Monday, June 29, 2015

State Defines Alternative Fuel Vehicles In Preparation For July 1 Implementation of Transportation Act

Fuel Taxes To Increase

The Georgia Department of Revenue on Thursday issued a policy bulletin to define alternative fuel vehicles for the purposes of imposing the new fee on these vehicles dictated by the transportation bill passed by the Georgia General Assembly in late March.

The policy bulletin also determines which vehicles are eligible for the special alternative fuel license plate. Vehicles with the alternative fuel license tag can travel in the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes in Atlanta even if only one person is in the car.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Oconee County Consultant To Give Progress Report On Cleanup Of County’s Two Sewage Treatment Facilities

Sludge Removal At LAS

Bob Sheldon, the consultant who is spearheading cleanup operations for the county’s two troubled sewage treatment facilities, is scheduled to give an update on Tuesday night on his progress so far and discuss his plans for the future.

Sheldon will provide specifics on sludge removal at the county’s Land Application System facility on Rocky Branch Road, according to the agenda released by County Clerk Jane Greathouse on Friday afternoon for Tuesday night’s Board of Commissioners meeting.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Oconee County Tourism Director Says New $5 Hotel Fee Will Have Negative Impact On Travel In Georgia

Wrote To Legislators And Governor

Sen. Bill Cowsert told a small group of Oconee County Republicans last month that he was glad county Tourism Director Peggy Holcomb was not present as he gave his justification for adding $5 to the daily bills at hotels, bed and breakfast establishments, and motels around the state.

Cowsert knew how Holcomb felt about the transportation bill that Cowsert supported and the General Assembly passed late in this year’s session that added the $5 hotel fee and increased the gasoline tax in the state, effective July 1.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Oconee County Commission Chairman Davis Raises Again Possibility of Daniells Bridge Road Projects

After Rejection

Only two months after the Oconee County Board of Commissioners turned down two Daniells Bridge Road projects after a lengthy discussion, Commission Chairman Melvin Davis earlier this month brought them brought up again for consideration.

Davis made only oblique reference to the two roadway projects in his comments, but Commissioner John Daniell, whose negative vote was key on April 7 when the Board rejected Davis' push for the roadwork, understood and responded.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Oconee County Industrial Development Authority Approves Payment Against Caterpillar Bond

Never Uses Name

The Oconee County Industrial Development Authority agreed on Monday to contribute $50,000 to the nearly $700,000 payment due next year for the bond for Caterpillar, but IDA Chairman Rick Walker told anyone who was listening not to expect a similar payment in the future.

The payment for the Caterpillar bond was part of the $120,500 budget approved by the Authority at its regular meeting in the Courthouse on Monday afternoon.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Oconee County Utility Department Director Chris Thomas Resigns

Effect Next Week

Chris Thomas, head of Oconee County’s beleaguered Utility Department, has resigned effective June 19.

Thomas, 42, has been with the county for 17 years and has been director of the Utility Department since 2008.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Volunteer Group Reported Low Levels Of E. Coli Bacteria In Oconee County’s Calls Creek

Downstream Of Sewer Plant

Oconee County citizens and officials got some good news yesterday regarding the county’s Calls Creek wastewater treatment plant.

The Upper Oconee Watershed Network, a volunteer group dedicated to protecting water resources in the Upper Oconee basis, reported that its sampling of Calls Creek at two locations downstream from the plant on Saturday showed relatively low levels of the potentially dangerous E. coli bacteria.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Caterpillar Tax Bill Half Of What It Would Be Without Abatement Oconee County Gave As Enticement To Locate Plant Here

Debt Payments Now Due

About this time last year, the Oconee County Property Appraisal Department made its estimate of the value of that portion of the land and building inside the county that Caterpillar occupies for its manufacturing facility.

It also made an assessment of the value of the lease for the equipment inside that plant.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Oconee County Commissioners Have Known Since First Of The Year Of Serious Problems At County’s Sewer Plants

Only Took Action In Early May

Oconee County commissioners have known since at least the first of the year that the county has very serious problems with the operation of its two sewage treatment plants, but they waited until last week to give a hint to the general public of the problems the county is facing.

At the regular meeting of the Board last week, Chairman Melvin Davis said the county “had been made aware of an issue” at the Calls Creek plant a month earlier, but the Georgia Environment Protection Division told the county on Dec. 16, 2014, of a “serious violation” of its permit at the Calls Creek plant and permit violations at its Rocky Branch plant as well.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Oconee County Reported Two New Sewage Spills To The State

Calls Creek And McNutt Creek

Oconee County reported two new sewage spills to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division on Friday, one of which was classified as a “major spill” and involved the discharge of sewage into Calls Creek.

The smaller spill was into McNutt Creek behind Creekside subdivision, which is on the east side of Jimmy Daniell Road at the county line.