Monday, October 31, 2016

Oconee County Commissioners Being Asked to Pay Between $30,000 And $60,000 For SR 316 Study

Exact Figure Not Released

Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis is asking his fellow commissioners tomorrow (Tuesday) night to spend between $30,000 and $60,000 on a study to justify widening Daniells Bridge Road and building a flyover of that road to the Oconee Connector at Home Depot.

The exact cost of the study isn’t known because county Public Works Director Emil Beshara has not yet released the three bids received.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Early Voting In Oconee County Continues To Be Heavy, Reflecting Pattern Of Presidential Elections

Big Day Friday

More than a quarter of Oconee County’s registered voters have cast ballots in the first 11 days of early voting.

On Friday, 927 persons voted to the office of the Board of Elections and Registration at 10 Court Street across from the Courthouse in Watkinsville, the highest number since early voting started on Oct. 17.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Daniells Bridge Road Flyover Back On Oconee County Commission Agenda Through Transportation Study Contract

3 Bids Received

Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis has the proposed Daniells Bridge Road flyover of SR Loop 10 back on the Commission agenda for Tuesday night’s meeting.

A year and a half after the Board of Commissioners turned down his efforts to get approval of the flyover and widening of Daniells Bridge Road to Hog Mountain Road, he is asking for funding of a traffic study of SR 316 and Epps Bridge Parkway.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Audience Not Happy With Analysis Of Alternatives To Pipeline Down Oconee County’s Calls Creek

Gravity Declared Most Efficient

Oconee County Utility Department Director Wayne Haynie saved the slide that most of the 70 people in the audience at the Water Resources Town Hall Meeting last (Wednesday) night came to see until near the end of his nearly hour-long presentation.

It was quite clear once he showed the slide that most of the people in the audience didn’t like the message it contained.

Oconee Board Of Commissioners Candidate Says He Didn’t Ask Nevada Congressman For $2,000 Campaign Donation

Friend Raised The Money

Marcus Wiedower says he doesn’t know the Nevada Congressman who gave him $2,000 for his campaign for Post II on the Oconee County Board of Commissioners.

Wiedower said the $2,000 contribution came as a result of request on Wiedower’s behalf by Richard Goddard, who served as chief of staff for Congressman Mark Amodei from October of 2011 to February of 2015.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Large Crowd Turns Out To View Maps Of Current Route Of U.S. 441 In South Of Oconee County

No Future Route Presented

A large crowd turned out at an Open House tonight (Tuesday) to review maps of the current route of U.S. 441 as it passes through Oconee County south of Watkinsville and take advantage of opportunities to give the Georgia Department of Transportation input on its proposed widening of the route.

About 50 people, including 20 representatives of GDOT and its consultants, were in the room at the Community Center in Veterans Park 10 minutes before the Open House was scheduled to start at 5 p.m.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Wiedower Raised Nearly Twice As Much Money In Oconee County Board Of Commission Race As Other Two Candidates Combined

Sign On Davis Property

Marcus Wiedower has raised just less than $24,000 in his bid to gain a seat on the Oconee County Board of Commissioners, more than twice the amount of money raised by Chuck Horton, his nearest competitor in fundraising.

Through the end of the day today, Horton had raised $11,485, while Ben Bridges, the third candidate seeking Post II on the BOC, had raised $500.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Three Candidates For Oconee Commission Want That Body To Play A Strong Role In U.S. 441 Widening

GDOT Meeting Scheduled

The three candidates for Post II on the Oconee County Board of Commissioners want the Board to play a strong role in representing citizen concerns to the Georgia Department of Transportation as it plans for the widening of U.S. 441 in the south of the county and a bypass of Bishop.

In separate interviews, each candidate called for the Commission to play a stronger role than it is playing a present.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Oconee County Advised Owner Of Large Tract Now Zoned For Subdivision To Downzone Land To Agricultural Use

To Build Farm Lake

The Oconee County Planning Department has advised the owner of an 188-acre tract between Daniells Bridge Road and Cliff Dawson Road currently zoned for a large subdivision that he should downzone the property for agricultural use to accommodate his plans for the land.

David Mulkey, operating as Wildwood of Columbia LLC, purchased the 188 acres in June of this year, according to Oconee County tax records.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Oconee County Commission Candidates Call For More Transparency In Dealing With SPLOST

Horton Open To Citizen Oversight

All three of the candidates seeking to fill Post II on the Oconee County Board of Commissioners are proponents of more transparency regarding how the Commission spends revenue from its Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.

Only Chuck Horton, however, stated a willingness to have a citizen committee to provide oversight for decisions made by the Commission on the 1 percent sales tax. Other counties, including Athens-Clarke County, have such a citizen committee.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Oconee County Commission Chairman Ready To Make Decision On Calls Creek Sewer Line Before Retirement In January

Tells Citizen Group

Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis said today (Tuesday) that he is open to bringing the decision on whether to build a sewer line down Calls Creek up for action before he leaves the Board in January.

