Sunday, July 31, 2016

John Daniell Promises To Change Oconee County Government When He Takes Office In January

”Responsive” And “Efficient”

Oconee County citizens will witness a change of culture in county government after Jan.1, said John Daniell, who will take over as chairman of the Board of Commissioners on that date.

The work of the government and the Commission will be “responsive to citizens...efficient in our operations, and...bring everybody in and talk about our goals and where we want to go as a community,” Daniell said.

Friday, July 29, 2016

High Point Farm Withdrawing Request To Operate Day Camp On Farmland In South Of Oconee County

On BOC Agenda

Greg Thaxton, president of High Point Farm, is asking the Oconee County Board of Commissioners to allow him to withdraw his application for a variance to operate a day camp on the 35 acres he owns at 3551 Colham Ferry Road in the south of the county.

The Board of Commissioners will entertain, and most likely, accept his request when the matter comes before it at its meeting on Tuesday evening.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Expansion Of Calls Creek Sewer Plant To 1.5 MGD Will Serve Needs Until 2025, Oconee County Tells EPD

Need 5 MGD In 2050

Expansion of the Calls Creek wastewater treatment plant to 1.5 million gallons per day from its current .667 million gallons per day of capacity should serve county needs until 2025, according to forecasts the county provided to the state Environmental Protection Division on Monday.

Expansion of the Calls Creek Plant to 3 million gallons per day would allow the county to meet needs through 2035, the county said.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

MACORTS Seeking Public Comment On Plans To Add Interchange Of Oconee Connector and SR 316 To Planning Document

Tuesday Night Meeting

The regional transportation planning body for Oconee County will be seeking public comment from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Community Center in Veterans Park on a proposal to move forward funding for improvements to the intersection of SR 316 and the Oconee Connector.

The Madison Athens-Clarke Oconee Regional Transportation Study (MACORTS), the cooperative transportation planning body for the urbanized area, including northern Oconee County, is seeking citizen reaction to its proposed amendment to its Long Range Transportation Plan.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Oconee County Commissioners Decide To Discuss Referenda On Sunday Sales Of Alcohol At Next Meeting

Aug. 10 Deadline

Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis’ efforts to get alcohol referenda on the ballot in November got a slight push-back from two of his Commission colleagues last (Tuesday) night.

Commissioner Jim Luke said the county needed to do more to warn the citizens that the referenda were under consideration by the Board, and Commissioner Mark Saxon agreed.

Oconee County Ready To Move Forward With Feasibility Study of Animal Shelter, Administrative Officer Said

RFP This Month

Oconee County Administrative Officer Jeff Benko told members of the county’s Animal Control Advisory Board last week that he expects to advertise this month for a feasibility study of improvements to or replacement of the county’s Animal Shelter.

Benko said he expected the county to open bids responding to the request for proposals in August and that the Board of Commissioners likely would award a contract at its meeting on Sept. 6.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Oconee County Expects To Have Data Needed For Response To EPD On Calls Creek Discharge This Week

Waste Load Allocation Request

Oconee County Utility Department Director Wayne Haynie said last week that he expects to be able to provide to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division this week the information it has sought in response to the county's request for a new waste load allocation for Calls Creek.

Haynie said he expects to get the information he needs from consultant Carter and Sloope Inc., 1031 Stonebridge Parkway, just outside Butler’s Crossing, on projected county water discharges and to be able to send that to the EPD.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Oconee County Planning Commission Votes Against A Recreational Day Camp On Colham Ferry Road

Neighbors Opposed

The Oconee County Planning Commission voted 8 to 1 tonight (Monday) against a request by High Point Land Holdings LLC for special use of 35 acres on Colham Ferry Road for a residential day camp in an agricultural district.

Nine people from areas around the existing horse boarding and training facility spoke against the request, saying the addition of a residential day camp would create traffic and noise problems and is inconsistent with the Agricultural Preservation designation of the area on the county’s future development map.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Oconee County Election Superintendent Issues Call For Special Election For Board Of Commissioners Vacancy

Qualifying Aug. 1-3

Oconee County Election Superintendent Pat Hayes has issued a call for a special election to fill the vacancy in the Board of Commissioners created when John Daniell resigned Post 2 to run for Board chair.

