Thursday, January 30, 2014

Oconee County Patch Web Site Control Shifted To Metropolitan Atlanta

Part Of Restructuring

Editorial control of the Oconee Patch web site, moved in August to Athens, has shifted again, this time to metropolitan Atlanta.

As part of a major restructuring of Patch, about two-thirds of the editorial staff members nationally have lost their jobs, according to media blogger Jim Romenesko, who has a record of breaking inside stories about Patch.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Oconee County Chamber Of Commerce Not Taking Stand On Liquor By The Drink

Favors Referendum

While the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce provided Epps Bridge Centre developer Frank Bishop the platform to go public with his campaign for liquor by the drink in the county, the Chamber has taken a much weaker stand itself.

Bishop, the keynote speaker at the Chamber’s Banquet and Annual Meeting last Thursday night, asked the Board of Commissioners to put the issue on the ballot and the public to vote to allow restaurants to sell liquor.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Architect Message To Oconee County: Keep Courthouse In Center Of County Seat

Do No Repeat Mistakes

The message on Wednesday evening for any of the roughly 75 people in the audience who wanted to hear it was very clear.

Barrow, Jackson and Walton counties made mistakes by moving their government buildings out of the center of their county seats.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Oconee County Assigned Sewer Services For New Kinnucan’s In Epps Bridge Centre

Second Store in Area

The Oconee County Utility Department has assigned sewer service capacity in Epps Bridge Centre for Kinnucan’s, a speciality outfitter that already had one area store in the Alps Shopping Center on Alps Road in Athens.

The county has not yet issued a building permit for the store, which will be located in an extension of the building now housing Guitar Center.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Developer Uses Chamber Of Commerce Banquet To Call For Oconee County Liquor Referendum

Will Improve Shopping

Frank Bishop, developer of Epps Bridge Centre, used his keynote speech before the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce tonight to call for a county referendum to approve the sale of liquor by the drink in restaurants.

Bishop first asked those in attendance to shop locally to help guarantee the vitality of his shopping center.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Assembly Approves, Governor Signs Bill Allowing Oconee County To Hold May SPLOST Vote

90 Days Cut To 60

House Bill 310, passed by the Georgia Senate on Jan. 14 and by the Georgia House on Jan. 17 and signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal yesterday, contains a provision that will allow the Oconee County Board of Commissioners to put the 2015 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax on the May 20 ballot.

The Commissioners are scheduled to make that decision at their regular meeting on March 4, but they could not have put the issue before voters until later in the year–probably in November--had the General Assembly not passed and the governor not signed the House bill.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hard Labor Creek Management Board Does Not Grant Extension For Dam Construction Despite Heavy Rains

Part Of Risk

The Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir Management Board this afternoon decided not to grant an extension in the time line for construction of the reservoir and dam despite an estimate that between 45 and 60 days had been lost due to heavy rains on Dec. 22.

The 3.4 inches of rainfall over a 19-hour period resulted in a breach of the coffer dam being used in construction of the actual dam, Project Manager Jimmy Parker told the Board at its meeting in the Walton County government building.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Oconee County Review Committee To Examine Plans For Resurgence Park With Assisted Living Facility

Falls Of Oconee Also Under Review

Resurgence Park, the large development underway between SR 316 and Virgil Langford Road east of the Oconee Connector, will be before the Oconee County Development Review Committee tomorrow morning as the next step in getting the project and its assisted living faculty underway.

Thrive Senior Living, an Atlanta-based company, has said it will operate an 85-bed facility on one of the lots in the 23-acre project, but developer Nichols Land and Investment Company must get approval of the site plans for the overall Resurgence Park before it can more forward on the assisted living facility.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Oconee County Officials Reveal SPLOST 2015 Wish List At Civic Center Meeting

Some Surprises

Oconee County officials, in a meeting at the Civic Center last night, provided citizens with the first overview of projects under consideration for the proposed 2015 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum planned for the May 20 ballot.

The list contained some surprises.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Three Candidates In Democratic Primary for U.S. Senate Nomination Ask Oconee County Voters To Remember Their Presence

Candidate Nunn Missing

The three Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate on Friday night asked those in attendance at the Oconee County Democratic Party gathering in Watkinsville to remember who had come to meet with them and, by extension, who had not.

“We shouldn’t anoint our candidates,” Steen Miles from Decatur said. “Every candidate should present their views before you, the voting public, and let them make their decision.”

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Oconee County Expecting $55 Million in 2015 SPLOST Revenues, Commission Chairman Told Farmland Gathering

Allows For New Projects

Oconee County is projecting that it will receive $55 million from the proposed Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax to be on the ballot on May 20, up from the $40 million projected from the current SPLOST.

Revenue from the current 1 percent optional sales tax is running behind projections, however, and county officials now are expecting it will generate only about $35 million by the time it expires at the end of next year.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Oconee County Issues Building Permit For Best Buy in Epps Bridge Centre

Retailer Downsizing

Best Buy is joining a lengthening list of Atlanta Highway retailers moving their operations to Oconee County’s Epps Bridge Centre.

Oconee County Code Enforcement issued a commercial building permit on Monday for a 30,299-square-foot-building for Best Buy to be located on the east side of the shopping mall, adjacent to Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Farmland Preservation Activists Call Thursday Meeting To Prepare For Oconee County SPLOST Referendum

TDR On Agenda Too

Oconee County farmland activist Russ Page and Laura Hall from the Athens Land Trust have called a meeting for Thursday to push for inclusion of funding for farmland protection in the county’s 2015 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.

The meeting comes before two oportunities—on Jan. 13 and Feb. 10—for citizens to indicate what projects they want to have included in the language for the next SPLOST referendum, scheduled to be held May 20 of this year.