Sunday, September 30, 2012

Presbyterian Homes of Georgia Wants to Relocate Proposed Oconee Facility To Rocky Branch Road

Needs Rezone and Variance

Presbyterian Homes of Georgia has submitted plans to the Oconee County Planning Department that would shift its approved residential retirement facility from the commercial area of Butler's Crossing outside Watkinsville to a residential area on Rocky Branch Road.

The nonprofit corporation from Quitman plans to build a $77 million Continuing Care Retirement Facility that would include cottages, villas, an apartment building, a health services center and a support building on the south side of Rocky Branch Road next door to a phase of the Rowan Oak gated community and across from Old Waverly subdivision.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mars Hill Widening on Schedule, Oconee County Public Works Director Reports

Dirt Moving by Late 2013

The purchase of needed rights of way for the widening of Mars Hill Road from SR 316 to Butler’s Crossing is progressing on schedule, and actual construction on the roadway is expected to be underway late next year or early in 2014.

Emil Beschara, Oconee County Public Works director, gave the Citizen Advisory Committee on Land Use and Transportation Planning a status report on land acquisition for the widening project at its meeting on Sept. 11.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hard Labor Creek Management Board Agrees To Consider Adding Citizens from Walton and Oconee Counties

Vacancies Exist

The Hard Labor Creek Management Board agreed today to resolve the issue of citizen representation on the Management Board by modifying the intergovernmental agreement Walton and Oconee counties signed in 2007.

No vote was taken, but Management Board members said they wanted to have the issue settled so the newly seated boards of commissioners in the two counties can make their appointments in January and have the option of including citizens.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Oconee County To Add Three Billboards As Part of Settlement with Fairway Outdoor Advertising

One For Butler’s Crossing

Oconee County will get three new billboards--two of them on Epps Bridge Parkway and one in Butler’s Crossing--as a result of a settlement the county has reached with Fairway Outdoor Advertising, a national outdoor advertising company with regional offices in Athens.

Fairway also agreed to remove three of the six billboards it currently has along U.S. 441–one for each of the new billboards it installs on Epps Bridge Parkway and in Butler’s Crossing.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Oconee County Magistrate Court Judge Finds Oconee Waste Transport Violated Zoning Ordinance

What Does Hours of Operation Mean?

Oconee County Magistrate Court Judge Eric Norris on Friday found Matt Elder in violation of a county zoning ordinance when Elder began operating his Oconee Waste Transport business before 6 a.m. on July 11 of this year.

Though Elder plead not guilty to the charge, he admitted operating his trucks on his lot before the allowed opening time. Elder’s attorney contended that since Oconee Waste Transport had not opened the business office, it was not in violation of the zoning restriction.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Oconee and Clarke County Development Authorities Option Additional Land in Orkin Tract for Caterpillar

Taxes Shifted

The Oconee County Industrial Development Authority and its counterpart in Athens-Clarke County last week decided to take an option on 204 acres of land in what is called the Orkin tract in the hopes that the land will be used either by Caterpillar or some of its suppliers.

The optioned land is in addition to the 263 acres the two counties purchased from the Orkin tract earlier this year and that is being used by Caterpillar for the plant under construction on the eastern edge of Bogart.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Oconee County Commissioners Appoint Benko as Administrative Officer and Geddings as Finance Director

Two Powerful Posts

In a surprise move tonight, the Oconee County Board of Commissioners appointed Jeff Benko to serve as county administrative officer and Wes Geddings as finance director, effective tomorrow.

Benko currently is serving as finance director, and Geddings is assistant finance director.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

State Will Not Seek Access to Hard Labor Creek Reservoir Water For Atlanta, Oconee County and Other Officials Predict

Loan Documents To Be Scrutinized

Although nothing can be certain until the state provides the loan contracts, Hard Labor Creek Reservoir Project Manager Jimmy Parker said he does not expect the state to require that Oconee and Walton counties share water from the reservoir with Atlanta as a condition for the $32 million in loans the state is offering.

“I don’t anticipate any language in there to that effect,” Parker told me by telephone last Tuesday. He said he expects the state to issue a standard Georgia Environmental Finance Authority loan that will not include any state involvement in the project.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Regina Quick Moving Forward With Plans to Revisit Split of Oconee County in 2011 Redistricting

Meeting Set for Tuesday

Regina Quick, the unopposed Republican candidate in Georgia House District 117, has taken initial steps to fulfill one of her primary campaign promises: to introduce legislation that would overturn the redistricting passed by the General Assembly in its special session in 2011 splitting Oconee County between two House Districts.

Quick is scheduled to meet with Chuck Williams, the unopposed Republican candidate in Georgia House District 119, and with Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis on Tuesday and to discuss her campaign promise at that session