Monday, February 27, 2017

Oconee County Commission Chair Says He Will Not Allow Citizen Comment On Animal Shelter Feasibility Study At Tuesday Meeting

Discussion Item

Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman John Daniell said today (Monday) he does not plan to allow citizens to comment at the Commission meeting tomorrow night on the Tevis Architects report that recommends the county build a new animal shelter.

Daniell said citizens will not be allowed to comment on the report during the citizen comment opportunity at the beginning of the meeting because the item is on the Commission agenda.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Feasibility Study Of Animal Shelter On Tuesday Agenda Of Oconee County Board Of Commissioners

Department Head Seeking Support

Advocates for a new Animal Shelter for Oconee County should have an opportunity on Tuesday night to lobby the Board of Commissioners for a new facility.

The Board of Commissioners is scheduled to discuss a feasibility study conducted by Tevis Architects as part of its Tuesday night agenda.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Oconee County Utility Department Director Successfully Kept His Comments About Calls Creek From Being Recorded

Talk To Civil Engineers

Oconee County Utility Department Director Wayne Haynie told the Northeast Georgia Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers that he would help them understand “the fuss” over the county’s plans to put a sewer pipeline down Calls Creek.

Cindy Mitchell McGarvey, who lives on the creek and is one of the organizers of Friends of Calls Creek, was interested in sharing what Haynie had to say at the engineering group’s regular meeting on Feb. 16, so she borrowed a video camera and attended the meeting.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Stakeholders Committee For Oconee County Comprehensive Plan Asks For More Control Over Its Work Schedule

At Initial Session

Justin Crighton, a planner with the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission, got a polite pushback Tuesday night as he presented his proposed timetable for the work of the Stakeholders Committee for the Oconee County Comprehensive Plan at the group’s first meeting.

Crighton proposed five subsequent meetings of the citizen committee, including a session on March 14 to begin discussing land use issues in the county.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Supporters And Opponents Of Convenience Store On Eastern Edge Of Oconee County Turn Out For Planning Commission Meeting

General Store Proposed

The smallest project in terms of acreage on the agenda of the Oconee County Planning Commission on Monday night produced the largest citizen response.

Nine citizens came to the podium to speak against a proposal by Pat and Marsha Halloran to build a country store–in the language of the development code, a convenience store--at the intersection of Bob Godfrey Road and Belmont Road on the very eastern edge of Oconee County.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Field Trip In Oconee County Provided Opportunity For Sampling Of Greenbriar Creek And Examination Of Stream Characteristics

Three Farms Visited

The Citizen Committee for Water Resources and its guests on Saturday got a chance to see Greenbriar Creek and one of its tributaries up close in a field trip to three farms just east of Bishop.

The creek, and the three farms, could be impacted by construction of a U.S. 441 bypass of Bishop if the Georgia Department of Transportation opts for a route east of the small city.

Oconee County Planning Commission To Try Again To Review Ministry College Proposal

Will Need Quorum

The Oconee County Planning Commission tomorrow (Monday) night is to pick up its agenda from last month, when it did not have a quorum, and give consideration to a request to convert a portion of the former Green Hills Golf Course and Country Club in the far east of the county to a ministry college.

The Commission also will review a request from Stonebridge Partners LLC for a rezone of land for a residential subdivision on undeveloped land across from the existing Daniells Plantation subdivision, just east of Butler’s Crossing.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

First Meeting of Stakeholders Committee for Oconee County Joint Comprehensive Plan Set For Tuesday

First of 4-5 Meetings

The Stakeholders Committee for the Oconee County Joint Comprehensive Plan is scheduled to hold its first meeting from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday at the Community Center in Oconee Veterans Park on Hog Mountain Road.

According to Justin Crighton from the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission, this is one of four of five meetings the Stakeholders Committee will hold over the next 10 to 12 months as it works to create a new Joint Comprehensive Plan for the county and its four cities.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Oconee County Administrative Officer Benko Announces Retirement Effective July 1

Informed Board Tuesday

Oconee County Administrative Officer Jeff Benko announced at the end of his meeting with department directors this (Wednesday) morning that he plans to retire effective July 1.

Benko, 62, said he informed the members of the Board of Commissioners of his decision on Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Feasibility Study For New Oconee County Animal Shelter Questioned By Animal Control Advisory Board

Key Meeting Feb. 28

Tevis Architects’ recommendation that Oconee County replace its Animal Shelter with a new facility costing an estimated $2.9 million met with some resistance from members of the Animal Control Advisory Board at its meeting last week.

Board member Claire Hamilton said the price tag “is way too high...It is a pretty big price tag for the taxpayers.”

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Owner Of Land For Proposed Oconee County Solar Farm Also Owned Land That Became Neighboring Wildflower Meadows Subdivision

Developer Says Project Still Alive

When the developers of Wildflower Meadows, a 263.1- acre subdivision in northwest Oconee County, wanted to launch the project in 2006, they assembled 10 different pieces of property to accommodate the proposed 170 lots.

The largest of the 10 assembled tracts was a 113.5-acre parcel owned by the Hammond family of Gainesville.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Oconee County Commission, In Split Vote, Decided To Move Forward With Calls Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant

3 MGD Option

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners, in a 3-1 vote Tuesday night, agreed to spend $13.4 million to upgrade the Calls Creek wastewater treatment plant to 1.5 million gallons per day and prepare the plant for possible future upgrade to 3.0 million gallons per day.

Oconee County Utility Department Director Wayne Haynie argued that the county would save money in the long-run if it spent a $1.1 million “premium” on the plant now so that the county would have the option of upgrading the plant to 3 million gallons per day in the future.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Oconee County Commission To Select Members Of Stakeholder Committee For Comprehensive Plan

33 Applicants

UPDATE 9:10 p.m. on Feb. 7: The Board selected 24 persons to serve on the Stakeholder Committee. That list is HERE. The highlighted names are those selected.

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners tonight will select from–or accept all on–a list of 33 applicants for the Stakeholder Committee that will help develop a new Comprehensive Plan for the county.

The list includes five people currently holding a position on a citizen committee in the county, a county employee, and an unsuccessful candidate in the most recent election for the Board of Commissioners.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Oconee County Issues Public Notice Of Spill At Calls Creek Plant

Friday Morning Break

Oconee County posted a public notice on its Utility Department home page late Friday afternoon announcing a sanitary sewer force main break at its Calls Creek wastewater plant located at 1100 Durhams Mill Way on the north side of Watkinsville.

According to the announcement, the break was discovered at approximately 9:15 a.m. on Friday at the pump station at the base of the plant.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Oconee County Commissioners Being Asked To Spend Money On Calls Creek Expansion Beyond 1.5 Million Gallons Per Day

At Least $900,000 Added

Oconee County Utility Department Director Wayne Haynie will ask the Board of Commissioners on Tuesday night to spend $13.5 million for an upgrade to its Calls Creek wastewater treatment plant, including at least $900,000 for expansion of the plant beyond the initial 1.5 million gallons per day of capacity.

The $900,000 is part of just less than $2 million the Utility Department asked Crowder Construction Company in March of last year to add to its estimated costs for the wastewater plant expansion.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Oconee County Commissioners Vote To Refund Sewer Capacity Fees For Dormant Subdivisions

Parkside And Westland On List

Oconee County Commissioners voted last (Tuesday) night to refund sewer capacity for four undeveloped subdivisions in the county, significantly reducing the need for increased sewage treatment capacity in the county.

The decision will make those four housing projects, including the massive Parkside and Westland subdivisions, unbuildable as zoned, since they require sewage capacity for the intensive development proposed.