Saturday, December 31, 2016

Oconee County Commission Chairman Was Matchmaker For Proposed Solar Energy Farm In Northwest Of County

Also Pushed Law Change

Residents in the northwest of the county may have been surprised late last year when signs went up announcing public hearings on a proposed change in land use to allow for development of a solar energy farm on 238 acres at the intersection of McNutt Creek Road and Dials Mill Road.

Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis had known about and promoted the project for at least a year and three quarters.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Oconee County Commissioners Get Their Jobs With Support Of Small Numbers Of County Voters

Dec. 6 No Exception

Chuck Horton needed only 1,922 votes to win the runoff for the special election to fill Post 2 on the Oconee County Board of Commissioners on Dec. 6.

That’s because only 3,846 of the county’s 24,657 registered voters, or 15.6 percent, cast a ballot in the runoff, according to the certified results filed on Dec. 9 by the Oconee County Board of Elections and Registration.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Oath Of Office Behind Them, Oconee County Commissioners Confront Big Challenges

Starts Tuesday

The four Oconee County Commissioners were a picture of harmony on Sunday afternoon after they participated in the Oath of Office Ceremony at the Courthouse in Watkinsville.

Incoming Commission Chair John Daniell joined new commissioners Chuck Horton and Mark Thomas as well as re-elected Commissioner Mark Saxon in a photo after the ceremony. All were wearing smiles.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Falls Of Oconee Has Permits For Interior Construction For Three Of Its Four Buildings

Includes Gourmet Food Store

The Oconee County Code Enforcement Office has issued 10 permits for buildout of three of the four units in The Falls of Oconee commercial complex at the corner of Macon Highway and White Oak Drive opposite the Athens Ridge student living complex.

All of the permits are for interior suite buildouts, but the permits list tenants for only three of those suites.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Oconee County Industrial Development Authority Agrees To Sell Eastern Part Of Gateway Business Park

Another Executive Session

The Oconee County Industrial Development Authority, after 40 minutes in executive session, voted in open meeting today (Wednesday) to approve a contract to sell 38.5 acres in its Gateway Technology Business Park south of Bogart for roughly $760,000.

The purchaser is Alexion Pharma LLC of New Haven, Conn., the parent company of Synageva BioPharma Corp., which has a pharmaceutical production and research operation on 11 acres adjoining the newly purchased property.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Oconee County Industrial Development Authority Debated Sale Of Real Estate In Meeting Closed To Public

Another Scheduled Tomorrow

The Oconee County Industrial Development Authority yesterday (Monday) spent nearly two hours in a meeting closed to the public.

Contrary to the state open meetings law, the Authority voted to go into executive session not in an open meeting, as required, but rather in one already closed to the public.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Georgia Environmental Protection Division Accepts Again Plans For Small Upgrade To Oconee County Calls Creek Sewer Plant

Original Allocation In 2003

Oconee County has received “concurrence” from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division for an upgrade of its Calls Creek wastewater treatment plant from its current 0.667 million gallons per day to 1 million gallons per day of effluent.

The EPD had approved an earlier design for the upgrade of the plant in June of 2015 and had approved construction of the project on Dec. 30, 2015, but the county did not move forward on those plans.

Oconee County Commission Chairman Davis Honored At Reception At Civic Center

Davis Sees Bright Future

More than 75 people showed up at the Oconee County Civic Center this (Sunday) afternoon to honor retiring Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis for his 16 years of service to the county.

Brian Kemp, Georgia Secretary of State, thanked Davis for his service to the county, the local community and the state of Georgia.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Redesign Of Government Station Road/Experiment Station Road Intersection In Oconee County Includes Three Way Stop En Route

Road Closure As Well

The straight cut through on Government Station Road from Hog Mountain Road to Experiment Station Road will be eliminated in the future as a result of a design change negotiated by Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis with the University of Georgia.

The current intersection of Government Station Road with Experiment Station Road will be eliminated in favor of a redesigned intersection across from the existing Bishop Farms Parkway.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Oconee County Restaurants, Grocery And Convenience Stores Can Sell Alcoholic Beverages This Sunday

Ring It Up

Restaurants, groceries and convenience stores in Oconee County currently selling beer, wine and alcoholic drinks will be free to do so on Sunday.