The election to fill out Daniell’s four year term ending in 2018 will be held on Nov. 8 in conjunction with the general election.

Oconee County Planning Staff Not Recommending Approval Of Recreational Day Camp On Colham Ferry Road

Access One Issue

The Oconee County planning staff is not recommending approval of a special use request that would allow for a horse farm with a recreational day camp on Colham Ferry Road south of Watkinsville.

The request is before the Oconee County Planning Commission and calls for construction of a multi-use pavilion, to be partially used as a farm management residence, eight cabins, a bath house, and an announcer booth and tack house.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Oconee County Review Committee Approved Preliminary Site Plans for Epps Bridge Centre Expansion

Taco Bell Coming Too

Oconee County’s Development Review Committee approved preliminary site plans for Epps Bridge Centre Phase II and Phase III on Friday, and a representative of the developer of the shopping center said he expects construction to begin on the project within the next two months.

The county should let bids for construction of Parkway Boulevard Extension, the entranceway to the shopping center, next month, Adam Layfield of the county Utility Department told the group.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Sunday Sales Of Alcohol On Oconee County Commission Agenda For Tuesday Night

For November Ballot

Oconee County Commissioners on Tuesday night are to take up Sunday sales of alcohol in the county with the possibility of having a referendum on the ballot in November.

Oconee County Clerk Jane Greathouse released the agenda at 1:24 p.m. today (Friday) with the 11th item being “Discuss Sunday Alcohol Sales Referendum.”

Thursday, July 14, 2016

State Approved Settlement For Dickens Farms Easements On Mars Hill Road In Oconee County Based On Proposed Development

Asking For More

Doug Dickens, president of Dickens Farms Inc., told the Georgia Department of Transportation that it should assess his 102 acres on Mars Hill Road not as agricultural land, as it is zoned, but as the site of the large residential and commercial development he said he plans for the property.

The state ultimately accepted his argument, giving him a partial median cut that was not part of the original design and paying him $32,000 for 0.312 acres of permanent easement and 0.501 of construction easement.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Oconee County Has No Agreement With Dickens Farms On Full Median Cut For Mars Hill Road, County Says

Will Spend Money Anyway

Oconee County officials now say that the county does not have a written agreement to build a full median cut on Mars Hill Road to provide access to property owned by Dickens Farms Inc.

The officials also say that, prior to its meeting on Tuesday night, the Board of Commissioners had never voted to support that full median cut or to ask the Georgia Department of Transportation to modify its design for the road to include the full median cut.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Oconee County Commissioners Agree To Spend $10,000 For Design Work On A Mars Hill Road Median Cut GDOT Has Rejected

Part Of Undisclosed Deal

Oconee County Commissioners Tuesday night agreed to spend $10,000 for design work–double the amount originally planned–as part of a previously unknown deal to create a full median cut on Mars Hill Road to provide access to 103 acres owned by Dickens Farms Inc.

The investment could be good money thrown after bad, as Oconee County Public Works Director Emil Beshara told the commissioners that the Georgia Department of Transportation already has rejected the proposed plans for the change in the roadway design.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Oconee County Officials Won’t Say Who Is Requesting Median Cut On Mars Hill Road At Humane Society Clinic

Initial Cost In Change Order

Oconee County officials are refusing to disclose who requested a median cut on the new Mars Hill Road at the Athens Area Humane Society Adoption Center and Spay and Neuter Clinic.

Public Works Director Emil Beshara said on Thursday that he could not indicate who asked that the Georgia Department of Transportation modify the design in the roadway because “I have not been specifically authorized to discuss” the request.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Georgia Is In Play In Presidential Election, Democratic Field Organizer Told Oconee County Democrats

Goal Is Governorship In 2018

Georgia already is “purple," or in-play in the presidential election in November, Paul Glaze, a field organizer for the Democratic Party of Georgia, told a gathering of Oconee County Democrats on Thursday night.

The goal now is to win the governorship in 2018 and then start to run Democrats in local elections, even in heavily Republican Oconee County, Glaze said.