Sunday, December 28, 2014

Oconee County To Let Bids Early In 2015 For New Gravity Sewer Line Along McNutt Creek

Will Cross Jennings Mill Course

Oconee County officials expect to let bids early in January or February for construction of a $2.5 million gravity-fed sewer line running along McNutt Creek from Jimmy Daniell Road to Parkway Boulevard at Kohl’s.

While the county has tried to stay outside the 25-foot buffer the state places on streams, that was not possible in all cases, and the county is waiting on a final approval of a variance to encroach on the buffer for 627 feet along the creek.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Report Outlines Spending For Oconee County 2004 And 2009 SPLOST Projects

2004 Facilities Money Unspent

By the end of the last fiscal year, Oconee County had spent about three-quarters of the revenue it is expecting from the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum passed by voters in 2009, according to a report just released by the county’s Finance Department.

By the end of the report period on June 30, 15 months of tax collection remained, meaning the county was spending at about the right amount to keep revenue and expenditures from the 1 percent sales tax in balance.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Hard Labor Creek Board Agrees To Pay Extra $410,000 For Professional Services To Keep Dam Construction On Schedule

Reason For Cost Not Determined

The Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir Management Board deliberated nearly 30 minutes at its regular meeting on Tuesday before deciding it had no alternative but to pay an additional $410,000 for professional services for the ongoing construction of the dam.

Schnabel Engineering, with offices in Alpharetta, requested the additional payment on top of the $923,000 originally agreed upon, or a 44.4 percent increase, to continue construction testing and engineering services for the dam through April 1 of 2015.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Developer Asks To Withdrawal Plans Before Oconee County Commissioners For RV Storage Facility

Board Must Accept

The developer of a proposed recreational vehicle storage facility at the corner of New High Shoals Road and Union Church Road today asked to withdraw the application for the rezone needed for the facility.

Williams and Associates, representing property owners Herbert E. Michael and Mark Selvidge and Ted Evans Jr., of Watkinsville Storage, gave no reason in the short letter filed with the Oconee County Planning Department for the request to withdraw the rezone from the Jan. 6 agenda of the Oconee County Board of Commissioners.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Rep. Quick Tells Oconee County Government Leaders She Questions The Need For Additional Funding for GDOT

Local Maybe Better

It is unlikely that Rep. Regina Quick won any friends at the Georgia Department of Transportation last week with the comments she made at the special session with local governmental leaders organized by the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce.

But it was clear she was not trying to curry favor with the state’s transportation leaders.

“I have some concern that there is a great sucking sound coming from Atlanta, from the transportation office,” she said.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Oconee County Commission Chairman Davis Suggests Revisions To Draft Alcohol Ordinance

Next Reading In January

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners tonight agreed to consider over the next three weeks changes in the draft ordinance presented to it that will allow for the sale of liquor by the drink in county restaurants.

Commission Chairman Melvin Davis recommended that the Board review the requirement in the draft ordinance that no more than 25 percent of the gross income at the restaurant be from the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Oconee County Planning Commission Recommends Against Recreational Vehicle Storage Facility

Positive Votes On Two Other Requests

The Oconee County Planning Commission tonight voted unanimously to recommend to the Board of Commissioners that it turn down a rezone request for a recreational vehicle storage facility at the corner of New High Shoals Road and Union Church Road.

The Planning Commission took the action after hearing from 19 people who spoke in opposition to the rezone request. No one other than the applicant’s agent spoke in favor.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Liquor-By-The-Drink Ordinance Scheduled To Get First Reading By Oconee County Board Of Commissioners Tuesday Night

Cheddar’s Opening Soon

Liquor-by-the-drink legislation is now on a fast track, with the Oconee County Board of Commissioners scheduled to give an ordinance its first reading on Tuesday night and approve the law on Jan. 6.

County Clerk Jane Greathouse released the agendas for both meetings just before 4:30 on Friday, and the county web site contains a notice of the meetings and a draft of the ordinance commissioners will consider.

Oconee County Planning Commission To Discuss Medical Complex, RV Storage, Tenant Farm Dwelling

Big Project Not Controversial

The Oconee County Planning Commission is scheduled to take up three rezone requests tomorrow night, the largest of which in terms of financial impact is likely to prove the least controversial.

After asking that its request be tabled in October, Oconee Medical Holdings LLC is seeking approval tomorrow of a rezone of a little more than 14 acres at Jennings Mill Road and Virgil Langford Road for construction of Phase III of Three Sixteen Professional Quarter.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Watkinsville To Hold Special Election In March On Liquor By The Drink

Cost: $3,500

The Watkinsville City Council voted unanimously last night to put a referendum allowing the sale of liquor by the drink in the city’s restaurants on the ballot in a special election on March 17.

The Council took the action after Mayor Charles Ivie informed the five council members and the public that he had concluded that the city could not determine precisely how city voters had cast their ballots in the county-wide referendum on Nov. 4.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Solutions To Space Needs Not Discussed By Oconee County Commissioners At Meeting Called For That Purpose

Nine Presentations Made

Anyone who turned out at the called meeting of the Oconee County Board of Commissioners last night expecting a discussion of how the county is going to address future space needs would have been disappointed.

What the small group in attendance heard instead was presentations by an elected official and by representatives of eight county departments of what their current space use is and what they think they will need in 2035.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

GDOT Corrects Error On Mars Hill Road Closing Affecting Oconee County School Traffic

Second Error Identified

Georgia Department of Transportation officials have corrected two errors in materials provided to those who attended the informational meeting at the Civic Center last week.

The documents distributed at the meeting said that Mars Hill Road lanes could be closed from 2 to 4 p.m. on weekdays from the southern intersection of Windy Creek Drive to Hog Mountain Road.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Watkinsville Council And Oconee County Board of Commissioners Seem Set To Discuss Liquor-By-The-Drink Ordinances

Problem With Counts In City

Liquor by the drink is likely to be a topic of conversation at both the Watkinsville City Council meeting on Wednesday night and at the Oconee County Board of Commissioners meeting next Tuesday evening.

Watkinsville City Clerk Julie Sanders told me on Friday that while the topic is not an agenda item for Wednesday night’s meeting, based on her conversation with Mayor Charles Ivie, she expects the topic to be part of the mayor’s report.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Oconee County Commissioners Correct Appointment Of Thomas To County Industrial Development Authority

Luke Remakes Motion

When the Oconee County Industrial Development Authority meets in January, it will have a newly appointed member.

That person is Mark Thomas, who has been serving since Oct. 13 even though he was not appointed officially until Nov. 11.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Oconee County Removed Boswell Signs From Oconee Connector And SR 316 Intersection

Other Signs In Compliance

Oconee County yesterday removed the two-sided sign that Jamie Boswell, District 10 representative to the state Transportation Board, had at the southwest corner of SR 316 and the Oconee Connector more than seven months after the county asked Boswell to move the sign.

Oconee County Code Enforcement sent Boswell a letter on Oct. 17 setting a deadline of Nov. 17 for him to bring the sign into compliance with the county’s ordinance, which prohibits signs in the public right of way.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Crowd At Mars Hill Road Construction Session Told Project Will Be Disruptive, But Reassured As Well

Contract Restricts Time Of Work

Mars Hill Road construction is going to cause major disruptions to the lives of the people who live along and who use that roadway, but the state, the contractor and local officials are going to do everything they can to help everyone cope.

That was the message of those who spoke last night at the special meeting in the Civic Center called to give people in the community an overview of the project, which is now underway.