Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Oconee County Commission Turns Down Appeal Of Sewer Capacity Decision For Bogart Subdivision

Cites LAS Problems

Oconee County Commissioners last (Tuesday) night voted to deny the appeal by Lovett-Keller Ventures LLC of a decision by Oconee County Utility Department Director Wayne Haynie to turn down a request by the developers for a transfer of sewer capacity for a subdivision in Bogart.

Stephen Lovett and Chad Keller of Gainesville and Oconee County had negotiated with REO Funding Solutions III LLC to purchase part of the sewage capacity held by Westland, a dormant 443-acre master plan development on the south side of U.S. 78 between Hog Mountain Road and the Apalachee River.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Bishop Bypass No Longer Being Considered, Georgia Department Of Transportation Officials Said At Oconee County Citizen Meeting

Existing Alignment Followed

The Georgia Department of Transportation is proposing that U.S. 441 be widened to three lanes through the center of Bishop rather than build a bypass of the small Oconee County city.

GDOT also is proposing that the highway be widened to four lanes from Bishop north to Watkinsville and from Bishop south to Madison following the alignment of the existing roadway.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Oconee County Animal Services Advisory Board Once Again Attracts Large Number Of Applicants

Two Stepping Down

Six people have applied for three open positions on the Oconee County Animal Services Advisory Board and will have a chance tomorrow (Tuesday) night to make their case for appointment.

The Board of Commissioners will consider appointments to the Animal Services Board as well as to three other citizen bodies, the Family and Children Services Board, the Keep Oconee County Beautiful Commission, and the Oconee County Library Board.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Oconee County Issued Two Occupancy Permits For Falls Of Oconee Commercial Complex

Gourmet Food Store Opening

The Oconee County Code Enforcement Office on Friday issued occupancy permits for two tenants of The Falls of Oconee commercial complex on Old Macon Highway at McNutt Creek.

The permits were for The Olive Basket, a gourmet food store, and PT Solutions, a physical therapy facility.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

GDOT Holding Meeting On Tuesday With Oconee County Citizen Advisory Committee For U.S. 441 Widening And Bishop Bypass

CAC Only Invited

The Georgia Department of Transportation is holding its first meeting with the Oconee County Citizen Advisory Committee for the U.S. 441 Improvements in Oconee and Morgan counties from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the Community Center at Veterans Park on Hog Mountain Road.

Bruce Anderson, GDOT project manager, sent the invitation to 10 members of the Citizens Advisory Committee via an email on March 3 and attached a formal invitation from Albert V. Shelby III, program delivery administrator in the GDOT Office of Program Delivery.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Oconee County Parks And Recreation Department Beginning External Review Of Operation

Bark Park Fundraiser

The Oconee County Department of Parks and Recreation is moving forward with plans for an external review of operation of the Department, Lisa Davol, deputy director, told the Citizens Advisory Committee on Recreation Affairs on Tuesday.

Davol told the Committee that the Board of Commissioners had requested the review of the facilities, facility usage and staff operation and that the Department is getting costs estimates at present. She said the Department should have a report back about 90 days after a contract is let.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Watkinsville Voters Approve Sunday Sales By Big Margins

Low Turnout

Watkinsville voters overwhelmingly approved the Sunday sales of alcoholic drinks in the city’s restaurants and the Sunday sales of beer and wine in the city’s convenience stores in voting in the special election that ended today (Tuesday).

Vote turnout was low, but the margins in favor of Sunday sales in the city were even higher than they were when county voters approved Sunday sales last November.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Oconee County Republican Party Has New Slate Of Officers Following Saturday Convention

52 Attended

Oconee County’s Republican Party got a whole new slate of officers in elections held yesterday (Saturday) at the Thomas Cotton Gin on SR15 south of Watkinsville.

Tammy Gilland was elected chair, Ed Perkins was elected first vice chair, Marcus Wiedower was elected second vice chair, and Brooks Fletcher was elected third vice chair.

Construction On Oconee County Presbyterian Village Likely To Start This Summer, County Told


Construction on the Presbyterian Village at U.S. 441 north of Watkinsville likely will begin this summer, Frank Pittman from Williams and Associates told the Oconee County Development Review Committee on Friday morning.

Work will begin with the Village Health Services Center and the Independent Living Apartment Building, Pittman, chief operating officer at Williams and Associates, said.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Turnout Light In Early Voting For Watkinsville Special Election On Sunday Alcohol Sales

63 Ballots Cast

Only 63 of Watkinsville’s 2,117 eligible voters have participated in the three weeks of early voting leading up to Tuesday’s election on whether Sunday sales of alcohol should be allowed at the city’s restaurants and convenience stores.

