Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Oconee County Commissioners Vote To Terminate Lease On Dolvin Property, Go Into Executive Session With Atlanta Developer

Reservoir Report Too

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners voted 3-1 last night to move the Planning Department, Code Enforcement and three other offices out of the Dolvin buildings within the year but gave no indicate where it will move them.

Commissioner Jim Luke, who voted against the motion to terminate the lease for the Dolvin buildings, said he did so because he wasn’t confident the county would have a place to put those offices.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Oconee County Board Of Commissioners To Consider Terminating Lease On Dolvin Buildings

Agenda Item Added

The public might get at least a hint tomorrow night of county plans for handling future space needs when the Board of Commissioners considers termination of the lease on the government offices across the street from the Courthouse.

County Attorney Daniel Haygood told me in an email message this afternoon that he is anticipating the Board will give a one-year notice to the landlord that the lease will be terminated.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Oconee County Commissioners To Get An Update On Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir Project

Follows Decision On Treatment Plant

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday night is scheduled to get an update on the Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir from Project Manager Jimmy Parker.

The meeting will follow by one week the first concrete decision by the Management Board for the reservoir project to move forward with plans for design work on the water treatment plant.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Caterpillar Told Athens-Clarke County And Oconee County Authorities It Had 658 Full-Time Jobs During Average Month In 2014

Increase From 2013

The number of full-time jobs at the Caterpillar plant on the Athens-Clarke County and Oconee County line during the average month in 2014 was 658, up from a monthly average of 214 a year ago.

A total number of 932 full-time jobs were created at the facility by the end of 2014, or 568 more than the 364 that had been created by the end of 2013, the first year of operation of the plant.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Oconee County Administrative Officer Tells County Department Heads To Clear All Comments To The "Press" With Him First

Complaint By Williams

Oconee County Administrative Officer Jeff Benko has issued a directive to county department heads telling them not to make statements to “the press” without clearing those statements in advance with him.

The directive, sent out by email to the department heads at 5:03 p.m. on April 3, followed a 3:49 p.m. email on that date to Public Works Director Emil Beshara telling him to “refrain from discussing” issues “in the paper.”

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Construction Underway On Last Buildings In Core Of Oconee County’s Epps Bridge Centre

Latest Building Without Tenant

Construction is well underway on the last major buildings that makes up the core of Epps Bridge Centre, the shopping complex surrounded by Epps Bridge Parkway, SR Loop 10 and the Oconee Connector.

The Oconee County Code Enforcement Office issued a permit on March 27 for the shell of a 25,024-square-foot building that connects the building housing Marshalls with the building under construction that will be home to Party City and Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Oconee County Planning Commission Recommends Rezones for Presbyterian Homes of Georgia

100 Plus At Meeting

The Oconee County Planning Commission voted 7-3 tonight to send forward to the Board of Commissioners with a positive recommendation the rezone request of the Presbyterian Homes of Georgia for 70 acres on U.S. 441 and Wellbrook Road.

The Commission also voted--this time unanimously--to recommend rezone of 10 acres fronting on Wild Azalea Lane and U.S. 441 in a related request by Presbyterian Homes, which is seeking to build a continuing care retirement community on the 70-acre tract.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Jimmy Daniell Road Rezone Withdrawn, But Two Presbyterian Homes Rezones On Oconee County Planning Commission Agenda

Late Friday Request

The Oconee County Planning Commission agenda for tomorrow night got simpler on Friday when Oconee Medical Properties LLC withdrew its request for a rezone of five acres on Jimmy Daniell Road just north of the entrance to Silver Leaf subdivision.

Remaining on the agenda is the latest attempt by Presbyterian Homes of Georgia to obtain a rezone for a continuing care retirement community, this time on 70 acres with frontage on U.S. 441 and Wellbrook Road

Hard Labor Creek Board To Begin Discussion Of Design For Water Treatment Plant and Distribution System

For Future Industrial Users

The Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir Management Board on Tuesday is scheduled to begin discussion of preliminary design for the water treatment and water transmission facilities--the next stage in making the reservoir now filling in southeast Walton County something more than a pretty lake.

The Board will discuss cost estimates for obtaining a schematic design for the facility and for design development details. The estimated total cost of the work is $1.7 million.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Book Drive For Inmates At Oconee County Jail Continues Through End Of Month

More Than 400 Books Donated

Oconee County Democrats is in the final stretch of a book collection for inmates of the Oconee County Jail.

