For an authority that gets 1.25 mil of your property tax dollars, the Commissioners didn’t even know who was wanting to be reappointed, none of them asked what happened during a year when one of them was apparently serving on that board without a formal appointment, not all of the Commissioners were present even voted, and none of the candidates for any of the board appointments even shhowed up, much less spoke. The Lowndes County Commission at its June 28th 2016 Regular Session also unanimously adopted the budget for what the Chairman repeatedly called “the physical year”, despite only perfunctory public hearings in advance, and no draft budget available on their website for the public to see. After they approved the budget to spend the money (and according to County Manager Joe Pritchard after earlier that same morning the Tourism Authority approved their budget), the Lowndes County Commissioners unanimously approved a hotel/motel tax rate increase. Odd order, eh?
Not on the agenda for Monday morning’s Work Session, but added back for Tuesday evening’s Regular Session, the Brookwood Place Subdivision tabled two weeks ago popped up in Reports. Where is it? Who owns it? How did they get it? Who’s the developer? No, really, who’s the developer?
8. Reports – County Manager – the reappearance of Brookwood water
Video. County Manager Joe Pritchard said he was bringing back the trust indenture for “the Brookwood Place subdivision off of Mt. Zion.” He can’t have meant Mt. Zion Road, which is in the southwest part of the county, not near the Valdosta City limits, Continue reading
County Planner Jason Davenport said at Monday morning’s Work Session that the Comprehensive Plan Update should be a Public Hearing, so it needs to be listed as such for Tuesday evening’s Regular Session. I guess that is more than 24 hours notice, but did they send a notice to the newspaper? How were people to know, and why was this left to the day before when this schedule has been known for months to all the local planners?
The county has had a board member listed for VLPRA for a year after his term actually expired.
Plus a special Continue reading
Sheriff or VLPRA? Invisible budget, visible Comp Plan Update, 1 road abandonment + apparently another, and sewage not getting sprayed. All Monday morning 8:30 AM at the Lowndes County Commission Work Session.
The LAS Pump Control Panel is for the sewage spray field, aka Land Application Site: cost $18,500. Lowndes County does not have a wastewater treatment plant, just an LAS, east of Moody Air Force Base’s Grassy Pond west of I-75 and Lake Park.
Can’t say the same for the Adoption of Fiscal Year 2017 Budget, for which the county had a budget meeting with less than 24 hours notice, followed by two budget hearings that those who attended say lasted fifteen minutes each with six slides presented. And the most recent budget document on the county’s website is from 2016.
Most people wanted to know which roads would be paved when, in Bemiss, to Alapaha Subdivision, and next to the new Civic Center. They did also talk about the planned new civic center and the Alapaha Boatramp they’re building.
I thank the Chairman for clarifying his remark about paving every road in the county. He and other county officials also went on about safety being a big concern, which is news to me, on my road the county insisted on paving that became a drag race track. And what’s this about Continue reading
Citizen Billy Rowland complained about poor road grading, his dogs being shot, and misuse of Knights Ferry Landing on the Withlacoochee River. Maybe the Commission will listen to what he said this time, at last Tuesday’s Lowndes County Commissioner Regular Session. Apparently G. Norman Bennett wants Hall Web Road paved for the mile to his house at the Little River, but Julia Bass, Ralph Niehenke, and Diane Guess spoke up saying they don’t want it paved. Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker tried to ask them questions, but Chairman Bill Slaughter cut him off. Slaugher did have time earlier fo an extra announcement of a joint governmental meeting Tuesday morning. It’s not clear citizens will even get to speak there, much less get questions answered. See separate post.
They passed the resolution to ask the legislature to start the proecess to appoint rather than elect Lowndes County Tax Assessors.
They already did emergency repairs to Clyattville Nankin Road Bridge (problem discovered by a local citizen) and Jumping Gully Road Bridge (found by GDOT), and the Commissione approved payment after the fact. So two more no-bid contracts were let, this time without even a Commission vote before the work was done.
They agreed to the North Lowndes Park Quitclaim and Custodial Agreement by which Valdosta-Lowndes Parks & Rec. Authority (VLPRA) takes charge of some land west of I-75 north of Hahira for a soccer field.
