Monday, September 25, 2017

Four Applicants Seeking Appointment To Oconee County Industrial Development Authority

***On BOC Agenda***

Oconee County Commissioners tomorrow (Tuesday) night will consider four applicants for two positions on the Oconee County Industrial Development Authority–clearly the most powerful committee a citizen can be appointed to in the county.

Chuck Williams, selected by Gov. Nathan Deal as the director of the Georgia Forestry Commission, is not seeking reappointment to the Industrial Development Authority.

The Commissioners also will consider three applicants for two openings on the Board of Elections and Registration and two applicants for two openings on the Committee on Cultural Affairs and Tourism.

The Commission also will consider bids totaling $1.8 million for water and sewer system improvements and will discuss granting an extension of more than three months for completion of the McNutt Creek Sewer Connector.

Funding for the water projects will come from existing budgets, but the Board of Commissioners did approve on Sept. 20 the issuance of $15.75 in revenue bonds to fund other Utility Department projects, including expansion of the Calls Creek wastewater treatment plant.

The county has called a public meeting for 5 p.m. on Oct. 18 in the Community Center in Veterans Park to discuss the Calls Creek plant upgrade.

Board Of Education Agreement

The Board of Commissioners tomorrow night also will discuss an intergovernmental agreement with the Board of Education that obligates the county to improvements to Hog Mountain Road, V.M. Osborne Road and Osborne Road in the west of the county for the Dove Creek Elementary School, now under construction.

The county will agree to build a line to provide water to the school, according to the agreement.

The Board of Education, in turn, will donate land to the county to be used for a water tower on the northwestern end of the school property.

The Board of Education will have the right to paint a logo on the water tower “for school purposes, but not for the benefit of any third parties.”

IDA Applications

Rick Waller, currently the chair of the Industrial Development Authority, has asked for reappointment. Waller is owner of the Waller Agency Inc., an insurance company in Winder that sells health insurance to the county.

Daniel Marks, a commercial real estate developer and broker with the Nichols Land and Investment Company on Daniells Bridge Road, also has applied for the openings.

Brooke Toole, a general transportation manager with Walmart Supply Chain/Logistics in Monroe is the third applicant.

Travis D. Williams, a pharmaceutical manufacturing associate with Alexion Pharmaceutical Inc. in Bogart, is the fourth applicant.

The IDA owns and is developing the Gateway Technology Business Park where Alexion is located.

The IDA last year borrowed $4.3 million to build the Parkway Boulevard Extension to facilitate commercial development in the Epps Bridge Corridor.

Walmart’s Oconee County store is near to that roadway, and Nichols has offered land for sale along it.

Board of Elections

The Board of Elections and Registration has five members, including Chair Pat Hayes, who is a county employee.

The Democratic and Republican parties each have a member. Robert Wyatt is the Democratic Party representative, and Hoyt Watson is the Republican Party representative.

Their terms, as well as that of Hayes, expires at the end of 2018.

Jay Hanley is a general appointee, though he has been the chair of the local Republican Party. His term expires at the end of this year, and he is seeking reappointment.

Terrell Jones is not seeking reappointment as a general appointee.

Other applicants for appointment, in addition to Hanley, are Douglas Hammond and Margaret Holt.

Holt is the former chair of the Oconee County Democratic Committee.

Angel Jackson and Brandon Van Wyk are the two applicants for the Cultural Affairs Committee.

McNutt Creek Line

The McNutt Creek sewer connector, when completed, will carry sewage from Bogart via gravity along McNutt Creek to the pump station at Epps Bridge Parkway.

The line must go under SR Loop 10, and that requirement has proven problematic.

In May the Board authorized construction of a tunnel under the roadway rather than the initially planned bore, but Georgia Department of Transportation policy changes have disallowed the use of explosives under the roadway, causing a delay in the project.

The contractor, Site Engineering Inc. of Doraville, has requested a 110-day extension of its contract to allow for completion of the work, to Oct. 31, 2017.

The delay will not affect costs, according to a statement sent to the Board by Wayne Haynie, Utility Department director.

Haynie is recommending the county award a contract for $1.4 million for a number of water and sewer projects, including installation of an ultrasonic meter to measure sewer flow in the county’s pump station at U.S.441 and Athens Academy.

He also is recommending award of a second contract for $0.4 million for small water mains within the county.

Called Meeting

The decision to issue up to $15.75 million in bonds was made at a called meeting of the Board of Commissioners on Sept. 20.

The Commission agreed to issue two different series of bonds, one for not more than $13.5 million and one for not more than $2.25 million.

The $13.5 million would finance expansion of the Calls Creek Waterwater Reclamation Facility and construction of the elevated storage facility at Dove Creek Elementary School.

The $2.25 million would be used to pay off bonds issued for water and sewer projects in 2003 and 2009.

County Finance Director Wes Geddings had proposed the issuance of these bonds to the Board on Sept. 5, but the Board took no official action on the recommendation, pending further details about the sales.

The 20-year bonds will be retired by income from water and sewer customers in the county.


I was not able to attend the called meeting of the Board of Commissioners on Sept. 20.

Sarah Bell did attend the 10-minute meeting and recorded the video below.

Geddings announced at the end of the called meeting that S&P Global Ratings raised its long-term rating of the county’s water and sewer bonds to AA from AA- and assigned the AA long term rating to the two 2017 water and sewer revenue bonds.

The Board of Commissioners meeting tomorrow night starts at 7 p.m. at the Courthouse in Watkinsville.

OCO: BOC Called 9 20 17 from Lee Becker on Vimeo.


Anonymous said...

I am sorry to see that the IDA is gathering a group which gives the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Will the BOC have the political will to say no, and request more applicants? Do they have to the strength to require applicants ready to serve the best interests of the citizens of Oconee County-only?

Sad day for Oconee.

Bill Mayberry said...

Conflicts of interest much?
Thanks to Dr. Becker for publishing the sorts of detail not to be found anywhere else.
"Transparency?" Hah!

Anonymous said...

There is nothing transparent about John Daniel!

Anonymous said...

Of course. Not of this information was placed on the website. No way to receive automatic emails when it was posted. Becker had fight and dig to find the information. And at least Daniell leads instead of hiding behind anonymous. What a joke.