Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Oconee County Commissioners Decide To Award Bid For Parkway Boulevard Extension After Review

ABE Consulting Selected

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners tonight voted to move forward with design work for an extension of Parkway Boulevard, which will run behind Wal-Mart and Lowe’s parallel to Epps Bridge Parkway and open up more land in the area for development.

Oconee County Administrative Officer Jeff Benko told the commissioners that he, County Attorney Daniel Haygood, and county Public Works Director Emil Beshara had reviewed the submitted proposals and their costs.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tax Data For Oconee County And Its Neighbors Show Revenues Do Not Always Increase After Commercial Development

Consumers Can Move Purchases

Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax revenues increased 10.1 percent in Oconee County following the opening of a cluster of stores, including Marshalls, PetSmart and Gap, in Epps Bridge Centre in the third quarter of 2013.

But Clarke County also increased its revenue from its SPLOST tax during that same period even while it was losing stores to Epps Bridge Centre.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Parkway Boulevard Extension Back On Oconee County Board Of Commissioners Agenda On Tuesday Night

No Sign Of Action

The contract for design of the extension of Parkway Boulevard is back on the agenda for the Oconee County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday night, but this time there is no indication that the county is prepared to award the contract.

The BOC tentatively agreed at its meeting on Aug. 26 to accept the low bid of $96,925 submitted by ABE Consulting of 2410 Hog Mountain Road but reversed course a week later–on Sept. 2-- and decided to review the five submitted bids another time.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Massachusetts Pharmaceutical Company Coming To Oconee County Gateway Business Park

Company Began At UGA

A Massachusetts biopharmaceutical company with roots at the University of Georgia has signed a lease for two buildings being completed at Gateway Technology and Business Park in Bogart.

One of the two buildings will be used for production and the other for research, according to plans distributed Monday to the Oconee County Industrial Development Authority, which developed the park and sold the 12-acre site to Rooker Properties LLC last year.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Updated Plans Under Review For The Falls Of Oconee Commercial Complex On Old Macon Highway

Dirt And Rock Hill Remains

The developer of The Falls of Oconee commercial complex on Old Macon Highway just inside the county line has submitted slightly revised preliminary site plans as the project moves through the review process.

The Bloomfield Hills, Mich., company turned in the latest plans for the five-building center to house restaurants and small shops on Aug. 29. Those plans have not yet been approved by the Oconee County Planning Department.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Strong Growth In Sales Taxes Needed In Oconee County To Generate Funds For SPLOST 2015

Tax History Shows

When Oconee County voters go to the polls for the Nov. 4 election they will be asked to vote Yes or No on a 1 percent sales tax that, according to the ballot language, is expected raise $55.6 million over the six-year life of the tax.

Voters also will be presented with list of projects to be funded, including water and sewer infrastructure, roads, farmland protection, libraries and parks and recreational facilities.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Oconee County Put On Hold Awarding Of Contract For Design Of New Roadway Opposite Epps Bridge Centre

Bishop Seeking Road

Oconee County’s plans to begin design work on a road being sought by Atlanta developer Frank Bishop are on hold while County Attorney Daniel Haygood looks into the bids and the bidding process.

At the request of Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis, the awarding of the design contract to ABE Consulting, 2410 Hog Mountain Road, was removed from the consent agenda at the Sept. 2 meeting of the Commission.

Davis said it was necessary “to check a couple of things on the contracts,” and County Administrative Officer Jeff Benko told me in an email message on Sept. 3 that Haygood “was reviewing a few items.”

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir Board Selects Eastern Site For Future Boat Ramp And Pier

Passive Park Possible

The Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir Management Board is focusing its attention on a site on the east of the reservoir rather than one more centrally located as it moves forward with planning for recreational facilities at the reservoir.

The Board made the decision to focus on the eastern site at its meeting on Aug. 19, and the members of the Board’s Recreation Committee have been reviewing a draft concept plan for the site in the weeks following that meeting.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Rezone On Oconee County Planning Commission Agenda Includes Proposal To Modify Historic Property

New Restaurant Proposed

A rezone request that would convert three pieces of property that front on Hog Mountain Road just west of Butler’s Crossing into a mixed use development with both retail stores and offices is before the Oconee County Planning Commission for review tomorrow night.

