Tag Archives: Valdosta

Discussion of court grants and Loch Laurel Road project, little of property subsidy @ LCC 2022-01-24

At yesterday morning’s Lowndes County Commission Work Session, there was no discussion by the Commissioners about 5.k. Property Purchase – Building Valdosta, LLC, but new wrinkles did come to some small light.

County Manager Paige Dukes said “This is a follow up on the Building Valdosta purchase of property we have discussed with you several times…” In what public meeting did those discussion take place? She also said the county attorney had worked out an agreement with Building Valdosta, yet that agreement was not in the board packet. And she remarked, “Any other claims related to this will continue through, um, any process with ACCG that they may have for lost profits.” She immediately called for an Executive Session for “Client-privileged communication regarding potential or pending litigation and for the purchase of property.”

Sounds like the county got sued by a developer, or was threatened with a lawsuit, and is resolving that by bailing out the developer with half a million of our tax dollars.

How can any developer who did the slightest due diligence not know that the subject property on GA 122 east of Bemiss Road is in the Moody Activity Zone (MAZ)? If that’s not their beef, what is?

[Joyce Evans presiding]
Joyce Evans presiding, VOCA/CESF grant, Loch Laurel Road project, Property Purchase — Building Valdosta, LLC

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 Continue reading

Why should Lowndes County spend half a million dollars to subsidize a developer? 2022-01-24

Update 2022-01-25: Discussion of court grants and Loch Laurel Road project, little of property subsidy @ LCC 2022-01-24.

The $568,971.00 for 5.k. Property Purchase – Building Valdosta, LLC is a markup of $323,971 over the price that property sold for last year, supposedly to protect Moody AFB, even though how is not said and it’s 2.4 miles away. The developer is the same as for the 5999 Val Del Road rezoning last October. And there appear to be more previous subsidies from the County Commission to the same developer.

This current giveaway on GA 122 is on the agenda for this morning’s Work Session and Tuesday evening’s voting Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission.

Who does it profit? And how does it protect Moody AFB?

[Building Valdosta parcel, Comprehensive Plan with MAZ]
Building Valdosta parcel, Comprehensive Plan with MAZ

After I pointed out to the Lowndes County PIO and Clerk that the county was apparently in violation of the Georgia Open Records Act (GORA) by not returning the board packet within three days, they sent it at 7PM on Saturday. The packet is on the LAKE website. However, the packet includes no information about this item beyond the agenda sheet, which says:

HISTORY, FACTS AND ISSUES: At the direction of the Commission, staff has worked with the County Attorney to prepare a purchase agreement that will provide for Lowndes County to purchase 41.543 acres of property on Highway 122 inclusive of development costs incurred by the current owners and as reflected in the agreement, for the purpose of protecting Moody Air Force Base from encroachment.

It doesn’t say where that 41.543 acres is. But the Lowndes County Tax Assessors online web pages and map find it as 7404 E HWY 122, 2.4 miles north of Moody AFB. Continue reading

Miller Bridge Rezoning back as R-A @ GLPC 2022-01-31

As expected, it’s back, on the agenda for the January 31st Planning Commission meeting, this time for R-A, as in probably 2.5-acre instead of 1-acre lots: 6. REZ-2022-03 Windy Hill Subdivision, 7532 Miller Bridge Rd., 0010 022, ~34 ac., E-A to R-A.

I would tell you more, but Lowndes County has not returned the board packet despite having more than the three days the Georgia Open Records Act (GORA) permits for returning such documents. So I’ve included some information provided by the opposition.

[Agenda, Opposition to Miller Bridge Road rezoning]
Agenda, Opposition to Miller Bridge Road rezoning

That’s one of four subdivision rezonings, one in Dasher, the other three in unincorporated Lowndes County. The Miller Bridge Road one is different because it’s still in an aquifer recharge zone, still far outside any appropriate Character Area in the Comprehensive Pland, and it has overwhelming opposition. See this map that opponents tell me was a house-to-house team effort to get people to sign a petition against the rezoning. It shows the parcels owned by the opponents. They’ve got the subject parcel surrounded for miles around. Continue reading

No rezonings: Moody AFB, Courts, DA, Safety, Road, Nelson Hill Lift State @ LCC 2022-01-24

Update 2022-01-24: Board packet and Why should Lowndes County spend half a million dollars to subsidize a developer? 2022-01-24

The neverending Miller Bridge Road subdivision is not in this Lowndes County Commission agenda for Monday and Tuesday. For that, see the Planning Commission agenda for January 31, 2022.

But the County Commission agenda does contain two examples of how taxpayers are subsidizing development in Lowndes Counta. The $45,742.00 for the 5.d. Nelson Hill Lift Station Pump Upgrade is “Due to growth in the area”: growth the county is actively promoting.

The $568,971.00 for 5.k. Property Purchase – Building Valdosta, LLC is a markup of $323,971 over the price that property sold for last year, supposedly to protect Moody AFB, even though how is not said and it’s 2.4 miles away.

[Agenda, Nelson Hill Lift Station]
Agenda, Nelson Hill Lift Station

Cost What
$568,971.00 Property Purchase – Building Valdosta, LLC
$45,742.00Nelson Hill Lift Station Pump Upgrade
$16,496.88 AT&T Switched Ethernet Circuit Continuation of Service
$631,209.88Total

Nelson Hill Sewer Lift Station

On the one hand, I commend Lowndes County Utilities for staying ahead of sewer system demand and thus preventing sewage spills. On the other hand, look at why the agenda sheet says: Continue reading

Little business at DSSWA 2022-01-19

Apparently their only business this evening is approval of minutes, an audit report, and election of officers.

