Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Oconee County Commissioners Postpone Until Next Week Decision On Additional $1 Million Expenditure For Calls Creek Wastewater Plant

***Second Aeration Basin Requested***

Two weeks after asking Oconee County citizens if they want to include wastewater reuse in the county’s yet-to-be completed Water and Wastewater Master Plan, Oconee County Water Resources Department Director Wayne Haynie asked the Board of Commissioners last (Tuesday) night to spend $1 million for that purpose.

The commissioners took the request under advisement, with Board Chair John Daniell saying it will be on the agenda at the meeting on Feb. 6 to allow for more citizen input on the request.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Oconee County Board Of Commissioners To Discuss Revisions To Development Code For Landscaping

***Sewer Issues Also On Agenda***

In a reversal of plans, Oconee County Administrator Justin Kirouac tomorrow (Tuesday) night will open up discussion with the Board of Commissioners of a possible revision to the county’s Landscape and Buffers section of its Unified Development Code.

Citizens called for action on the code revision at a Town Hall Meeting last week, but Board of Commissioners Chair John Daniell said consideration of changes to the Unified Development Code would not take place until after the county completed work on its Comprehensive Plan this spring.

Sometimes Testy Meeting On Oconee County Sewer Plans Ends With Applause For Commissioners

***Poor Communication Acknowledged***

A sometimes testy meeting ended with applause on Wednesday night for Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman John Daniell and Commissioner Chuck Horton, who spent more than 80 minutes taking questions from and interacting with citizens opposed to county plans for treatment of wastewater.

“I hear everybody talking,” Daniell said near the end of the meeting, “I think we’re already addressing what you’re saying. We’re trying to look at alternatives. There is no plan etched in stone.”

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Oconee County Board Of Education To Vote On Request To Spend $2.2 Million On High School Stadium Turf And Track Replacement

Removing Natural Turf

Oconee County school administrators will ask the Board of Education next month to approve spending $2.2 million to replace the natural turf in the system’s two high school stadiums and replace the synthetic tracks around the two fields.

The move to synthetic from natural turf is to accommodate increased use of the fields for football, soccer and lacrosse.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Transportation Sales Tax May Be On Ballot In Oconee County Next Year, Oconee Commission Chair Said

***At Town Hall Meeting***

Oconee County probably will consider whether to pursue a Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax after it completes an ongoing transportation study and might ask voters to approve such a tax next year, Board of Commissioners Chair John Daniell said last (Tuesday) night.

Daniell made his comment in response to a question posed at the first quarterly Board of Commissioners Town Hall meeting for 2018, held at the Community Center in Oconee Veterans Park.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Construction To Start On Upgrade To Sewer Line From Epps Bridge Parkway To Calls Creek Plant

***12-Inch Forced Main***

After a two-month delay due to the disruption in supplies because of Hurricane Harvey, construction crews are ready to start work on the upgrade to the sewer line from Epps Bridge Parkway to the Calls Creek wastewater treatment plant outside Watkinsville.

Piles of 12-inch pipe are stacked at locations on the route along Old Epps Bridge Road, the Oconee Connector and Daniells Bridge Road.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Oconee County Magistrate Court Judge Finds Oconee Waste Transport Not Guilty Of Noise Ordinance Violation

***Jan. 12 Trial***

Oconee County Magistrate Court Judge Samuel Barth on Friday ruled Oconee Waste Transport not guilty of the county’s charge that the trash hauler violated the county’s noise ordinance by tipping dumpsters from a commercial site on Epps Bridge Parkway sometime between Dec. 29, 2016, and Jan. 20, 2017.

Clyde Edwin Pittman, an Athens plastic surgeon who lives at 1591 Tanglebrook Drive just off Epps Bridge Parkway, testified in the trail before Barth on Jan. 12 that he observed OWT emptying trash before 7 a.m. at IHOP on Epps Bridge Parkway and called the county to complain.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Decision On Future Of Oconee County Animal Shelter Likely To Be Addressed In Spring, County Administrator Says

***Flooding To Be Fixed***

Oconee County Administrator Justin Kirouac wants the Board of Commissioners to make a decision on what to do with the Animal Shelter this spring.

The Board needs to decide if it wants to retrofit the existing facility on 1171 Branch Road, south of Farmington, or if it wants to build a new facility, Kerouac told the commissioners at a strategic planning work session earlier this month.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Superior Court Judge Refuses To Force Oconee County To Issue Permit For Storage Facility On U.S. 441

***Case Can Be Reopened***

Oconee County Superior Court Judge H. Patrick Haggard has turned down a request by Broome Street LLC that Oconee County be forced to issue the company a development permit for construction of mini-warehouses on just more than 12 acres on U.S. 441 behind the Stone Store.

Judge Haggard denied the petition “without prejudice” on narrow grounds, and the case can be reopened for any reason.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Open House Discussion Identifies Major Decisions On Wastewater Treatment Confronting Oconee County

***Impact On Growth***

Oconee county is facing major decisions on wastewater treatment that will have significant impact on future residential, commercial and industrial growth in the county, a public presentation and discussion last (Tuesday) night at the Civic Center indicated.

The gathering, labeled an Open House On the Water and Wastewater Master Plan Update, was attended by 40 citizens and was hosted by Wayne Haynie, director of the Oconee County Water Resources Department, formerly called the Utility Department.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Need For High Speed Internet Access Dominated Discussion Between State Legislators And Oconee County Officials

***Session in Late December***

The lack of high speed Internet access in areas outside metropolitan Atlanta dominated discussion at a meeting of Oconee County’s legislative delegation with local government officials late last year.

“We’re committed on the Senate side for sure to try to increase access to high speed Internet throughout Georgia,” said Bill Cowsert, who represents the 46th Senate District, which includes Oconee County.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Oconee County Magistrate Court Judge Delayed Decision On Ordinance Violation Issued To Oconee Waste Transport

***Noise Ordinance Cited***

Following and hour-long trial on Friday, Oconee County Magistrate Court Judge Sam Barth postponed his decision on whether Oconee Waste Transport violated the county’s noise ordinance while operating prior to 7 a.m. behind at least one business along Epps Bridge Parkway.

Clyde Edwin Pittman, an Athens plastic surgeon who lives at 1591 Tanglebrook Drive just off Epps Bridge Parkway, testified that he has been awakened in his home going back five years by haulers picking up trash from dumpsters at businesses on Epps Bridge Parkway.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Oconee County Announces “Major Spill” At Its Calls Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant

***Suspended Solids Exceeded***

Operational problems caused a spill of partially treated wastewater into Calls Creek from the Oconee County wastewater treatment plant of that name located just north of Watkinsville, the county announced this (Thursday) morning.

The partially treated release occurred at approximately 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 9, according to the statement from Wayne Haynie, director of the county’s Water Resources Department, previously called the Utility Department.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Democratic Georgia House Representatives Gonzalez And Wallace Entered 2018 With Small Campaign Surpluses

***Dwarfed By Republicans***

Deborah Gonzalez, newly elected to represent Georgia House District 117, began 2018 with $11,466 in her campaign account, and Jonathan Wallace, newly elected to represent Georgia House District 119, began the year with $11,639 in unspent campaign funds.

Gonzalez and Wallace are Democrats. Both the 117th and 119th House Districts are split between Oconee and Clarke counties.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Panelists From Oconee And Surrounding Counties Engaged In "Focus Group" On Range Of Political Topics

***At Civic Center***

The organizers labeled the group conversation as one that should not involve political rhetoric, but given the topics selected that was a near impossibility.

Business, Economy, Education, Free Speech, Healthcare and Immigration are political issues, at least in the current environment.