Sunday, September 25, 2016

Oconee County Seeking Easements From Property Owners For Sewer Line Along McNutt Creek

Following Jennings Mill Settlement

Oconee County, having reached a settlement with Jennings Mill Country Club over easements for the McNutt Creek Sewer line from Jimmy Daniell Road to Jennings Mill Road, is now turning its attention to the other property owners across whose land the sewer line will run.

The line will cross 17 properties not owned by Laniertindall LLC, owner of the country club.

Of those 17 properties, 10 have homes built on them.

So far, none of the property owners has spoken up publicly against the project or the county’s need for an easement on the property.

Wayne Haynie, Oconee County Utility Department director, said work on the easements has been ongoing for two years and the department will come back to the Board of Commissioners with requests for compensation once the agreements have been reached.

Details Of Line

The 18-inch sewer line from Jimmy Daniell Road to Jennings Mill Road is part of a proposed gravity-fed line along McNutt Creek from Bogart to a proposed future sewer plant on the Middle Oconee River.

At McNutt Crossing

Parts of the line from Bogart to Epps Bridge Parkway are in place, but the county has done no work on the line downstream from a pump station at Epps Bridge Parkway, except for a small section at Old Macon Highway.

At present, sewage is being pumped to the county’s existing sewer plant on Calls Creek, on the northeast side of Watkinsville.

The county is planning to expand the Calls Creek plant and has proposed to build a sewer line down Calls Creek as part of that expansion.

Residents along Calls Creek have been vocal in their opposition to that line.

Settlement With Golf Course

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners on Sept. 6 approved a $425,000 settlement with Laniertindall to run the sewer line across the golf course, which incorporates McNutt Creek into its design.

The county altered the route of the sewer line to minimize damage to the golf course.

Plans completed for the sewer line for the county by Precision Planning Inc. of Monroe show the line crossing three undeveloped properties on Wall Street just east of Jimmy Daniell Road and then the back side of Creekside subdivision.

From there, the line crosses properties on Overlook Drive and Ramsey Drive before entering the golf course. Five of the properties on those two roads crossed by the sewer line have homes on them.

After leaving the eastern edge of the golf course, the line crosses five additional properties on McNutt Crossing and spurs from it, all of which have homes on them.

The sewer line will cross under the base of the walking bridge over McNutt Creek at the end of McNutt Crossing.

Under Loop

The line will tunnel under SR Loop 10 near the Jennings Mill Maintenance Building at the end of Chambers Court.

Haynie told me in an email message on Sept. 15 that “We do not have all of the easements settled or recorded at this time.”

“Our process is to get all particulars worked out with each owner, sum up any compensation and easement stipulations, then requisition the payments after we receive the signed easements,” Haynie continued.

Haynie did not offer any time line for reaching these agreements.

Haynie provided me the copy of the sewer line design from Precision Planning with that Sept. 15 email.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Construction Company Clearing Land For Entrance Roadway For Epps Bridge Centre Expansion In Oconee County

Aerial Images Show

Simpson Trucking and Grading of Gaineville already has completed some of the clearing and grubbing work for Parkway Boulevard Extension, which will serve as a major entranceway for an expanded Epps Bridge Centre.

The company also is putting in temporary erosion control measures, according to Oconee County Public Works Director Emil Beshara, and plans to begin moving direct in the next couple of weeks.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

State House Minority Leaders Tells Oconee County Democrats To Focus On Voter Registration And Turnout

Says State Already Blue

Stacey Abrams, minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, gave a rousing calls to action to a gathering of Oconee County Democrats this (Sunday) afternoon, telling them to get people of all races registered and to get people of all races out to vote starting next month.

“Georgia is already blue,” Abrams said at the outset.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Oconee County Board Of Commissioner Candidates Asked About Power Of Commission Chairman During Election Forum

100 Turn Out

Robert Wyatt of 1090 Apalachee Trace in the Lane Creek subdivision in the west of the county, asked the first question at the Oconee County Election Forum on Thursday night, and he found discord among the three candidates for the open seat on the Board of Commissioners in their answers.

Wyatt noted that there has been disagreement on the Commission about the county’s organizational chart and wanted the three candidates to indicate where they stood on the issue.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Oconee County Book Sale Fundraiser for Watkinsville Library Starts Three-Day Run Thursday

Estimated 32,000 Books

Oconee County Library Friends has unpacked 1,134 boxes of books–a record number–in preparation for the book sale that will run Thursday through Saturday at the Oconee County Civic Center, 2661 Hog Mountain Road, west of Butler’s Crossing.

While no one knows the exact number of books in those boxes, book sale coordinator and Library Friends Treasurer Penny Mills said that a conservative estimate would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 32,000 books.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Oconee County Had Modest Growth In Sales Tax Revenue During Period Of Rapid Commercial Development, Tax Distributions Shows

Neighbors Gained Also

Oconee County has experienced only modest growth in revenue it receives from sales tax in the last decade and a half even with significant expansion of its commercial inventory, changes in the county’s alcohol laws, and the opening of new restaurants.

The growth in sales tax revenue in Oconee County, in fact, is not so different from the growth experienced by Athens-Clarke County, which has lost some retail outlets to Oconee County and lost its exclusivity in selling alcohol in restaurants.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sole Scheduled Oconee County Election Forum Set For Thursday Night At Veterans Park

BOC, School Tax, Referenda

The only scheduled forum for the Nov. 8 election is to take place from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday at the Community Center in Veterans Park, 3500 Hog Mountain Road.

Citizens will have the opportunity to pose questions directly to Board of Commissioners candidates Ben Bridges, Chuck Horton and Marcus Wiedower. Each candidate has been asked to make an introductory comment before the questioning.