Sunday, February 24, 2013

Oconee County Commissioners Made Appointments Inconsistent With Governing Agreements

Davis Led, Board Followed

When the Oconee County Board of Commissioners on Feb. 12 followed Chairman Melvin Davis' lead and made appointments to four regional boards, it both replaced people and reappointed people whose terms had not yet expired.

And while Davis said the appointments were required based on intergovernmental and related agreements, he and the commissioners actually went counter to those agreements in making some of the appointments, an examination of those agreements and other documents shows.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Oconee County Received Responses From Two Applicants To Develop Transfer of Development Rights Program

After Four Years Of Inaction

More than four years after the Oconee County Board of Commissioners voted to move forward on a Transfer of Development Rights program, the county has finally advertized for and received applications from consultants who have said they would like to work with the county on the project.

Wayne Provost, director of Strategic and Long-Range Planning for the county, told the Citizens Advisory Committee on Land Use and Transportation Planning last night that the county had received responses from Rick Pruetz of Hermosa Beach, Calif., and Ross and Associates of Atlanta.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Oconee County Chairman Davis Thwarted In Attempt To Control Slot on Reservoir Management Board

Board Follows Luke Lead

The Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir Management Board today turned aside an attempt by Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis to gain control of one of the three Oconee County slots on the Management Board.

Oconee County Commissioner Jim Luke, who chairs the Management Board, said he did not think his fellow commissioners would support Davis' proposed change in the language of the intergovernmental agreement creating the Management Board.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Oconee County Sheriff Says His Purchases from Dana Safety Supply Were From Personal, Not County, Funds

Bought Four Revolvers

Neither Oconee County nor the Sheriff’s Office has made any purchases in the last five years from Dana Safety Supply, with which Sheriff Scott Berry disagreed publicly earlier this year because of the company’s decision not to sell some of its products to the general public.

The Sheriff said during that disagreement that he had made recent purchases from Dana Safety Supply, and he told me on Monday that those purchases had all been with personal, not county, funds.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Rose Creek Mitigation Bank Seeking Variance To Work On Oconee County Restoration Project

Holds Easement For Site

Rose Creek Mitigation Bank, one of two such banks operating in the county, is awaiting a state permit to be able to violate the 25-foot stream buffer so it can modify restoration work done in initially setting up the bank.

James Parker, manager of Falling Springs, an environmental resource company in Richmond, Va., told me in a telephone conversation on Feb. 5 that his company is being “proactive” in asking the Georgia Environmental Protection Division for permission to modify the existing restoration structures.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Oconee County Commissioners Accept Chairman Recommendation to Replace Former Commissioner On Two Boards

Pebble Creek Request Denied

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously last night to accept Chairman Melvin Davis’ recommendation that former commissioner Chuck Horton be removed from two government boards, though Horton could have continued to serve on each as a citizen.

The commissioners decided to replace Horton with one of their own, rather than advertise for citizens to fill the positions.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Oconee County Commissioners Scheduled To Decide Future of Pebble Creek Subdivision

Now Sitting Empty

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners tomorrow night is scheduled to take up a rezone request by the new owner of Pebble Creek Subdivision, who wants to build smaller homes on slabs in the currently unoccupied 143-acre tract on SR 15 south of Watkinsville.

The Planning Commission has recommended that the BOC allow CAAT Holdings LLC to build the homes on slabs rather than with basements or crawl space, provided the slab construction meets current code standards.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Rep. Quick Has Draft Legislation In Hand To Change Oconee County House Districts

Receptivity In House Uncertain

Rep. Regina Quick of the 117th House District has received from the House Legislative Counsel draft legislation that would return Oconee County to a single district in the Georgia House of Representatives.

Quick told me on Thursday that she has shared the legislation with Rep. Chuck Williams, who currently represents the majority of Oconee County in the 119th House District.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Oconee County Tax Commissioner Explained New Title Ad Valorem Tax to Civic Center Crowd

Tax Rate Can Increase

More than 50 people showed up at the Civic Center on a Thursday evening to hear Oconee County Tax Commissioner Jennifer Riddle explain the complexity of House Bill 386, which eliminates what is referred to as the “birthday” tax on vehicles.

In its place, the bill passed by the General Assembly last year puts into effect on March 1 a Title Ad Valorem Tax, which everyone who registers a vehicle must pay.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Oconee County BOC Chairman Davis Proposes To Eliminate Former Commissioner Horton From Boards

Horton Could Serve As Citizen

Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis on Tuesday proposed a slate of appointments to four regional committees that would remove former commissioner Chuck Horton from the Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir Management Board and from the Georgia Bioscience Joint Development Authority.

Horton is serving as chairman of the four-county bioscience authority, having assumed that position last fall. The authority promotes development of the SR 316 corridor.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Caterpillar Doubled Water Request for Plant On Oconee County-Clarke County Line

Wants Sewer Meter Too

Caterpillar will need more than twice as much potable water as originally proposed, but the final requested amount of 150,000 gallons per day is considerably less than the figures the company had suggested it might need during deliberations with utility department officials.

Caterpillar still believes it will need more than the 150,000 gallons per day requested, and it will supplement the amount of water it gets from Oconee and Clarke utility departments by recycling and capturing water in the manufacturing process.