Elizabeth Backe of SGRC notes: “Denise Rackley will be handing out the audit during the meeting, same for the nomination from the committee. We don’t have any grant requests nor royalty payments tonight.”

[DSSWA Agenda 2022-01-19]
DSSWA Agenda 2022-01-19
PDF

DEEP SOUTH
REGIONAL MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY

Meeting of the Board of Directors
Deep South Regional Municipal Solid Waste Management Authority

January 19, 2022
6:00 PM
Southern Georgia Regional Commission
Valdosta, Georgia

AGENDA

Continue reading

Virtual World, Bimbo QSR, Ace Electric @ VLDA 2022-01-18

Maybe it’s time to go to one of these. It’s tonight at 5:30 PM.

Bimbo QSR “will produce several different types of hamburgers, hot dogs, and sandwich buns for quick-service restaurants” according to WALB, in a 100,000 square foot building on South Saint Augustine Road for a claimed investment of $25 million.

Virtual World Technologies does managed technology services, although curiously it doesn’t seem to update its social media.

Ace Electric has been around here a long time. Evidently they’re doing something new.

[Bimbo QSR and Virtual World, VLCIA Agenda]
Bimbo QSR and Virtual World, VLCIA Agenda

Here is the agenda. Continue reading

Cancelled: Lowndes County Commission Meetings 2022-01-10

The current top news entry on lowndescounty.com is January 10 & 11, 2022 Commission Meetings Cancelled,

The January 10, 2022 and January 11, 2022, Commission meetings have been cancelled due to the lack of agenda items needing immediate attention.

The calendar entries for the Monday morning Work Session and the Tuesday evening Regular Session are marked “Cancelled”.

[Regular and Work Sessions Cancelled]
Regular and Work Sessions Cancelled

So expect the contentious Miller Bridge Road subdivision that was withdrawn last time to be back with larger lot sizes at the January 24 and 25 Commission meetings.

-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!

Miller Bridge Road subdivision withdrawn, Rocky Ford denied, Tourism reappointed @ LCC 2021-12-14

Update 2022-01-22: Miller Bridge Rezoning back as R-A @ GLPC 2022-01-31.

Update 2022-01-09: Cancelled: Lowndes County Commission Meetings 2022-01-10, so expect the contentious Miller Bridge Road subdivision that was withdrawn last time to be back with larger lot sizes at the January 24 and 25 Commission meetings.

The contentious Miller Bridge Road Rezoning was withdrawn from the December Lowndes County Commission meeting, but the withdrawal letter said it would be back, possibly in January.

The Rocky Ford rezoning from industrial to residential did not pass; although Commissioner Clay Griner voted against and Scottie Orenstein abstained, the other three voted to deny.

They reappointed the incumbent, Rick Williams, to the Valdosta-Lowndes County Conference Center and Tourism Authority, even though Commissioners Demarcus Marshall and Joyce Evans voted for Nick Harden (who did attend the meeting).

Most everything else sailed through. The meeting was very long anyway, because there was only one December Commission meeting, so everything got lumped into one.

[Two rezonings that did not pass]
Two rezonings that did not pass

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See the LAKE videos of the preceding morning’s Work Session and the agenda and board packet, received in response to a LAKE open records request. Two of them, actually, the second request was to get the petition from hundreds of opposing landowners.

See also the preceding Planning Commission agenda, the LAKE videos, and the meeting materials, received in response to LAKE open records requests.

Update 2022-01-03: Withdrawn but will return: subdivision in aquifer recharge zone near Little River, Lowndes County, GA @ LCC 2021-12-14.

Agenda: Finances, Officers, Reinbursements, Rate Adjustment @ DSSWA 2021-12-15

As you can see, the agenda for 5:30 PM this evening includes the usual Financial Report, Audit, Royalties, and Grinding Reimbursement, plus appointment of a Nominating Committee for Officers, and a Rate Adjustment, at the Deep South Solid Waste Authority meeting. Continue reading

Videos: Six rezonings, Tourism Authority appointment, LMIG, Calendar, ULDC, VOCA, VAWA, Opioid, Land Bank Authority, Fire Dept. @ LCC 2021-12-13

Turns out there was a petition that the County Planner “just took … out of this packet for now”, for REZ-2021-28 Windy Hill S/D, 7532 Miller Bridge Road, ~34 acres, E-A to R-1, Community Well & Septic. (WITHDRAWN).

We know this because Commissioner Demarcus Marshall asked. (See 6m:15s). That petition was not returned for the LAKE open records request for the board packet for this County Commission meeting.

County Planner JD Dillard said the petition had been presented to the Planning Commission. The petition also was not returned in response to the LAKE open records request for the Planning Commission packet, even though that response arrived several days after the Planning Commission meeting.

County Chairman Bill Slaughter said they could get that information to the Commissioners before their next meeting. I’m not sure that’s what the Georgia Open Records Act says.

Update 2021-12-27: Here is the petition, received in response to another LAKE open records request. Looks like the county redacted the email addresses.

Lowndes County Planner JD Dillard
County Planner JD Dillard

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE video playlist. Apologies for the very long first video; turns out the county sound feed was not working, so Gretchen had to go back and patch in county sound from another source. See also Continue reading