In an email message to Jim McGarvey, president of Friends of Calls Creek, Davis said “I do not have any issues with the current Board of Commissioners acting” on sewer issues, even though Commissioner Jim Luke is retiring in January and will be replaced and one slot on the Board is vacant.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Oconee County School Officials Oppose Amendment 1 To State Constitution On the November Ballot

Want Local Control

Both Oconee County School Superintendent Jason Branch and Board of Education Chairman Tom Odom have spoken out publicly against Amendment 1 to Georgia Constitution that is on the November ballot.

The so-called Opportunity School District amendment asks voters to decide if they want “to allow the state to intervene in chronically failing public schools in order to improve student performance?"

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Oconee County Commission Candidate Wiedower Explains His Link As A Builder To Development

Candidate Financial Disclosures

Marcus Wiedower has said he recognized from the beginning that his occupation as a custom home builder would raise questions as he sought to make his case for a spot on the Oconee County Board of Commissioners.

“I knew that in a suspicious society people are going to read that (his occupation) and automatically assume that I’m going to do whatever I can to bolster the position of development,” Wiedower said. “It’s just simply not the case."

Citizen Group Makes Case For A Route For Bishop Bypass In Southern Oconee County

Open House Announced

About 90 people turned out on Wednesday night at the Thomas Cotton Gin on Greensboro Highway south of Watkinsville to eat a barbeque dinner and learn about the potential impact of possible routes for a bypass of U.S. 441 around Bishop.

The centerpiece of the evening's presentation was a map produced by the Georgia Department of Transportation showing two different routes for a bypass around the eastern side of Bishop.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Candidates For Oconee County Board Of Commissioners Told Attendees At Candidate Forum Why They Should Be Elected

E-SPLOST Discussed

Chuck Horton was the first asked the question, and he said voters should choose him for the Board of Commissioners in the November election because of his experience.

Horton, 62, has served two terms on the Board of Commissioners and two terms of the Board of Education, and he said he has experience with the issues the county will face in the next two years.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Oconee County Officials Pass Over State Denial Of Request For Waste Load Allocation For Sewer Plant

At Two Meetings

Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis told the county’s Industrial Development Authority yesterday (Monday) that the state has granted the county a waste load allocation of 1.5 millions gallons per day for its Calls Creek wastewater treatment plant.

What Davis didn’t tell the IDA members–and what they didn’t ask about–was the Georgia Environmental Protection Division’s decision to deny the county’s request for a waste load allocation of 3 million gallons per day of discharge from the county’s plant.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Scheduled Meetings In Oconee County Focus On Bishop Bypass, November Election, Wastewater Plans

Free BBQ

Positively Oconee, a citizen group concerned with the proposed widening of U.S. 441 in the south of the county, is inviting people to a program Wednesday evening on the proposed Bishop Bypass, the land the roadway will traverse, and Greenbriar Creek, which the bypass could cross.

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Thomas Cotton Gin, 3782 Greensboro Highway (SR 15), south of Watkinsville, and the first 100 persons in attendance will receive a complimentary BBQ dinner.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Marcus Wiedower Said He Would Help Oconee County Board Of Commissioners Become More Proactive In Dealing With Challenges

Wide Ranging Interview

Marcus Wiedower said he will bring his listening skills and his planning skills to the Oconee County Board of Commissioners if voters select him for Post II in the special election on Nov 8.

“All I do all day long is plan,” said Wiedower, a custom home builder, in an hour-long interview. He said he will bring to the Commission “an educated, experienced voice” that “has a planning background.”

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Chuck Horton Said He Brings Experience To The Race For Oconee County Board Of Commissioners

In Interview

Chuck Horton said his experience and background will allow him to “hit the ground running” should he win the open seat on the Oconee County Board of Commissioners in the special election on Nov. 8.

Because of his service on the Board of Education, Horton said he understands the need for the Board of Commissioners to think through the implications of decisions it makes on the county’s schools.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

BOC Candidate Ben Bridges Said He Wants To Be The Voice Of Oconee County Citizens

In Hour-Long Interview

Ben Bridges says the county is growing too fast and it is time to slow down for a little while to take stock of where things are.

He also says that water and sewer are the biggest challenges facing the county.

Georgia Environmental Protection Division Denied Oconee County Request For Expanded Waste Load Allocation

For Calls Creek

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division has denied Oconee County’s request for a 3.0 million gallons per day waste load allocation for Calls Creek, saying the stream is too small to handle the treated effluent.

The denial means that the county will have to change its plans to upgrade its Calls Creek wastewater treatment plant on the outskirts of Watkinsville, run a sewer line down Calls Creek, or find another way to discharge treated sewer water from an expanded Calls Creek plant into the Middle Oconee River.