Friday, January 30, 2015

Athens Ridge Fight And Arrest Are The Exception, Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Records Show

Alternative To Athens Coming

The fight and arrest on a charge of underage possession of alcohol early in the morning of Jan. 4 at Athens Ridge, the student housing complex on Old Macon Highway, was an exception, a review of records of the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office shows.

Going back to when the townhouse complex opened at the beginning of the academic year in August, records show only one other incident that clearly involved alcohol. That event also was this year, on the morning of Jan. 1.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Decision On Daniells Bridge Road Projects Delayed Again By Oconee County Board of Commissioners

Come Back Next Week

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners, unable to find a consensus, took no action last night on the two project framework agreements with the Georgia Department of Transportation for the widening of Daniells Bridge Road and for the Daniells Bridge Road extension and flyover of SR Loop 10.

Commission Chairman Melvin Davis pushed the four voting commissioners to give tentative approval to the projects, but none of the commissioners supported that decision.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Oconee County Commissioners Make No Progress On Courthouse Future In Two-Day Planning Session

Also No Agreement On Strategy

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners ended its two-day planning session on Friday pretty much where it started the day before in terms of the future of the Courthouse, which it also acknowledged is one of the most pressing issues facing the Board and the county.

Commissioner Jim Luke said at the end of the day that he is very concerned about the county’s space issues but that he didn’t think the Board was close to finding any solutions.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bed Bath & Beyond And Party City Coming To Oconee County’s Epps Bridge Centre

Now At Athens Promenade

Oconee County has issued a permit for a 39,000-square-foot building at Epps Bridge Centre to house both Bed Bath & Beyond and Party City.

The new building will be located to the west of Marshalls in the last open area in the central core of the strip mall that lies between the Oconee Connector, SR Loop 10 and Epps Bridge Parkway.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Daniells Bridge Road Widening And Flyover On Oconee County Board of Commissioners Agenda Again

Call For Decision On Contract

The project framework agreements with the state for the widening of Daniells Bridge Road and for construction of an extension of Daniells Bridge Road and flyover of SR Loop 10 are back on the agenda of the Oconee County Board of Commissioners for approval on Tuesday night.

The two projects would create a new traffic artery to move traffic from Watkinsville to the Epps Bridge Road commercial corridor and then Athens that would parallel Mars Hill Road, now being rebuilt at a cost of $30 million.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Oconee County Commissioners Told They Should Consider Increasing Property Taxes This Year

One Commissioner Speaks For Increase

Given the costs of paying for the enticements to bring Caterpillar to the area, the need for new judicial facilities, and the plans to build new roads and maintain the existing ones, Oconee County commissioners should consider an increase in the county’s property tax rate.

That was the message of Wes Geddings, county finance director, in the opening session of a day-long planning meeting held by the Oconee Board of Commissioners at a conference venue in Athens-Clarke County today.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Oconee County Citizen Committee Wants More Money For Road Repair and Improvements

Sending Letter to BOC

The Oconee County Citizen Advisory Committee on Land Use and Transportation Planning is asking the Board of Commissioners to increase significantly funding for road repairs, resurfacing and related improvements.

The Committee decided at its meeting on Jan. 13 to ask the commissioners to increase the funding following a discussion in which Pubic Works Director Emil Beshara outlined spending needs for transportation infrastructure in the county.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Trucks To Begin Crossing Mars Hill Road, Bringing Traffic Through Oconee County To Intermittent Halts

Weather Permitting

Crews will begin intermittent blocking of Mars Hill Road on Thursday, the first time such action has been taken on the roadway since construction work began on the widening project last November.

Weather permitting, dump trucks will begin hauling dirt across Mars Hill Road between Hodges Mill Road and Riverhaven Lane sometime after 9 a.m. Thursday, according to a news release sent out late this afternoon by the Northeast Georgia office of the state Department of Transportation.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Gun And A Wallet Are Equally Protected From Search, Oconee County Chief Deputy Tells Class

HB 60 Not The Key

Carrying a gun legally is no different from carrying a wallet.

Because of this, police officers cannot search someone simply because they believe the person is carrying a gun.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Oconee County Board Of Commissioners Holding Planning Sessions This Week In Athens

NEGRC Conference Room

Oconee County Commissioners are to hold what are being called planning sessions from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.

The meetings will be held in Athens, in the conference room of the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission, 305 Research Drive, which runs from College Station Road to Barnett Shoals Road.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Oconee County Had Strong Fourth Quarter Of SPLOST Tax Collections

Clarke Even Stronger

Oconee County collected more than $1.6 million in Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax revenue in the final quarter of 2014, representing the best quarter ever for the county in terms of revenue from the 1 percent sales tax.

The collection, up 3.9 percent from the previous quarter, puts the county in a position to collect in the neighborhood of 84 percent of the originally projected $40.4 million from the tax.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Presbyterian Homes Back With Proposal For Oconee County Continuing Care And Retirement Center

U.S. 441 Location

Presbyterian Homes of Georgia is back with yet another attempt to locate a continuing care retirement center in Oconee County.

Plans filed with the Oconee County Planning Department on Monday call for construction of a $120 million complex on just more than 70 acres fronting both on U.S. 441 and Wellbrook Road.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Oconee County Commissioners Pass Liquor Ordinance After Striking Requirement That Food Be Purchased With Drinks

Hold Line On Map

As a result of action taken last night by the Oconee County Board of Commissioners, the county now has a new liquor ordinance that allows for the sale of beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks in county restaurants.

The commissioners removed the requirement that patrons must purchase food with their purchase of these drinks, but they retained the requirement from the existing beer and wine ordinance that the restaurant cannot report that more than 25 percent of its gross income comes from the sales of alcoholic drinks.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Second Reading Of Liquor Ordinance, Three Rezones On Agenda For Oconee County Commissioners

One Rezone Controversial

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners tomorrow night is scheduled to give a second reading to a liquor-by-the-drink ordinance, key features of which remain unspecified.

County Attorney Daniel Haygood drafted an ordinance that he presented to the commissioners back in July and again at their meeting on Dec. 16, when they held the first reading and public hearing on the proposed change in the county laws governing the sale of alcohol.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Oconee County Voters Concerned About Growth And Traffic As 2014 Came To An End

Survey Finds

Oconee County voters ended the year concerned about over development, traffic problems, and their schools.

Concern about road and traffic problems was up dramatically from two years ago, when the economy had been the major concern of voters in the county.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Oconee County Liquor Referendum Had Support Of Major Political, Social And Demographic Groups

Survey Analysis Shows

Oconee County voters gave overwhelming support to the liquor-by-the-drink initiative on the ballot in November, and an analysis of survey data from the weeks before that vote shows that all major political, social and demographic groups approved of the change in county liquor laws.

Political conservatives, voters more than 60 years old, evangelical Christians, those who attend church weekly or more often, and voters with children under 18 years of age all favored allowing the county to issue licenses for restaurants to sell liquor by the drink.