The turnout of less than 3 percent of the city’s voters so far suggests that only a small number of the city’s voters will decide the issue.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Plans for Presbyterian Village North Of Watkinsville On Agenda Of Oconee County Development Review Committee

Continuing Care Retirement Community

Nearly two years after getting zoning approval, Presbyterian Homes of Georgia has preliminary site plans for its continuing care retirement community at U.S. 441 and Hog Mountain Road before the county’s Development Review Committee.

The plans to be reviewed by the Committee at its 9 a.m. meeting tomorrow (Friday) include a Village Health Services Center, an independent living apartment building, 113 single-family cottages, and 13 two-family villas.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Different Views Begin To Surface In Citizen Committee Discussion Of Oconee County Comprehensive Plan Update

More Discussion Promised

At its first meeting last month, the members of the citizen committee working on the Oconee County comprehensive plan update asked for more opportunity to speak, and they were given a bit of a chance to do that last (Tuesday) night.

The discussion revealed significant differences within the group, with some arguing for development throughout the county, including in the largely rural south.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Alexion Not Yet Signed Agreement With Oconee County For Purchase Of Land At Gateway Business Park

Maybe Late Summer

Oconee County has not yet received a signed contract back from Alexion Pharma LLC of New Haven, Conn., for the sale of 38 acres in its Gateway Technology Business Park south of Bogart.

J.R. Charles, Oconee County economic development director, said he is not expecting a decision until late summer.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Parkway Boulevard Will Be Ready To Open By End Of Month, Oconee County Public Works Director Says

Stores Not Ready

Parkway Boulevard Extension will be paved and ready to be opened by the end of the month, Oconee County Utility Department Director Emil Beshara told a meeting of the regional transportation planning body.

Work on the project “is going very well,” Beshara told the Technical Coordinating Committee of the Madison Athens-Clarke Oconee Regional Transportation Study (MACORTS) at its meeting late last month in Athens.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Owners Of Westland And Parkside Subdivisions File Suit Against Oconee County Over Sewer Capacity Fee Refund

Superior Court

The owners of the long-dormant Westland and Parkside subdivisions have filed suit against Oconee County, seeking to block the decision by the Board of Commissioners to refund sewer capacity fees for the massive master plan developments.

In three separate lawsuits filed in Oconee County Superior Court, the owners contend, among other things, that the Board of Commissioners violated state zoning laws when it voted on Jan. 31 to refund sewer capacity fees paid by the developers of Westland and Parkside as well as by two other residential project developers.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Oconee County Commission Approves Convenience Store And Ministry College Campus In Far East Of County

Unanimous Votes

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners last (Tuesday) night gave unanimous approval to a string of rezone requests, including one that will allow a convenience store in an agricultural zone and another that will allow for conversion of a dormant golf course into a campus for a ministry college.

Both the convenience store and the college campus are in the far eastern part of the county, on the eastern side of the Oconee River, where Oconee, Clarke and Oglethorpe counties meet.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Oconee Farmers Market To Have Soft Launch April 1 and Grand Opening April 22

14th Season

Oconee Farmers Market will have a soft launch of its 14th season in front of the Courthouse in Watkinsville on April 1 and a Grand Opening on April 22.

The soft launch is to accommodate vendors who planted with the traditional first Saturday in April opening date in mind.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Convenience Store, Ministry College At Clarke, Oglethorpe Borders On Tuesday Oconee County Commission Agenda

Special Uses

Oconee County Commissioners on Tuesday night will be asked to decide whether to allow a convenience store, a ministry college campus, and an expansion of a community-scale church, all in land zoned for agriculture.

Two of the rezones are in the only part of Oconee County east of the Oconee River–a triangle of land assigned to the county when it was split off from Clarke County in 1875.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Oconee County Commissioners Discuss Animal Shelter But Give No Timetable For Action

Future Comment Anticipated

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners took no action Tuesday night after a presentation by and question-and-answer session with Terry Tevis, who has recommended the county build a $2.9 million replacement for its existing Animal Shelter.

Tevis submitted an update just before the meeting to the report he gave the county on Jan. 9. The Jan. 9 report was the result of a feasibility study his firm, Tevis Architects, did of the county’s existing facility on Branch Road in the far south of the county.