Sunday, February 28, 2016

Oconee Commissioners Opt To Bypass Citizen Vote In Issuing Bonds To Build New Road For Epps Bridge Centre Expansion

Cost Of $4.9 Million

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners last week took final action to borrow $4.285 million to build a new road to promote further commercial development in the busy Epps Bridge Road corridor.

In order to avoid asking the voters to approve the bond sales, the commissioners agreed to have the county’s Industrial Development Authority do the actual borrowing.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Oconee County’s Two Representatives Vote In Favor Of Guns On University Campuses

Expand 2014 Law

Oconee County’s two representatives in the Georgia House of Representatives were among the majority that voted in favor this week of a law to allow for handguns on the University of North Georgia campus as well as on other public university properties around the county and state.

The Georgia Board of Regents and Chancellor Hank Huckabee, who lives in Oconee County, have opposed allowing guns on colleges campuses.

The bill now goes to the Senate for action.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Oconee County Commissioners Delay Until Next Week Final Decision On Mars Hill Overlay And On Animal Control Documents

Pay Back-And-Forth

The proposed Mars Hill Road Overlay District survived one more week.

Oconee County seems likely to get a new web site, at a cost of just less than $40,000, and to spend $52,000 for a study of water and sewer rates.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Animal Control To Web Design On Agenda of Oconee County Commission For Tuesday Night

Lots In Between

Oconee County commissioners Tuesday night will confront a complex agenda that includes proposals for renovation of the Courthouse, the Mars Hill Overlay District, changes in the Animal Control Board and its bylaws, and bonds for construction of the entranceway to Epps Bridge Centre Phase II.

The Board of Commissioners also will give first reading to a change in the county’s Wastewater Treatment Policy, award a contract for study of water and wastewater rates, and set possible termination dates for the county’s lease on the two buildings across from the Courthouse.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Feasibility Study For Animal Shelter On Hold Pending Receipt Of Sales Tax Revenues, Oconee County Administrative Officer Says

RFP In Works

Oconee County Administrative Officer Jeff Benko gave a simple answer last week at the Animal Control Advisory Board meeting to a question about the status of the feasibility study for renovation or replacement of the existing Animal Shelter.

Benko told Animal Control Department Director Catlyn Vickers that nothing has been done to date.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Board Of Regents Recommends Funding For Oconee County’s Bogart Library In 2017 State Budget

Fifth On List Of 10

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia has listed funding for a renovated and expanded Bogart Library as its fifth highest priority among library capital projects that the state should fund for Fiscal Year 2017.

The ranking for the Oconee County library project in 2017 is two rungs higher than the ranking the project was given by the Board of Regents last year. Funding for the Bogart Library was cut from the capital budget in the final days of the legislature last year.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Athens-Clarke County Government Says Expansion Of Epps Bridge Centre In Oconee County Has Impact On Athens-Clarke County

Before Oconee Planning Commission

The government of Athens-Clarke County has raised concerns about the proposed $55 million expansion of Epps Bridge Centre, saying the project will have impact on both the transportation infrastructure and natural resources of the county.

The Athens-Clarke County Planning Department outlined the concerns in a letter sent to the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission, which is conducting a review of the project as a Development of Regional Impact.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Oconee County Will Need Special Election On Nov. 8 To Fill Vacancy If Daniell Runs For Chairman

Candidacy Announced

Oconee County will hold a special election on Nov. 8 to fill Post 2 on the Board of Commissioners if John Daniell follows through on his announced plans to seek the position of Commission chair in the May 24 Republican primary.

That Nov. 8 date became firm on Friday when Daniell opted not to resign his current position as Post 2 Commissioner.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Oconee County Commissioners Reduce Protective District Around Historic Elder Mill Bridge After Lengthy Deliberations

Owner Wanted More

It took 72 minutes last week for the Oconee County Board of Commissioners to reduce the size of the Scenic Preservation Overlay District at Elder Mill Bridge by .88 acres from what the county’s professional planning staff had recommended.

The BOC didn’t actually know how much acreage was involved in the switch. The professional planning staff made that calculation days later.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Oconee County Animal Control Advisory Board Agenda Does Not Include Discussion Of Changes To Ordinance

Davis Confirms

The Oconee County Animal Control Advisory Board will discuss a number of issues when it meets on Wednesday evening, but updates to the county’s animal control ordinance isn’t likely to be one of them.

Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis, when asked by a citizen last week about the status of a new ordinance, acknowledged that Commissioner Jim Luke had called for discussion of possible changes in the county’s existing law.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Renovation of Hog Mountain Road Strip Mall Expected To Be Completed In May

Tribe Moving

Work is scheduled to be completed in early May on a half-million-dollar remodeling of a building on Hog Mountain Road just east of Butler’s Crossing known as Oconee Plantation strip mall.

The building, with a 10,500 square feet of space, formerly was home to a Subway sandwich shop, a Chinese restaurant and a barbeque shop. It has gotten a complete facelift and now has a brick exterior.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Developer Of Epps Bridge Centre Submitted Rezone Plans for $55 Million Expansion

Subway Got Permit

The developer of Epps Bridge Centre filed paperwork last month with the Oconee County Planning Department to rezone 54 acres of land from agricultural use to business use for a $55 million expansion of the existing shopping mall.

The land is currently owned by the Evelyn and Frank Gordy Family and lies across the Oconee Connector from Epps Bridge Centre.

Oconee County Industrial Development Authority To Get Bond Sales Documents For Epps Bridge Centre Phase II Entrance Road

$500,000 Per Year

The Oconee County Industrial Development Authority on Monday afternoon is likely to take up again the issuance of $4 million in bonds to pay for construction of Parkway Boulevard Extension to accommodate expansion of Epps Bridge Centre.

The item isn’t on the agenda for the IDA, but County Attorney Daniel Haygood told the Board of Commissioners on Tuesday that he planned to bring the item to the Authority for consideration at its meeting on Monday.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Oconee County Commission Votes To Use Biological Treatment Rather Than Membranes At New Sewage Plant

Too Costly

Oconee County on Tuesday night turned the page on its 12-year experiment with the use of membrane filtration at its Calls Creek Water Reclamation Facility.

The Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to award a $440,000 design-to-build contract with Crowder Construction Inc. of Conyers for a new, replacement plant at Calls Creek estimated to cost between $6.7 and $7 million.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Davis Retiring As Chair Of Oconee County Board Of Commissioners; Daniell Is Running For The Spot

Announcements Today

Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis sent out an email message just before 2 p.m. today saying that he plans to retire when his current term ends on Dec. 31 rather than seek reelection for what would be a fifth term.

Commissioner John Daniell told me in a telephone conversation just after 3 p.m. that he will seek the chairmanship position.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Oconee County Commissioners To Consider Changes In Sewer Policies And In Upgrade Plans

Increase Residential Capacity

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners tomorrow night will consider a request from its Utility Department director to increases by 28 percent the allocated capacity in the county’s sewer system for residential use.

Utility Department Director Wayne Haynie is asking the Board to set aside a policy it adopted on Dec. 2, 2008, but never actually implemented that said “that any additional capacity realized be restricted to commercial usage.”