please State Your Name and Address
  10. Adjournment

-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!

Packet: Clyattstone Road rezoning yet again, Decorative lighting, Transportation, Alcohol, Taxes, Law, Cybersecurity, Pandemic @ LCC 2021-01-25

After discussion Monday morning, on Tuesday evening the Lowndes County Commission will approve spending $2 million tax dollars, mostly in $1.6 million on Lake Park Bellville Road, including relocating water and sewer lines. There’s another $90,000 on Hightower Road and Cooper Road NE, Right of Way Purchases.

Cost What
$1,655,975.00Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) Contract Item Agreement/Memorandum of Understanding Lake Park Bellville Road
$280,193.75FY 2020 Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Application
$90,670.31Approval of Hightower Road and Cooper Road NE, Right of Way Purchases
$29,400.00Cybersecurity Maturity Tier 1
$12,500.00Agreement with SGRC to Develop 2021 Lowndes County Comprehensive Plan Update
$20,000.00FY 2020 Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Grant (to be fully reimbursed)
$2,068,739.06Total

REZ-2020-20 Ballyntyne 6712 Clyattstone Road is back yet again, this time probably to be improved. The agenda sheet says no cost for that rezoning, but remember last time we added up more than $3 million the county has already spent on Clyattstone Road and water and sewer infrastructure.

The least expensive item with dollars listed is FY 2020 Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Grant, because it will be fully reimbursed.

Also inexpensive and probably cost-effective is Agreement with SGRC to Develop 2021 Lowndes County Comprehensive Plan Update.

[Subdivisions in northwest Lowndes County, GA]
Subdivisions in northwest Lowndes County, GA

Listed at no cost to the county is Addition to Basic Decorative Street Lighting District – Creekside West, Ph. 6 & 7 and Val Del Villas, which includes maps of subdivisions in northwest Lowndes County, allowing you to see the extent of sprawl so far in that direction.

The board packet is on the LAKE website, received Friday in response to a LAKE open records request.
http://www.l-a-k-e.org/govt/loco/2021-01-25–lcc-packet/

We look forward to board packets being on the county’s own website along with the agenda.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, JANUARY 25, 2021, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2021, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Grinding by Valdosta and Nashville, FInances, Audit, Officers Election DSSWA 2021-01-20

Should be interesting.

The Deep South Solid Waste Authority (SSWA) Board packet is on the LAKE website:
http://www.l-a-k-e.org/govt/dsswa/2021-01-20–dsswa-packet/

If you want to attend, which you can do remotely, please contact Elizabeth Backe, AICP, Planning Director, Southern Georgia Regional Commission, 229-333-5277 ext. 146, ebacke@sgrc.us.

[Attorney Tommy Coleman]
Photo: John S. Quarterman for LAKE of DSSWA 2020-11-18 meeting

Meeting of the Board of Directors
Deep South Regional Municipal Solid Waste Management Authority
January 20, 2021
6:00 PM
Southern Georgia Regional Commission
Valdosta, Georgia
AGENDA

Continue reading

COVID-19, Ballyntyne Subdivision, County expenses for Hightower Road, Sewer, Moody AFB, Fire Pumper @ LCC 2021-01-11

The agenda sheet for rezoning REZ-2020-20 Ballyntyne (back again from last month) claims no budget impact, but that ignores the many thousands of county tax dollars already spent on Clyattstone Road, as well as followup maintenance of roads, sewer, and water, not to mention School Board expenses for sending buses, as well as Fire Department and Sheriff Department expenses whenever called.

[WRPDO Site Map]
WRPDO Site Map

This is what I’ve found the Lowndes County Commission has already spent on Clyattstone Road, and I may have missed some.

Cost What When
$1,681,770.84Grading, Drainage, Base, and Paving of Clyattstone Road and Simpson Lane. 2020-09-21
$1,417,333.98Clyattstone Water Main Extension 2020-09-21
$43,245.50 The stated ROW cost in the agenda 2020-02-24
$23,590.50 Approval of Clyattstone Rd.-Simpson Ln. ROW and Easement Purchases (Parcels 26 and 34) 2020-07-14
$20,000.00 For wetland credits acquisition 2020-04-28.
$11,535.00 and the other stated ROW cost in the agenda
$2,916.00 Up to that amount for an acre of drainage for Simpson Lane 2020-04-16.
$1,085.00 Approve Purchasing ROW and Drainage Easement for Clyattstone Rd.-Simpson Ln. TSPLOST Paving Project 2020-05-27
$3,201,476.82 County tax dollars so far spent on Clyattstone Road

So that’s more than $3 million tax dollars the county has already spent subsidizing subdivision developers on Clyattstone Road, before getting into maintenance and later School Board and Fire and Sheriff Department expenses. Remember that when somebody says public transportation has to be subsidized.

