Tag Archives: Work Session

Update: rezonings w. Tiger Creek, whose communications tower? @ LCC 2020-09-08

Here are the answers to these questions from Saturday:

  1. Why is the owner of the planned 300-foot communications tower off US 84 a secret?
  2. Why does the agenda sheet for REZ-2020-11 Bella Mill Plantation, 8450 Ousley Rd., next to Tiger Creek and a short distance upstream from the Withlacoochee River, make no mention of sewage or the size of the septic system relative to the number of expected attendees at the planned event facility?

[Proposed interior sketch]
Proposed interior sketch

  1. TWR 2020-02 is by Diamond Communications and AT&T.
  2. REZ-2020-11: the Department of Public Health determines septic system sizes. That Department won’t issue a septic system permit until they are satisfied.

These answers came from JD Dillard, Lowndes County Planning and Zoning Director. I called him yesterday before the Regular Session Tuesday, and he called back with the answers.

How does the Department of Health determine septic system sizes? Partly by Continue reading

Education, Extension, Prisoners, Fire, Water, Sewer, Nelson Hill, Wages, Taxes, Clerk @ LCC 2020-08-24

A busy agenda for 8:30 AM Monday morning, with voting 5:30 PM Tuesday, includes especially taxes, and alcohol, sewer, twice, education, extension agents, Prison Work Details, and Architectural Services for Lowndes County Fire Station #5 – Bemiss Road Fire Station Alterations and Additions.

[Aerial Map]
Aerial Map for Uncle Carlo’s Italian Ristorante, 1024 Lakes Blvd., Lake Park, GA.

Plus appointment of a new County Clerk, Belinda Lovern, and Deputy Clerk, Sabrina Denson. No posting of the positions is mentioned.

Cost What
$147,954.00Annual Contract Renewal, Georgia Department of Corrections – Prison Work Details
$141,841.00Contract for Extension Agents and Staff
$110,000.00Peterson Road Lift Station Emergency Repair
$44,400.00Architectural Services for Lowndes County Fire Station #5 – Bemiss Road Fire Station Alterations and Additions
$41,840.00Nelson Hill Discharge Manhole
$5,699.35Tax Commissioners’ Back Wage Settlement with Department of Labor
$-32,000.00USDA Building Lease Amendment No. 4
$459,734.35Total

The Lowndes County Commission is Repealing Approvals Authorizing the Tax Commissioner to Waive Penalties and Interest, apparently because of a Tax Commissioners' Back Wage Settlement with Department of Labor.

After last year’s vote of the people to ask the Georgia legislature to make the Tax Assessors appointed, not elected, the legislature did that. Now the County Commission is setting the number of Assessors at three, with initial staggered terms of 3, 4, and 5 years, and after that 3 years for each.

This is after two weeks ago the Lowndes County Commission rolled back the tax millage rate slightly.

Here is the agenda. The entire board packet, together with the Minutes of the meetings of two weeks ago (Work Session, Millage Hearing, and Regular Session) is on LAKE website.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, AUGUST 24, 2020, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, AUGUST 25, 2020, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Videos: Maybe revisit lowering millage rate @ LCC 2020-08-10

There was pushback on lowering the millage rate at the Lowndes County Commission Work Session yesterday morning. They will decide this evening at 5:30 PM at the Regular Session.

The Commissioners, like some of the public, also wanted to know when there will be a new County Clerk. Answer, from the former County Clerk, Paige Dukes, who is now the County Manager: not yet; maybe next meeting (two weeks from now).

The $0.9 million low bid from Reames for road paving and a box culvert got no discussion from Commissioners.

The Scruggs Company was offered a special exception to the Comprehensive Plan; one that actually makes sense.

Yes, the Copeland property backs up to PCA.

The Verizon tower got no questions from Commissioners.

Below are links to each LAKE video with a few notes, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the agenda and board packet, and the millage rate hearing at 5PM today (Tuesday).

Packet: Budget, MIDS, Rezoning, Clyattstone Road, Mosquito, Law, Fiber Optic, Alcohol @ LCC 2020-07-13

$3,200,415.50 was on the agenda for this week, presumably approved by now by the Lowndes County Commission, in which they also appointed Paige Dukes to succeed Joe Pritchard as Lowndes County Manager.

[Table of Costs (by LAKE)]
Table of Costs (by LAKE)

Cost What
$2,500,000.00 GEFA Loan Application
$289,498.00 Acceptance of FY 2021 Juvenile Justice Incentive Grant
$198,775.00 Fiber Optic to Lowndes EOC
$102,762.00 Judicial System Software Purchase
$45,790.00 Annual Contract Renewal for Mosquito Identification and Testing
$40,000.00 Office of the Governor Criminal Justice Coordinating Council Accountability Court Lowndes County DUI Court- State Court
$23,590.50 Approval of Clyattstone Rd.-Simpson Ln. ROW and Easement Purchases (Parcels 26 and 34)
$0.00 Amendment to TPO Agreement FY2021 – Transit
$3,200,415.50Total

That’s 2.6% of the $120 million county annual budget.

