Sunday, April 30, 2017

Parkway Boulevard To Open In Next Three Or Four Weeks, Oconee County Public Works Director Says

Take Aerial Tour

Oconee County expects to open Parkway Boulevard from the Oconee Connector to Kohl’s by the end of May, county Public Works Director Emil Beshara told a meeting of the regional metropolitan transportation planning organization on Wednesday.

Construction on the roadway is “winding down,” Beshara told the group, with work remaining only on such things as pedestrian islands, guardrails, and striping.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Oconee County Commissioners Asked During Budget Hearings To Approve Water And Sewer Rate Increases

Actual Decreases For Some

Oconee County Utility Department Director Wayne Haynie is asking for a 1.0 percent increase in the base water rate and a 1.5 percent increase for those who use just slightly more water per month.

Those who are heavier users actually will see a reduction in water rates, if the Board of Commissioners accepts Haynie’s recommendations.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Oconee County Commission To Hold Budget Hearings For Two Departments Prior To Its Regularly Scheduled Meeting

Rescheduled Hearings

Oconee County commissioners tomorrow (Tuesday) night will discuss budget requests from two key departments, Parks and Recreation and Utility, in hearings rescheduled from last week.

The Board of Commissioners has set aside two hours before the regular Board meeting for the two departments, which have more interaction with citizens than many of the others in the county.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Oconee County Puts Two Projects On Three-Year Hold Because Of Issue With Ground Clearance Permits

Timbering At Issue

Oconee County has informed developers of two projects, both of which have been before the county’s Development Review Committee in recent weeks, that their projects are on hold because they cleared trees from the sites without getting clearing and grubbing permits.

A representative of one of those projects--the expansion of Briarwood Baptist Church on Hog Mountain Road--was before the DRC on Friday and was told that even though the DRC approved the Preliminary Site Plan the county would not issue any permits for work to go forward.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Oconee County Says It Cannot Provide Sewer Capacity To Auto Dealership Being Built On SR 316

12-18 Month Delay

Oconee County told Mercedes-Benz of Athens Friday that the county will not be able to provide sewer service for the planned new auto dealership on SR 316 at Virgil Langford Road for another 12 to 18 months.

The announcement coincided with the release of a memorandum stating that those requesting Letters of Availability of sewer service be advised of limited capacity in parts of the county’s service area and the complete lack of availability in others, including where the Mercedes-Benz facility is planned.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Georgia Department Of Transportation Releases Maps Of U.S. 441 Widening In Oconee County

Show Bishop Roundabouts

The Georgia Department of Transportation today (Tuesday) released electronic versions of the five maps it unveiled March 28 at a meeting of the Oconee County Citizen Advisory Committee on the widening of U.S. 441 from Watkinsville to the Apalachee River.

Included were maps showing two alternate designs for the roadway through Bishop as well as three maps of the sections of roadway through Oconee County

Monday, April 17, 2017

Alexion Decides Not To Expand Oconee County Plant And Cancels Land Purchase At Gateway Business Park

90 Day Deadline

Alexion Pharma of New Haven, Conn., has decided not to expand its operation at the Gateway Technology Business Park on the edge of Bogart, dealing a setback to efforts of the Oconee County Industrial Development Authority to develop the business park.

Rick Waller, chair of the IDA, announced the decision of Alexion as an afterthought following his Chair Report to the IDA last week.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sewer Issues At Top Of County Concerns, Citizens Told At Oconee County Town Hall Meeting

Closing Question

James Gaither, 1040 Cumberland Road, north of Watkinsville, asked the final question at the Town Hall Meeting held by the Oconee County Board of Commissioners on Thursday night.

“If you guys could have one thing off your plate right now, or tomorrow morning, what would you choose--to be done with it, don’t have to worry about it for another 10 years?” Gaither asked.

Dollar General Store Under Construction On U.S. 78 In Oconee County

Near Dickens Corner

Exterior construction is complete on the 9,100- square-foot-building on U.S. 78 and Pete Dickens Road that is slated to be the location of the first Dollar General in Oconee County.

According to the estimate on the building permit the county issued late last year for the project, interior and exterior construction is to be completed by early next month.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Oconee County Asks Court To Dismiss Suits Filed Over Sewer Capacity Fee Refunds

Westland And Parkside

Oconee County is asking the Superior Court to dismiss the three suits filed against it challenging the county’s right to refund unused sewage capacity fees, stating that the decision to issue the refunds was in full compliance with state laws and the county’s zoning and related ordinances.

The county also claims that the actions of the commissioners in voting to refund sewage capacity fees paid developers of two large, dormant subdivisions “were a proper and legal exercise of discretion as government officials and do not breach any rights” of the property owners.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Oconee County Commissioners Adopted Goals; Now Citizens Get To Share Their Concerns

Town Hall Meeting

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners earlier this year adopted a list of 22 goals for county government in 2017, ranging from immediate creation of an electronic records and filing system to development of a rails-to-trials program at some point in the future.

The Commission adopted the goals following a series of work sessions called after new Chair John Daniell replaced long-time Chair Melvin Davis in January.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Oconee Commissioners Appoint Three Newcomers To Animal Services Advisory Board

Town Hall Announced

Oconee County commissioners at their meeting on Tuesday night appointed three relative newcomers to issues facing the county’s Animal Shelter as members of the Animal Services Advisory Board.

In doing so, the commissioners turned down a request for reappointment by current Board member Claire Hamilton, who often has been outspoken in her criticism of the Shelter and its operation.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Texas Roadhouse To Replace Ryan’s On Dowdy Road, Oconee County Planning Department Told

Plans Approved

The Oconee County Development Review Committee has approved preliminary site plans that call for demolition of the building that was a Ryan’s Grill on Dowdy Road and show a new building to house a Texas Roadhouse Restaurant.

The site plans also call for a second building on the site that could be used for retail space and a restaurant.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Vendors Open 14th Season Of Oconee Farmers Market With Vegetables, Baked Goods, Grass-Fed Beef

Grand Opening: April 22

Twelve vendors, offering grass-fed beef, pasta, fresh vegetables, plants, soaps, dog biscuits, and other items, turned out yesterday for the soft launch of the 14th season of Oconee Farmers Market.

The vendors set up booths at 8 a.m. in front of the Courthouse in Watkinsville, as they will every Saturday now until the end of November, and remained in place until the 1 p.m. closing.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Sunday Sales Allowed Immediately Following Wednesday Vote Of Watkinsville City Council

Ordinance Changes

Watkinsville restaurants and convenience stores can sell alcohol tomorrow–a Sunday--as a result of a change in the city’s code approved at a special called meeting of the City Council on Wednesday evening.

By a vote of 4-1, the Council inserted language into its Distilled Spirits Ordinance setting hours on Sunday during which alcohol can be served at restaurants and can be sold at package stores.