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners changed the county’s alcoholic beverage ordinance on Tuesday night by adding hours for sales on Sundays but did not require license holders to get new licenses.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Developer Of Bogart Subdivision Appealing Oconee County Denial Of Sewer Capacity

Seeking Transfer

The developer of a 28-acre residential subdivision in Bogart is appealing a decision by Oconee County Utility Department Director Wayne Haynie to deny it sewage treatment capacity for its project.

T. Wesley Robinson, a Gainesville attorney, on Tuesday sent a letter to Haynie, copied to County Attorney Daniell Haygood, appealing Haynie’s denial of residential sewer and asking that the issue be put on the agenda for consideration by the Oconee County Board of Commissioners in January.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Oconee County Commissioners Postpone Decision On Solar Farm In West Of County Until January

New Plans Submitted

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday night decided to delay until January a decision on a rezone request for a solar energy farm at McNutt Creek Road and Dials Mill Road in the far northwest of the county.

The Board postponed action after holding a public hearing on the request during which six citizens spoke in opposition to the project.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Horton Defeats Wiedower In Runoff For Open Oconee County Board Of Commissioner Seat

Got 57 Percent Of Vote

Former Commissioner Chuck Horton defeated Marcus Wiedower by a 520-vote margin tonight (Tuesday) in the special election runoff for the open Post 2 seat on the Oconee County Board of Commissioners.

Horton carried seven of the county’s 13 precincts, including the two largest, to get 56.8 percent of the vote overall.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Revived Plans For Massive Residential And Commercial Complex Called Parkside Before Oconee County Review Committee

41 Lot Parcel

Parkside, the dormant residential and commercial development that extends from Hog Mountain Road to Mars Hill Road, has come back to life.

The Oconee County Development Review Committee is scheduled to consider a revised preliminary plat for seven phases of the 469-acre master plan development at its meeting on Friday morning.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Oconee County Has Rejected Request For Residential Sewer For Bogart Subdivision

On Council Agenda

The Bogart City Council tomorrow (Monday) night is scheduled to take up a residential rezone request in the city that has raised questions about the county’s willingness to grant sewer capacity for a residential development.

At the Planning Commission meeting on Nov. 14, Jon Williams, representing the developers, told the commissioners that the property owners were working with the county to provide residential service to the 37-lot single family subdivision.

Oconee County Board Of Commissioner Candidates Went Into Final Days Of Runoff With Money In Reserve

Early Voting Turnout Low

Chuck Horton raised slightly more money than Marcus Wiedower in the last days of October and November as the two competed in the special election for open Post 2 on the Oconee County Board of Commissioners.

Wiedower raised $3,793 and spent $17,818 with War Room Strategies, an Athens-based consulting firm, leaving him with a balance of $9,521 for the campaign going into the final vote on Tuesday, according to his campaign finance reports.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

RaceTrac To Open Remodeled Store At U.S. 441 And Hog Mountain Road By End Of Year

Complete Upgrade Underway

The remodeling of the RaceTrac store at the corner of Hog Mountain Road and U.S. 441 north of Watkinsville is in the final stages and should be completed by the end of the month, according to Karissa Bursch, communications manager for the the Atlanta-based company.

The new store will have a more modern store layout that includes updated building architecture, a new Swirl World frozen treat station, an expanded coffee area with more counter space, according to Bursch.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Oconee Commission Appoints Executive Director Of State Green Industry Association To Hard Labor Creek Management Board

Replaces Horton

Oconee County Commissioner Jim Luke lost his bid Tuesday night to keep fellow commissioners William “Bubber” Wilkes and Mark Saxon from removing former commissioner Chuck Horton from the Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir Management Board.

In a 2-1 vote, Wilkes and Saxon, over Luke’s objection, reappointed John Caudill as one of two citizen alternates on the Management Board but replaced Horton with Chris Butts, executive director of the Georgia Green Industry Association.