Here are the expenses acknowledged in agenda sheets for this coming week’s Commission meetings:

Cost What
$351,115.00Bid for a Pumper for the Fire Department
$315,557.58Approval of Railroad Agreement for Hightower Road Project
$96,556.75Low Pressure Sewer Force Main Upgrade on Old Bemiss and Bemiss Knights Academy Road
$28,000.75Approval of Hightower Road and Cooper Road NE, Right of Way Purchases
$2,500.00Moody Water Treatment Plant Emergency Repair
$793,730.08Total

The board packet, received in response to a LAKE open records request, is on the LAKE website:
http://www.l-a-k-e.org/govt/loco/2021-01-11–lcc-packet

Here is the agenda.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 2021, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, JANUARY 12, 2021, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Tax Assessors appointed, sworn in, Lowndes County, Georgia 2020-01-05

After many years of rising sentiment, the voters in November 2019, approved changing Lowndes County from being one of only two of 159 Georgia counties that elected its Tax Assessors to appointing them, and the legislature agreed. Finally in September 2020 the Lowndes County Commission appointed three new Assessors, and on January 5, 2021, they were sworn in. Their first official meeting is tomorrow.

[Vote, Swearing, Judge, Assessors]
Vote, Swearing, Judge, Assessors

Applying for the Board of Tax Assessors according to the agenda for the 21 September, 2020, Work Session and the Tuesday, 22 September Regular Session were Mr. Gene Felts and Mrs. Gretchen Quarterman. The Tuesday voting was a bit more complicated. Continue reading

Solar power is beating fracked methane like the Internet won over BITNET

Why am I so sure that I will live to see fracked methane pipelines shut down, along with their tar sands and petroleum partners in crime? Because I’ve seen it before, a quarter century ago, when the Internet won over all other networks, including BITNET.

BITNET in the U.S. and Worldwide and the Internet, Matrix News 4.10 October 1994
BITNET in the U.S. and Worldwide and the Internet, in Matrix News 4.10 October 1994.

The exponential growth of the Internet sucked users away from all the other networks. Coal is already crashing so fast that cleaning up coal ash is the biggest issue. Nukes are closing left and right. “Natural” gas is still growing, but not as fast as solar and wind, which produced more new electricity than any other source in 2020. Soon, fracked methane will peak, and then it will fall fast, just like coal did. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Solar, wind, batteries and other storage will continue to soar until almost all electricity comes from them. A cleaner world, with profit for those who buy in, and lower power charges for everyone: it’s coming fast.

Vote for clean energy and help it arrive faster.

Remember FidoNet? Probably you’ve never heard of it, and this is why. Remember BITNET? Maybe not, but one of its neologisms lingers on: Continue reading

FFA, Appointments, Liquor, Rezonings, Roads, Forestry, DUI, Holidays, Insurance, Calendar, Trucks @ LCC 2020-12-07

Update 2020-12-15: Board packet is on the LAKE website.

A million and a half dollars, mostly for insurance, on the agenda for the final Lowndes County Commission session of 2020, and that’s not counting the many-years-long ramifications of rezoning for new subdivisions and acquiring right of way for a new road.

[Rezonings: REZ-2020-17 3833 Inner Perimeter Road; REZ-2020-19 3435 Bemiss Knights Academy; REZ-2020-20 6712 Clyattstone Road]
Rezonings: REZ-2020-17 3833 Inner Perimeter Road; REZ-2020-19 3435 Bemiss Knights Academy; REZ-2020-20 6712 Clyattstone Road

Cost What
$1,240,297.002021 Stop Loss Insurance Coverage Renewal Through Symetra Life Ins. Company
$174,759.002021 ACCG Workers’ Compensation Insurance Renewal
$60,862.00Bid for 2 – Three Quarter Ton Trucks for the Engineering Department
$27,367.00Bid for a Sport Utility Vehicle for the 911 Center
$920.50 Georgia Forestry Commission Services [LAS prescribed burns] Agreement
$381.00Office of the Governor Criminal Justice Coordinating Council Accountability Court Lowndes County DUI Court- State Court
$1,504,586.50Total

Lowndes County Development Authority Terms are up for Brooks Akins, Gary Cannon, and Jerome Tucker. Cannon and Tucker want reappointment, and the Commission almost always reappoints.

Resolution Rejection Quitclaim Deed; Affidavit Regarding Title- Branch Point. The County has laid out the right-of-way for a county road known as Fender Road between Williams School… Trading a parcel to William Q. Touchton, Jr. for another parcel for the road.

REZ-2020-20 Ballyntyne 6712 Clyattstone Road (0071 008) R-1 to R-10, Water & Sewer, ~40.3 acres . For 105+ house lots. In 2006, for a more complicated plan on the same site, GLPC recommended denial 7:0, County Commission denied 2:0. What did GLPC vote this time? And how about factoring in all the costs of paving Clyattstone Road over many previous Commission meetings? Continue reading

Videos: Finance, WM absorbed ADS, Meetings by zoom, Valdosta assistant manager @ DSSWA 2020-11-18

The most interesting parts were not on the agenda at the DSSWA meeting Wednesday evening.

[Richard Hardy, Elizabeth Backe, Steve Edwards, DSSWA]
Richard Hardy, Elizabeth Backe, Steve Edwards, DSSWA

Steve Edwards explained that the WM acquisition of Advanced Disposal Services (ADS) Continue reading