Sunday, May 29, 2016

Oconee County Commissioners To Consider Several Water And Sewer Projects At Tuesday's Meeting

Totaling $218,691

Water and sewer issues will dominate the agenda of the Oconee County Board of Commissioners Tuesday night.

Oconee County Utility Department Director Wayne Haynie will ask the commissioners to spend $218,691 for three different projects, including a new water tower and continued work on a sewer line along McNutt Creek.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Precinct Analysis Shows Limited Impact Of Call For Change On Oconee County Electorate

Turnout The Key

Oconee County citizens overwhelmingly chose the status quo in the just-completed primary elections.

Those who went to the polls selected candidates for the Board of Commissioners, for Sheriff, for the Board of Education and for Coroner who said things are ok as is.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Oconee County Expecting Report In June Evaluating Options For Discharge From Calls Creek Plant

Creek One Possibility

Precision Planning Inc. is expected to complete its study of how to handle increased effluent from the county’s Calls Creek wastewater treatment facility in early to mid-June, Oconee County Utility Department Director Wayne Haynie said last week.

The report from PPI will include the evaluation of several “corridors” for a discharge pipe, Haynie said, including the initially proposed route down Calls Creek itself to the Middle Oconee River.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Incumbents Dominate Oconee County Election Results

BOC Gets 2 Marks

Incumbents overwhelmingly defeated challengers in a low turnout election in Oconee County.

Sheriff Scott Berry got just less than 70 percent of the vote.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Three Oconee Commissioners Say They Met With Representative Of Proposed Auto Dealership Development

”Only Listened”

All three of Oconee County’s voting commissioners acknowledge meeting with the representative of the developer seeking to rezone properties on SR 316 at Virgil Langford Road for auto dealerships, but each said he has not yet decided how to vote on the request.

Commissioner William “Bubber” Wilkes said he met with Jon William of Williams and Associates to discuss the project, and Commissioner Jim Luke said he met with Williams and with another representative of the applicant.

Majority Of Funding For Oconee County Sheriff Candidate Hynes Comes From Non-Local Sources

Large Amounts Raised

More than half of the funding for the campaign of Oconee County Sheriff candidate Kevin “Chappy” Hynes has come from non-local sources, according to early campaign finance filings, while incumbent Sheriff Scott Berry has raised almost all of his campaign funds from local sources.

As of March 31, Hynes had raised $52,600 and lent himself another $5,000 for the campaign, while Berry had raised $11,100.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Transparency And Openness Of Government Are Issues In Oconee County Commission Race

Davis Aids Cause

The two candidates running as outsiders in the Oconee County Board of Commissioners contest have made transparency and openness in government a key issue.

At the last Board of Commissioners meeting on May 3, Commission Chairman Melvin Davis gave them the perfect illustration of the problem they are addressing.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Oconee County Early Voting Continues At High Rate, Outpacing Figures Statewide And In Neighboring Counties

Ahead Of March Primary

Early voting in Oconee County continues at a pace ahead of voting for the presidential primary on March 1, with 985 voters casting a ballot by the end of the day yesterday, compared with 518 after two weeks of voting for the March primary.

As of the end of the day on Tuesday, Oconee County early voting was considerably higher than the figures for the state as a whole and higher than in many of the surrounding counties.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Extreme Fireworks Wants To Open A Store In Oconee County Shopping Center

Before Planning Commission

Extreme Fireworks of Alpharetta is asking Oconee County to allow operation of a year-round retail fireworks store in Manders Crossing shopping center at Cliff Dawson Road and Mars Hill Road.

The request will be before the Oconee County Planning Commission when it meets at 7 p.m. on Monday in the Courthouse in Watkinsville and will be joined on the agenda by a rezone request for auto dealerships on SR 316 at Virgil Langford Road and for a reception hall on Hog Mountain Road.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Oconee County Candidates Restate Their Credentials In GOP Meet And Greet

Chops And Hops

The Oconee County candidates in the May 24 Republican primary covered familiar ground last night in introducing themselves to about 40 people who turned out for a Meet and Greet at Chops and Hops Restaurant in Watkinsville.

Board of Commissioners candidates Penny Mills and Sarah Bell, seeking Post 1 and Post 4 respectively, stated concerns about rapid growth in the county.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Auto Dealerships Proposed For Commercial Development On SR 316 Near Oconee Connector

Staff Review Not Complete

The owner of nearly 30 acres on the south side of SR. 316 just west of Virgil Langford Road is seeking to rezone the land from agricultural use to business and to develop the land for auto dealerships and related commercial service-oriented businesses.

Elaine Duckett Crane of Mineral Bluff in north Georgia filed an application for the zoning change on April 20.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Early Voting Suggests High Turnout In Oconee County Elections

Voting Continues

Nearly 400 voters cast ballots at the Oconee County Board of Elections and Registration by the end of the first week of early voting yesterday, or nearly double the number who voted in the first week of advanced voting for the presidential primaries in March.

The 396 votes cast by the end of the day yesterday represents 1.8 percent of the 22,186 active registered voters in the county.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Proposed Calls Creek Sewer Line Dominates Oconee County Board Of Commissioners Meeting

Objections Submitted

Opponents of the proposed Calls Creek sewer line dominated the meeting of the Oconee County Board of Commissioners last night.

Residents along the creek let their negative feelings about the plans be known during the citizen comment section at the beginning of the meeting and later in the night when the commissioners considered and ultimately approved a planning contract requested by the county’s Utility Department.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

State Expects To Begin Right Of Way Acquisition In 2018 For U.S. 441 Widening In Oconee County

Schedule Announced

The Georgia Department of Transportation expects to begin purchasing right of way for the widening of U.S. 441 from the Watkinsville bypass to the Madison bypass in the summer of 2018, representatives of the state agency told a gathering of about 50 citizens last Thursday night.

GDOT plans to let the project for construction in the spring of 2021, the state highway officials told the group, which included the eight members of a Sounding Board appointed by the Oconee County Board of Commissioners to provide citizen involvement in the project.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Residents Along Calls Creek To Tell Oconee County Commissioners They Will Not Grant Easements For Proposed Sewer Line

Goal Is To Force Condemnation

Representatives of Friends of Calls Creek plan to submit statements to the Oconee County Board of Commissioners tomorrow night signed by 73 residents along the creek who say they will not grant an easement to the county for the proposed pipeline.

If the residents follow up on their pledges, the county would be forced to take condemnation action against the land owners to go forward with its plans, potentially running up the cost of the project.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Continuity Vs. Change Theme Of Second Oconee County Board Of Commissioners Candidate Forum

Other Candidates Sharpened Focus

Mark Thomas and Mark Saxon are happy with the way things are going in Oconee County and are running for election to the Oconee County Board of Commissioners as proponents of continuity.

Penny Mills and Sarah Bell are concerned about rapid growth in the county and about transparency and openness in government. They want to do things differently in the future.