Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Watkinsville Swears In New Mayor To Replace Charles Ivie, Who Stepped Down On Monday For Health Reasons

Massey Takes Oath

Watkinsville got a new mayor tonight (Wednesday) as Connie Massey took the oath of office at the beginning of the City Council meeting.

Massey replaced Charles Ivie, who resigned as mayor on Monday morning because of health problems. Ivie had previously announced that he would not run for re-election.

City Attorney Joe Reitman administered the oath to Massey, formerly Post 2 Council member, and Massey then presided at the meeting.

The Council approved a 2017 millage rate of 2.677, down from the 2016 rate of 2.791, and gave first reading to an event ordinance that will control use of public right of way for pedestrian events.

The Council also completed action on a solicitation ordinance that matches one passed by the county earlier this year.

Ivie’s Resignation

The city called a press conference for Monday morning to give Ivie a chance to say publicly that health problems had led him conclude he should resign immediately rather than complete his term at the end of this year.

Ivie vacated his office on Monday and Massey, mayor pro tem, assumed the responsibilities of mayor.

Massey was elected in November of 2012 and was sworn in to fill an open seat on the Council before beginning her full term in January of 2013.

Massey saluted Ivie during the time on the agenda for the mayor’s report.

“I would like to take this time to say ‘Thank you’ to Mayor Ivie for all that you have done for this wonderful place called Watkinsville. You have done a great job of looking out for the citizens and the city, and I appreciate all that you have done.”

Ivie was elected mayor in 2011.

The Council selected Marcia Campbell to serve as mayor pro tem.

November Elections

Qualifying for the office of mayor and for Council Post 1 and Post 2 will take place on Monday through Wednesday of next week at City Hall.

Brian Brodrick holds Post 1, and Massey’s Post 2 is now vacant, though she can decide to run again for that position.

Council members and the mayor serve two-year terms.

Qualifying also will take place next week in each of the county’s other three cities.

Two posts on the Bogart City Council will be decided in November. Janet Jones and Michael Ward hold those positions at present.

Posts 3, 4, and 5 on the North High Shoals Council are up for election. These posts currently are held by Ann Evans, Paul Dotterweich, and Violet Dawe.

The mayor and all four spots on the Bishop City Council also will be decided in November.

Event Ordinance

Watkinsville City Attorney Reitman presented Council members with a six-page draft of an events ordinance that limits use of public right of way in the city to sporting or recreational events approved by the Council.

Council member Brodrick offered several suggestions for changes to the ordinance, and Reitman said he will come back to Council next month with a revised ordinance responding to those comments.

The Solicitation Ordinance restricts door-to-door commercial solicitation in the city to those obtaining a permit from the Office of the Sheriff.

The ordinance, which regulates the language and techniques used in solicitation, was requested by Sheriff Scott Berry.

Millage Rate

The city decreased its millage rate over the year before in 2015, 2016 and now again in 2017.

The rate had been steady from 2012 to 2014.

City residents pay property taxes to the city and to the county, and the Oconee County Board of Commissioners set the rate for the incorporated and unincorporated parts of the county last month.

The rate for the incorporated parts of the county is higher than for the unincorporated parts of the county.

Video

The video below is of tonight’s meeting, held at City Hall.

Massey made her comments about Ivie starting at 12:20 in the video.

Discussion of the Event Ordinance begins at 14:50 in the video.

Discussion of the millage rate begins at 24:45.

OCO: Watkinsville Council 8 16 17 from Lee Becker on Vimeo.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Daniells Bridge Road Flyover Removed From Transportation Planning Documents For Oconee County, But It Could Reappear In The Future

Kittles Make Plea

The Policy Committee of the Madison Athens Clarke Oconee Regional Transportation Study (MACORTS) last week removed the proposed flyover connecting Daniells Bridge Road with the Oconee Connector from its 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan.

The Policy Committee also added five projects to its 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan to accommodate the Construction Work Program of the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Oconee County Citizen Committee Raises Concerns About Traffic At Oconee Veterans Park With Addition Of New Fields

Multi-Use Fields Planned

Members of the Oconee County Citizens Advisory Committee on Recreational Affairs were pleased last month with the county’s decision to begin construction of three multi-use fields at Oconee Veterans Park but expressed concern about the impact of the project on traffic at the park.

Lisa Davol, newly appointed director of the Parks and Recreation Department, updated the group on county plans for the fields, originally designated for adult softball but now being redesigned for multiple sports.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Oconee County Commissioners Approve Rezone In Preparation For Sale Of Barber Creek Fire Station Acreage

Warning On Alcohol Licenses

Oconee County commissioners last (Tuesday) night rezoned nearly two acres on the Oconee Connector and Daniells Bridge Road where the Barber Creek fire station sits in preparation for selling it for business development.

Although the property was donated to the county prior to 1997, the county owns the land outright and is preparing to sell it to the best bidder. The owners of the nearby SpringHill Suites by Marriott, 3500 Daniells Bridge Road, seem likely to be interested.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Oconee County Commissioners To Approve Sewer Contract And Consider Alcohol License For Convenience Store At Athens Ridge

Rezone On Agenda

Oconee County commissioners are set to give final approval tomorrow (Tuesday) night to a $1.9 million contract to upgrade the sewer line running from Epps Bridge Parkway at McNutt Creek and down Daniells Bridge Road and Government Station Road.

The upgraded sewer line will allow the county to divert sewage now being pumped to the sewage treatment facility on Rocky Branch Road to the Calls Creek plant currently under expansion outside Watkinsville.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Regional Transportation Body Votes To Eliminate Daniells Bridge Road Flyover From Its Plans

Another Vote Needed

The Technical Coordinating Committee of the Madison Athens Clarke Oconee Regional Transportation Study (MACORTS) voted last week to recommend to the body’s Policy Committee that it remove from its long range plans the proposed flyover connecting Daniells Bridge Road with the Oconee Connector.

The Technical Coordinating Committee also recommended that five projects be added to the MACORTS long range plans, all to accommodate requests from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Oconee County Residents Provided Feedback On Preliminary Components Of Updated Comprehensive Plan

At Two-Hour Forum

A crowd of approximately 75 people turned out at the Community Center in Oconee Veterans Park on Thursday night to review the work to date on the Oconee County Joint Comprehensive Plan for 2018.

In a two-hour session, those in attendance could visit four different stations with five different posters or story boards about elements of the update to the county’s Comprehensive Plan.