Curious that they’re willing to spend $198,775.00 for fast, reliabile, Internet connectivity to their own offices but nothing for the rest of the population of Lowndes County.

I’ve lost track of how much they’ve spent on Clyattstone Road to connect Old US 41 N and Val Del Road to promote development in that area.

I commend the county for the GEFA Loan Application for wastewater utilities projects:

HISTORY, FACTS AND ISSUES: The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority offers funding through the State Revolving Fund. Local governments are able to secure low interest loans to be used for utility projects. Lowndes County has identified several lift station and manhole rehabilitation improvement projects.

The loan can be structured to spread repayment over a period of up to 30 years; however, there is no penalty for paying the loan off early. The proposed interest rate will not exceed 1.94% While the total loan amount is $2,500,000.00 it includes a grant component which allows for forgiveness of up to $625,000.00 of the loan amount. Staff recommends approval of the GEFA Loan Application.

The entire board packet is on the LAKE website. Documents received 12:26 PM, Friday, July 10, 2020, in response to a LAKE open records request. LAKE looks forward to these documents being posted on the county’s own website along with the agenda. Continue reading

Budget, Bevel Creek Lift Station, Val Tech Road widening, Appointments: ZBOA, Library, VLPRA, Construction @ LCC 2020-06-22

The big item on the Lowndes County Commission agenda for Monday to vote on Tuesday evening is the Adoption of Fiscal Year 2021 Budget totaling $59,443,920, with $22,774,781 or 38% to Public safety, i.e., the Sheriff’s department, including the jail.

[A RESOLUTION ADOPTING THE FISCAL YEAR 2021 OPERATING BUDGET]
A RESOLUTION ADOPTING THE FISCAL YEAR 2021 OPERATING BUDGET
PDF

The board packet is on the LAKE website after we obtained it through an open records request.

Although I hear the hotel/motel tax is down 80% due to virus pandemic, the Hotel/Motel Tax FY 2021 County Budget Budgeted Proceeds are $400,000.00. They are budget to go to:

$171,429.00 Transfer to Lowndes County’s Special Services Fund from which the County funds (i) services the County provides primarily for the benefit of the unincorporated area and
(ii) the County’s share of funding of services the County and one or more municipalities jointly fund

$171,429.00 Transfer to Valdosta-Lowndes County Conference Center and Tourism Authority
to promote tourism, convention, and trade shows in accordance with the FY 2021 Budget Plan of said Authority for same which is made a part of this Budget Plan

$57,142.00 Transfer to Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority
for capital costs and operating expenses of parks and recreational facilities owned and operated by said Authority

A rare no-match federal grant: Acceptance of FY20 Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding brings the total expected expenditures from this Tuesday’s Regular Session down to less than a quarter million dollars:

Cost What
$148,345.58 Val Tech Road Grading, Drainage, Base and Paving
$82,000.00 Bevel Creek Manhole Emergency Repair
$57,300.00 The Modernization/Upgrade of the Elevator in the Governmental Building
($58,008)
in Federal Funding.
There is no local match requirement.
Acceptance of FY20 Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding
$229,637.58Total

I commend Lowndes County Utilities for moving ahead to fix the recent manhole collapse at the Bevel Creek Lift Station on GA 376 near Loch Laurel Road. See also Sewer line repair between manholes, Bevel Creek Lift Station @ LCC 2020-06-22.

Photo: Terry Richards, The Valdosta Daily Times, Heavy rains cause problems in Lowndes 2020-06-08.
Photo: Terry Richards, The Valdosta Daily Times, Heavy rains cause problems in Lowndes 2020-06-08.

It’s a busy agenda for appointments, to Continue reading

Packet: 2 Appointments, 2 Rezonings, Lift Station, Drainage, Facilities @ LCC 2020-06-08

Thanks to Sabrina Denson for sending the board packet Friday. It is on the LAKE website.

The Work Session is this Monday at 8:30 AM, and they vote at the Regular Session 5:30 PM Tuesday.

CostWhat
$71,789.00 Blue Lake Lift Station Emergency Repair
$1,208.80 Approve Condemning ROW and Drainage Easement for Clyattstone Rd.-Simpson Ln. TSPLOST Paving Project
$72,997.8Total

[Zoning Location Map]
Zoning Location Map

See also the agenda.

