Tag Archives: Water

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

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

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.

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

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

Withdrawn as R-1 (1-acre lots) from tomorrow’s Lowndes County Commission agenda, but to be resubmitted as R-A (2.5-acre lots):
REZ-2021-28 Windy Hill S/D, 7532 Miller Bridge Road, ~34 acres, E-A to R-1, Community Well & Septic (WITHDRAWN).

At the Planning Commission meeting end of November, staff said it did not match the Comprehensive Plan, and the Planning Commission unanimously recommended denial.

[Rezonings]
Rezonings

However, Planning Commissioner Franklin Bailey said, as he made the motion to disapprove, that he would be comfortable with 2.5-acre lots instead of 1-acre lots. The developer took him up on that idea with a written letter to the County Planner saying they would be back in January to ask for R-A rezoning, which will permit 2.5-acre lots.

Plus staff has dug up a 1999 rezoning nearby for 3-acre lots which could serve as a precedent. Yet almost none of those 3-acre lots have sold in the past two decades, so why is there any need for any more such lots “very deep in the Rural Service Area”?

That withdrawal letter says: Continue reading

Finances and Okefenokee Swamp @ SGRC 2021-12-09

Here are LAKE videos of (most of) yesterday’s Southern Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC) Council meeting yesterday in Pearson, Georgia.

For some of the items, I have included photographs of the first sheet of the relevant handout(s). For the rest of each handout, please contact SGRC.

Thanks to SGRC Council Chair Joyce Evans and Assistant Director Chris Strom for inviting me to come speak about the Okefenokee Swamp in my other hat as Suwannee Riverkeeper; see the WWALS blog post.

[Collage]
Collage: Audit; New member John Clayton (Nashville); DCA Small Cities Conference; Okefenokee Swamp Resolutions –Suwannee Riverkeeper; Jody Redding, GA Gov. Field Rep.

Here is the complete agenda. Continue reading

Videos: Comprehensive Plan, rezonings, tower, Hospital Authority, elections @ LCC 2021-11-09

All the main items breezed by unanimously, including the Comprehensive Plan and the Hospital Authority re-appointment of Ben Copeland, at the Lowndes County Commission Regular Session, November 9, 2021.

The only things taking longer than three minutes were the County Manager’s Report and Citizens Wishing to Be Heard about how the Board of Elections is appointed and funded.

[Comprehensive Plan, Communications Tower, Manager's Report, Electios]
Comprehensive Plan, Communications Tower, Manager’s Report, Electios

Below are LAKE videos 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, for the rezonings and the tower, the LAKE videos of the preceding Planning Commission meeting.

For the Comprehensive Plan, see also the LAKE videos of the preceding Comprehensive Plan Update Meeting 2 and the Character Area Maps for it, the Lowndes County Commission Regular Session before that, and the quite lengthy first Comprehensive Plan Public Hearing.

Okefenokee resolution, Planning Commission, Airport, Sewer system, Road renaming moratorium @ VCC 2021-11-11

With a packed agenda, the Valdosta City Council passed eight resolutions, approved five bids or purchases, and appointed people to four boards, yet the longest discussion was after all that.

[Mayor, Howard, Gibbs, WWTP, Manager & Tooley, Suwannee Riverkeeper]
Mayor, Howard, Gibbs, WWTP, Manager & Tooley, Suwannee Riverkeeper

Perhaps the most far-reaching item was one of the briefest, presented by Mayor Scott James Matheson: 3.f. Resolution in Opposition to a proposed strip mine near the Okefenokee Swamp, opposing the proposed Twin Pines Minerals (TPM) strip mine or any others within ten miles of the Swamp, asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reverse its abdication of oversight, asking GA-EPD for a moratorium on all mining permits until effects are settled of the recent court overruling of 2020 Clean Water Act changes, as well as to reject the TPM permits, or at least to review those applications as thoroughly as the Army Corps would, and asking the Georgia legislature to prevent such strip mines near the Swamp or any blackwater rivers in the Suwannee River Basin. Continue reading

Videos: One Valdosta-Lowndes, Troupville River Camp, Hospital Authority re-appointment, Godfrey rezoning, VAWA staffing @ LCC 2021-11-08

By far the longest item at 33 minutes at the Lowndes County Commission Work Session was a presentation about One Valdosta-Lowndes (OVL).

[OVL River Camp, Hospital Authority appointment, Godfrey rezoning, VAWA staffing]
OVL River Camp, Hospital Authority appointment, Godfrey rezoning, VAWA staffing

Second longest at almost five minutes was 8.e. Request For Cash Match Increase For VAWA ASG Salary Supplement, about the Violence Against Women Act. Third at four minutes was 7.c. REZ-2021-24 Barry Godfrey, Mt. Zion Church Road.

The likely re-appointee to the Hospital Authority did attend.

Everything else got little discussion, including the final approval of the Comprehensive Plan Update.

They voted the following Tuesday evening.

Below are LAKE videos of each agenda item, with a few notes, followed by

Comprehensive Plan approval, Hospital Authority re-appointment, 3 small rezonings, AT&T cell tower, Regional Transit, LMIG Restriping, Budget Calendar, Second Harvest, Code Red @ LCC 2021-11-08

The Lowndes County Commission will probably re-appoint Ben Copeland to the Hospital Authority, and approve three rezonings, only one (REZ-2021-24 Barry Godfrey) apparently controversial, as well as an AT&T telecommunications tower, Tuesday evening after hearing them Monday morning.

The item with the biggest effect is the 2021 Comprehensive Plan Adoption.

[REZ-2021-24 Barry Godfrey, Mt. Zion Church Road; TWR-2021-01 CitySwitch II, LLC, Bemiss Road, New 265' Telecommunications Tower]
REZ-2021-24 Barry Godfrey, Mt. Zion Church Road; TWR-2021-01 CitySwitch II, LLC, Bemiss Road, New 265′ Telecommunications Tower

The big ticket near-term item is for roads, 2021 LMIG Safety Action Plan Restriping.

Cost What
$281,529.502021 LMIG Safety Action Plan Restriping
$32,266.00Request for Cash Match Increase for VAWA ASG Salary Supplement
$31,500.00Code Red Annual Renewal
$345,295.50Total

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

For the Comprehensive Plan, see the LAKE videos of the preceding Comprehensive Plan Update Meeting 2 and the Character Area Maps for it, the Lowndes County Commission Regular Session before that, and the quite lengthy first Comprehensive Plan Public Hearing.

For the rezonings and the telecommunications tower, see also the LAKE videos of the preceding Planning Commission meeting.

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

  1. Call to Order Continue reading