Monday, January 24, 2022

Oconee County School Board Meets For Six Hours In Retreat In Barrow County But Gives No Record Of Discussion

***Minutes Only List Reports Made To Board***

The Oconee County Board of Education met outside the county at the Georgia Club last Wednesday in a six-hour retreat that had been announced late on the previous Friday.

Minutes from the meeting, which take up less than a page, indicate only that the Board heard presentations from Superintendent Jason Branch and six other school administrators.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Oconee County Planning Commission Recommends Denial Of Rezone Request By Townley For Small Subdivisions In West Of County

***Citizens Express Concerns About Rentals***

Homeowners along Ray’s Church Road and Aycock Road told the Oconee County Planning Commission on Tuesday night they do not like the small subdivisions Tony Townley is planning on the edge of his large land holdings in the west of the county.

They said they are afraid the homes will be rented rather than owned, that the subdivisions will increase the traffic on the roads, and that the development would alter the rural nature of the area.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Northeast Health District, Area Hospitals Report Some Easing Of COVID-19 Cases; Oconee County Schools Cases Increase

***Confirmed COVID-19 Deaths In Oconee, Clarke***

The 10-county Northeast Health District added 6,422 new cases of COVID-19 in the last seven days, and 17 confirmed deaths from the disease.

One of the confirmed deaths was in Oconee County, and three were in Clarke County.

The average number of added cases per day in the last seven days was 917.4 compared with 1,074.6 in the nine days ending on Jan. 14.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Walton County Relief Funds Application Promises Hard Labor Creek Reservoir Water For Economic Development

***Included Possible Customers: Rivian***

Walton County has touted the value of the water in the Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir for economic development in a $115.5 application for federal relief funds it has submitted for construction of a water treatment plant and distribution system for the reservoir.

The county submitted the application for the Oct. 31 deadline, and on Dec. 16 Gov. Brian Kemp announced that the state had put together an incentive package to lure electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian to a site straddling the Walton and Morgan county lines along I-20.

The state has not revealed the details of the incentive package for Rivian, but water and sewer are an essential part.

Friday, January 14, 2022

COVID-19 Cases Continue To Increase In Northeast Health District, Oconee, Clarke; Area Hospitals Report COVID Case Increases

***Oconee School Cases Jump***

The 10-county Northeast Health District added 9,671 new cases of COVID-19 in the last nine days, and 14 confirmed deaths from the disease.

One of the confirmed deaths was in Oconee County, and one was in Clarke County.

The average number of added cases per day in those nine days was 1,074.6, compared with 815.4 in the first five days of the new year.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Citizen Asks Oconee County School Board, State Education Department, To Investigate Relief Funds Spending By Schools

***Other Citizens Praise, Criticize Board***

John Phillips told the Oconee County Board of Education on Monday that Oconee County Schools is out of compliance with requirements for use of federal relief funds and called on the Board to investigate.

On Tuesday morning, Phillips filed a complaint with the Georgia Department of Education, which administers the federal funds, also asking for an investigation to “determine if there has been fraud, waste, and abuse” at Oconee County Schools.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Oconee Commissioners Weigh In On Need For Reform Of Annexation Laws In State

***Citizen Speaks Again About SR 316 Transformation***

Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chair John Daniell told his colleagues last week that Oconee County has had few problems involving annexation.

Daniell said he nonetheless recommended that the Board ask the Georgia General Assembly in its session that officially started Monday to reform its dispute resolution procedures for annexation.

The Board responded with a unanimous vote to ask the legislature to pass legislation that balances “the oftentimes conflicting interests among counties, cities, incorporated and unincorporated citizens, and developers seeking different land uses through annexation.”