The property currently contains three houses, one of which is being used as a business, and abuts residential and agricultural properties at the rear.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Thrive Senior Living Facility On Virgil Langford Road Received Building Permit From Oconee County

Projected To Open In July 2015

The Oconee County Code Enforcement Office issued a building permit on Thursday for construction of the 70-unit Thrive Senior Living facility on Virgil Langford Road in Resurgence Park.

Construction of the $6 million, upscale, assisted living facility to be known as The Village at Athens is expected to begin in two weeks and be completed by the end of July of 2015, according to the building permit.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Lanes For Proposed Daniells Bridge Road Flyover Changed Again At Request Of Oconee County Commission Chairman

Four Or Two Possible

The plan to build the Daniells Bridge Road extension with a flyover of SR Loop 10 with only two lanes didn’t last long.

At a meeting yesterday morning, the Policy Committee of the Madison Athens-Clarke Oconee Regional Transportation Study (MACORTS) changed the 2015-2018 Transportation Improvement Program document to say that the extension and flyover should be either two lanes or four.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Oconee County Industrial Development Authority Accepts Resignation Of Product Development Committee Chair

Time Demands Cited

The Oconee County Industrial Development Authority accepted the immediate resignation of member John Morrison at its meeting on Monday.

Morrison was chair of Product Development Committee of the IDA, which released two reports to the Board of Commissioners in the last year.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Daniells Bridge Road Flyover Reduced From Four Lanes To Two, Citizens Learn At Meetings Tonight

Final Vote Tomorrow

The Daniells Bridge Road flyover of SR Loop 10 has been reduced from four-lanes to two-lanes in the Madison Athens-Clarke Oconee Regional Transportation Study (MACORTS) 2015-2018 Transportation Improvement Program document on the agenda for approval tomorrow morning.

The document also has been altered to list the widening of Daniells Bridge to three-lanes all the way from Hog Mountain Road to the Oconee Connector, rather than just to Chestnut Hill Road.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Georgia Department Of Transportation Project Officials Vague On Who Initiated Request For Oconee County To Approve Three Road Projects

Called Group Effort

Georgia Department of Transportation Engineer Brandon Kirby said that the decision to send three project framework agreements to Oconee County for approval was the result of a “group effort.”

But he would not say who was in the group that decided it was time to move forward with the widening and reconstruction of Jimmy Daniell Road, the widening of Daniells Bridge Road, and the construction of an extension of Daniells Bridge Road with a flyover of SR Loop 10.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Compliance With Key Provisions Of Oconee County’s Beer and Wine Ordinance For Restaurants Has Been Loosely Monitored

Some Reports Now Required

From Oct. 7, 2008, when the Oconee County Board of Commissioners approved the first beer and wine licenses for restaurants in the county, until Jan. 1 of this year, compliance with two key provisions of the beer and wine ordinance was entirely on the honor system.

The county simply assumed that the percentage of sales from beer and wine by each license holder was not more than 25 percent of total sales in the individual restaurant and that each sale of an alcoholic beverage in the restaurant also included “a reasonable order of a meal or appetizer.”

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Oconee County Approves Rezone Request for Senior Facility Off Virgil Langford Road After Nearly An Hour Of Discussion

Luke Raised Concerns

The owners of 24.6 acres just off Virgil Langford Road got their rezone last night from the Oconee County Board of Commissioners, but only after lengthy negotiations.

Ken Beall of Beall and Company, representing Eco Development Group LLC, agreed to place a condition on the rezone of the property for The Fairways Seniors Community requiring that buildings have brick, stucco, stone or cultured stone exteriors, architectural shingles, and varied facades.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Oconee County Residents Will Have Chance To Review Proposed Transportation Projects At Two Meetings On Sept. 9

Including Daniells Bridge Road Work

Oconee County residents with opinions on the proposed Jimmy Daniell Road and Daniells Bridge Road projects as well as on other transportation projects in the county will have two back-to-back opportunities to express those views in meetings scheduled for Sept. 9 at the Community Center in Veterans Park.

Madison Athens-Clarke Oconee Regional Transportation Study (MACORTS) will hold from 5 to 7 p.m. what is officially a public hearing on its 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan, which includes the Jimmy Daniell Road and Daniells Bridge Road projects as well as others in the county.