-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!

Videos: Val Del rezoning, Appointments 3 Boards, Road abandonment, additions, and paving, fire dept. bids @ LCC 2020-03-09

Eighteen minutes for the whole meeting, mostly consisting of reading out the agenda sheet text for each item. The longest item was 7b. Accept Gaines Lane Quit-Claim Deeds, apparently because of a need for a title search and to prepare a plat, and who would pay for it, the county or other.

Here are the costs found in the agenda sheets for each item, most expensive first:

CostWhat
$399,414.00 Bid for a 3,000 Gallon Tanker for the Fire Department
$28,327.04 Request to Purchase New Firefighter Turnout Gear
$19,167 Solicitor-General’s Office 2020 VAWA Grant Award Activation
$4,836.00 Approval of Clyattstone Rd.-Simpson Ln. ROW Purchases
$451,744.04Total

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with a very few comments, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also: Continue reading

Packet: Val Del rezoning, Appointments 3 Boards, Road abandonment, additions, and paving, fire dept. bids @ LCC 2020-03-09

The board packet for the March 9 and 10 Work and Regular Sessions of the Lowndes County Commission is on the LAKE website, received 3:00 PM Tuesday, March 10, 2020, in response to a LAKE open records request. I did not have time to process it before the Regular Session 2.5 hours later.

Here are the costs found in the agenda sheets for each item, most expensive first:

CostWhat
$399,414.00 Bid for a 3,000 Gallon Tanker for the Fire Department d
$28,327.04 Request to Purchase New Firefighter Turnout Gear d
$19,167 Solicitor-General’s Office 2020 VAWA Grant Award Activation d
$4,836.00 Approval of Clyattstone Rd.-Simpson Ln. ROW Purchases d
$0 Abandonment of Unopened Right of Way – Hart Road d
$451,744.04Total

[Zoning Location Map]
Zoning Location Map
PDF

Of course, all those dollar figures are immediate costs. They do not include future costs such as road paving related to new subdivisions.

See also the LAKE videos of the preceding Planning Commission meeting. That GLPC meeting’s item 3. REZ-2020-03 Wetherington Property, Val Del Road RA to PD, re-appears on this Lowndes County Commission agenda as 6.b. REZ-2020-03 Wetherington Property, Val Del Rd. R-A to P-D, County Water and Sewer, ~72.54 acres Districts 2 and 5.

And see also Continue reading

Videos: Hamm Estates roads, Deannexation, Rezonings, Right of Way, Software, Health Insurance, Repairs, KLVB @ LCC 2020-02-25

The longest regular item at 4 minutes on this voting Regular Session agenda was 6.b. Accept Hamm Estates Dr. into the County Road Inventory. Longer were two Citizens who spoke at the end about Keep Lowndes-Valdosta Beautiful (KLVB).

Hamm Estates

Here again are the costs found in the agenda sheets for the items, from most expensive down, with links back into the agenda.

CostWhat
$290,000.00 2020 Administrative Services Agreement with Allied Benefit Systems, Inc.
$50,433.00 Bid for Repairs to Knights Academy Road; emergency repairs for Culvert Aprons
$43,245.50 Approval of Clyattstone Rd.-Simpson Ln. ROW Purchases
$24,613.44 Microsoft Server 2019 Data Center License
$11,535.00 Approval of Clyattstone Rd.-Simpson Ln. ROW Acquisition
$419,826.94Total

The actual cost for the Clyattstone Road-Simpson Lane project is larger; more like $77,696.50 so far, before grading, base, and paving; see the LAKE notes on the preceding morning’s Work Session.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with a few notes. See also Continue reading

Videos: Deannexation, Rezonings, Right of Way, Software, Health Insurance, Road Repairs @ LCC 2020-02-24

The longest item of those I videoed (yes, I was late to this Work Session) was 6.f. Deannexation of Ganas Property by Lake Park, which apparently doesn’t cost the county anything. Directly, at least. Maybe even net positive, due to property taxes.

Deannexation

Here are the costs found in the agenda sheets for the items, from most expensive down, with links back into the agenda.

CostWhat
$290,000.00 2020 Administrative Services Agreement with Allied Benefit Systems, Inc.
$50,433.00 Bid for Repairs to Knights Academy Road; emergency repairs for Culvert Aprons
$43,245.50 Approval of Clyattstone Rd.-Simpson Ln. ROW Purchases
$24,613.44 Microsoft Server 2019 Data Center License
$11,535.00 Approval of Clyattstone Rd.-Simpson Ln. ROW Acquisition
$419,826.94Total

The actual cost for one item is larger; see below for Clyattstone Road and Simpson Lane ROW Purchases.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with a few notes. See also Continue reading