Thursday, February 26, 2015

Commercial Development Leads To More Crime, District Attorney Told Oconee County Commissioners

Crime Costs Money

Commercial development has its downside, District Attorney Ken Mauldin told the Oconee County Board of Commissioners during a recent work session.

“The more stores you have out there, you’re going to have more shop lifting,” Mauldin said.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Oconee Commissioners Discuss Daniells Bridge Road Projects During Primer On MACORTS

Cancel Final Session

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners tonight got a primer on the operation of the Madison Athens-Clarke Oconee Regional Transportation Study (MACORTS), the regional transportation planning body of which the county has been a member since 1980.

Next they heard from the county director of strategic and long range planning, who moved project by project through the county’s listings in the MACORTS planning documents.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

City Of Monroe Has Partial Solution For Oconee County’s Internet Problems

On Tuesday Agenda

Oconee County has found a fix to its Internet problems that bypasses the two commercial providers of Internet service in the county, AT&T and Charter.

The fix is not perfect–“not a silver bullet”–according to Brian Thompson, director of electric and telecommunications for the city of Monroe in neighboring Walton County.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Courthouse Needs Quick Fix, Judge Tells Oconee County Commissioners In Work Session On Space Needs

July 1, 2016 Deadline

Oconee County may have only a little more than a year before it needs to find space in the Courthouse for a Superior Court judge, the judge’s secretary and a law clerk.

That was the message Chief Superior Court Judge David Sweat delivered to the Oconee County Board of Commissioners last night in the second of four scheduled work sessions the Board is holding to deal with pressing issues before the county.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Three Historic And Scenic Sites To Be Presented To Oconee County Citizen Committee Tomorrow Night

Called Hidden Treasures

Russ Page, a tireless advocate on behalf of historic sites in the county, will get a chance tomorrow night to make a case for funding from current and future Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax revenue of three projects in the county .

The first is preservation of the historic mill on Rose Creek just downstream from the iconic Elder Mill Covered Bridge off SR 15 (Greensboro Highway) southeast of Watkinsville.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Oconee County Board Of Commissioners Confronts Long List Of Issues Needing Resolution

Three More To Come

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners spent 90 minutes last night reviewing a long list of issues facing the county with the goal of winnowing and prioritizing, but it had only limited success with the task at hand.

Jim Dove, executive director of the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission (NEGRC), began the Monday session by presenting a nine-page, single-space list of issues raised in the two-day planning meeting the Board held in January.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Oconee County Chairman Davis Raises Possibility of 50/50 Alcohol To Food Ratio In County Restaurants

In Weekly Column

Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis has renewed his efforts to increase the percentage of revenue that Oconee County restaurants can earn from alcohol sales through his column in the Feb. 12 edition of The Oconee Enterprise.

Davis said in the column he writes that “I understand” that several chains have inquired about locating in Oconee County, but “some” question the existing ratio of alcohol to food.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Plans For Restaurant In Bishop On Hold Because Of Septic System Expenses

Fundraising Underway

Plans are on hold for a restaurant in the center of Bishop as the resident of the historic Seymour D. Fambrough house seeks funds for a $75,000 commercial septic system to accommodate the development.

Blyth Biggs, who is living with his family on the second floor of the Victorian-era, Queen Anne style building at 4851 Macon Highway, is seeking community support to finance the required septic system.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Hearing Before Oconee County Planning Commission On Presbyterian Homes Rezone Cancelled

Ads Not Placed

Oconee County has cancelled the public hearing scheduled for Monday night on the proposed Presbyterian Homes of Georgia continuing care retirement center on U.S. 441 and Wellbrook Road.

The required advertisement did not appear in the county’s legal organ, The Oconee Enterprise, at least 15 days in advance of the public hearing before the Planning Commission, as is required by state law.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Regional Transportation Body Reactivates Project To Widen U.S. 441 With Bishop Bypass In Southern Oconee County

GDOT Pledges Engineering Money

The Madison Athens-Clarke Oconee Regional Transportation Study (MACORTS) Policy Committee this morning took the first step toward reactivating the construction of a bypass of Bishop and the four-laning of U.S. 441 from Watkinsville to the Apalachee River.

The project now goes to the public comment stage, with a key meeting to be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Feb. 24 in the Community Center at Oconee Veterans Park.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Oconee County Clerk Announces Four Work Sessions For Commissioners, Including One On Daniells Bridge Road And Other Roadway Projects

In Grand Jury Room

Oconee County Clerk Jane Greathouse this morning announced four Board of Commissioners work sessions for the last two weeks of the month covering a range of topics, including the widening of Daniells Bridge Road and the construction of the Daniells Bridge Road extension and flyover of SR Loop 10.

The commissioners decided at the end of two days of planning meetings last month to hold a series of work sessions, but they had not been scheduled until today.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Caterpillar Hiring At Local Plant More Than Doubled In Last Year, Oconee County Report States

Details Later

Caterpillar has created 932 of the 1,300 jobs it has promised to generate at its local plant, according to a report filed on Jan. 29 by Rick Waller, chairman of the Oconee County Industrial Development Authority, with the state agency that is overseeing the project.

The 932 jobs are more than double the 364 that Waller reported Caterpillar had created in a similar report a year ago.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Oconee County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax Growth Rate For Year Exceeds Rates Of Clarke and Barrow

Neighbors Collect More Money

Oconee County collected more tax revenue in December of 2014 from its Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax than it has in any month since the tax began in October of 2009.

The December collections were up 13.1 percent from December of 2013, representing the second month in a row in which growth compared with a year ago was at that level. SPLOST revenues in November were up 13.0 percent from November of 2013.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Oconee County Commissioners Delay Again A Decision On Two Daniells Bridge Road Projects

Back In 60 Days

After more than two hour of presentations by staff, of discussions, and of comments by citizens, the vast majority of them asking that the two project framework agreements for road work on Daniells Bridge Road be rejected, Oconee County commissioners last night delayed making a decision yet again.

Instead the commissioners agreed to revisit in 60 days the question of whether to widen Daniells Bridge Road in some fashion and to build an extension of Daniells Bridge Road that would fly over SR Loop 10 to connect with the stub of the Oconee Connector that ends at Home Depot.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Oconee County Chairman Wants To Talk About Safety, But Other Proponents Of Daniells Bridge Road Projects Acknowledge Development Potential

More On Tuesday

Tom Kittle, who really is at the center of the Daniells Bridge Road extension and flyover, made his case for this project and the related widening of the road in a straightforward fashion at the Oconee County Board of Commissioners meeting last Tuesday.

These two projects, in his view, will facilitate the flow of traffic from outside of Watkinsville to Epps Bridge Parkway, thereby relieving existing congestion at the Oconee Connector, and will open up additional land, including land he owns, for development.