Pat Priest, organizer of the book drive, said today that the group already has delivered more than 400 books to the jail and has more waiting to be picked up from collection sites around the county.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Citizen Committee Ranks Upgrade To Oconee Connector And SR 316 Intersection As Top Oconee County Road Project

Daniells Bridge Projects Ranked Low

Construction of a multigrade interchange for the Oconee Connector and SR 316 intersection is the most pressing road project in the county, the Oconee County Citizen Advisory Committee on Land Use and Transportation Planning decided last night.

The Commitee rated the widening of Daniells Bridge Road and the construction of an extension of Daniells Bridge Road with a flyover of SR Loop 10 near the bottom of its priority list of 18 road projects in the county.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Oconee County Experienced A Decline In Driving Under The Influence Arrests As Alcohol Law Changed

Issue On Watkinsville Agenda

Oconee County has been experiencing a decrease in arrests for driving under the influence going back to 2008, when the Board of Commissioners approved the sale of beer and wine in county restaurants.

Oconee County also compared favorably with neighboring counties in terms of the number of DUI cases in the court system in the last five years.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Presbyterian Homes Representative Says Third Site For Continuing Care Facility Is The Right One

Back Before Planning Commission

Presbyterian Homes of Georgia, in its third attempt, says it finally has found the right location for its Athens area continuing care retirement community.

Its first selected location on Bishop Farms Parkway between Butler’s Crossing and Watkinsville turned out to be too expensive, Jon Williams of Williams and Associates told the Oconee County Planning Commission on March 16.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

House-Senate Conference Committee Cut Funding For Bogart Library In Oconee County From State Budget

Only Project Cut

A House-Senate conference committee removed all funding for the renovation and expansion of the Bogart Library from the state budget approved in the final two days of the General Assembly last week.

The conference committee action was taken at the direction of Terry England, R-Auburn, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, according to Sen. Bill Cowsert, who represents Bogart and the rest of Oconee County.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Oconee Commissioners Turn Down Contracts For Two Daniells Bridge Road Projects

Chairman Criticizes Vote

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners, in two 3-1 votes tonight, turned down project framework agreements with the state for the widening of Daniells Bridge Road and for the construction an extension of Daniells Bridge Road to fly over SR Loop 10 to the stub of the Oconee Connector at Home Depot.

The Board took the action after another public hearing in which 23 residents, largely from the subdivisions along Daniells Bridge Road, spoke in opposition to the projects.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Project Framework Agreements Before Oconee County Board Of Commissioners Cannot Be Easily Cancelled Or Altered

Payback Required

Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis has repeatedly said that the project framework agreements for the two Daniells Bridge Road projects on the agenda for approval Tuesday night are simply “place holders.”

An analysis of the legal agreements the county is being asked to sign with the Georgia Department of Transportation and a review of planning procedures for regional road projects indicate that the documents are much more than Davis has suggested.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Oconee Farmers Market Got Off To A Cool Start This Morning, But Activity Increased As The Sun Came Out

20 Vendors

As the sun broke through and the weather turned warmer, the customers turned out today at the first Oconee Farmers Market of the season in front of the Courthouse in Watkinsville.

The customers were greeted by 20 vendors selling eggs, meats, plants, jams, honey, bread, cakes, pies, nuts, farm-related crafts and more.

Friday, April 03, 2015

New Superior Court Judgeship Approved For Oconee County In Last Day Of Legislature

Other Winners Too

Oconee County got its Superior Court judgeship.

The Georgia Department of Transportation got its $945 million–annually.

The state’s nearly 40 craft breweries–including a few locally–got the right to give souvenir six-packs to customers who pay for a tour.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Oconee County Commissioners Decide Not To Wait On Citizen Committee Input On Two Daniells Bridge Road Projects

On April 7 Agenda

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners plans to make a decision next Tuesday night on two projects on Daniells Bridge Road despite a recommendation of its Citizens Advisory Committee on Land Use and Transportation Planning that the county not move forward with the projects as drafted.

The BOC has before it for approval next week an agreement with the Georgia Department of Transportation for a $3.7 million widening of Daniells Bridge Road from Hog Mountain Road to Chestnut Hill Road that would use federal, state and local money.