A few citizens spoke about rezoning for the mysterious Project Max, but of course they passed the rezoning anyway, even though apparently none of the Commissioners know who the prospective tenant is.
The Lowndes County Commission agenda contained quite a few other items as the Commission caught up after the holidays. See also the LAKE videos of the previous morning’s Work Session. Below are links to each LAKE video of the Tuesday evening 12 January 2016 Regular Session, followed by a video playlist. Continue reading
Some of this is happening locally: Valdosta is planting trees along Hill Avenue, Lowndes County is building Naylor Park with a boat ramp that will be part of the Alapaha River Water Trail and VLPRA has long been thinking about a blueway on the Withlacoochee River, where it already has a string of parks and ramps. Valdosta has the Azalea City Trail across several parks and VSU. Imagine if that Trail extended a little farther on each end, connecting the Withlacoochee River and the Alapaha River: a greenway between two blueways. Imagine if Lowndes County planted trees in that concrete median in Bemiss Road. Imagine a bus running down that parkway….
Janice Astbury, the nature of cities, 29 March 2015, Green Transport Routes Are Social-Cultural-Ecological Corridors,
…natural corridors do not appear on the standard online GPS systems that people increasingly use to plan their routes. In other cases, the path is suddenly interrupted by infrastructure hostile to pedestrians and cyclists. It is clear that green and active transport routes are an afterthought, an add-on, rather than a core part of the city’s transport strategy.
Local government should invest in developing and maintaining the natural connective tissue of the city. In the same way that significant investment is made in arterial roads because they are believed to serve everyone and to connect up vital places, so inviting connective green infrastructure should be supported. The canals, footpaths, and cycleways that provide routes for active transport should appear prominently on maps and signage. Whole systems should be indicated when possible, even when portions of them are currently inaccessible, in order to enhance system understanding, and to encourage thinking about connecting up fragmented corridors.
Few people complain when a county or city spends millions of dollars on Continue reading
Dr. William R. Grow, District Health Director, presented about the state of the Health Department, and County Manager Joe Pritchard reported revisions to both the county’s Solid Waste Ordinance and the franchise agreement for solid waste were in progress. They ended by going into an executive session to discuss real estate.
For Parks and Rec Board, former Lowndes County Commissioner Richard Raines read a prepared statement, while Scott Willis, hearing specialist with Hearing Care Resources, gave an extemporaneous presentation, including that he was formerly on the VLPRA Advisory Board, and he’s been coaching children and working with the elderly. Commissioners had no questions for either applicant.
Tonight they’ll vote on a list of goals that is in their packet but they haven’t shown you the taxpayers.
Perhaps coincidentally, Continue reading
The Naylor boat ramp might be finished this fall, and here’s a list of other SPLOST expenditures, from yesterday’s Lowndes County Commission Annual Planning Meeting.
County Manager Joe Pritchard asked Chad McLeod Project Manager and Mike Fletcher County Engineer to come forward, saying “Turn in your book to that tab….” A book you, the taxpaying public reader, do not have. The county can publish board packets on their new website if they want to.
McCleod presented current facilities for SPLOST VII, after a long introduction by Pritchard, who said McLeod was the county’s liaison with Parks and Rec (VLPRA) and the Sheriff’s Department and other offices. McLeod said VLPRA projects are built by the county and turned over to VLPRA for administration, except for two projects at Freedom Park, which are being managed by VLPRA due to House Bill 489. He listed dollar amounts. I couldn’t catch all of them, but here are some of them: Continue reading
We’ve got a little list, a spreadsheet as a list,
please don’t take this as a diss, we think they have been missed….
Unlike Ko-Ko’s in the Mikado, this list is of things previously missed that are slowly being found (or created), so local governments can tell the citizens what fine things they’ve been up to, and so citizens can decide what they need to deal with and what topics they can provide input on. Here’s the LAKE sunshine list for local government.
The Lowndes County Commission just got some additions, with its new website, by posting videos of its own meetings, and by posting agendas and minutes for the Planning Commission.
The Valdosta City Council does pretty well, with its website, its agendas and minutes, and the agendas and summaries and minutes for ZBOA. Valdosta does not (yet) video and post its own meetings, but it does have what appears to be a complete list of its ordinances with links to their text. Dasher also has its ordinances online.
Meanwhile the Lowndes County Commission has only Continue reading