Monday, April 30, 2018

Oconee County Commissioners Receive Proposed Budget For Next Fiscal Year Showing 7.6 Percent Increase In Spending

***Declines In Base Water And Sewer Rates***

Oconee County Finance Director Wes Geddings has presented the Board of Commissioners a 2019 Fiscal Year General Fund Budget proposal that reflects a 7.6 percent growth in spending over the current fiscal year.

The increase in expenditure is matched by a projected increase in revenue.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Oconee County Commissioners Eliminate Comprehensive Plan Character Area In Response To Citizen Complaints

***Apalachee Citizens Also Make Request***

In quick order on Tuesday night, the Oconee County Board of Commissioners eliminated the Country Crossroads Character Area from the 2018 Comprehensive Plan.

The change, agreed to by the commissioners following a public hearing on the draft plan, was a response to criticism that inclusion of the Country Crossroads Character Area could lead to commercial development in the south of the county.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Parents Asking Oconee County Board Of Education To Change Meeting Times and Types

***Consider Change In Meetings***

Brandi Herndon, moderator of the Facebook group, Parents Improving Oconee Schools, has asked the Oconee County Board of Education to consider changing the times of its meetings to accommodate parents and to hold town hall meetings.

In comments before the Board of Education last week, Herndon said the current 5 p.m. meetings are “really hard for parents and especially working parents” and that town hall meetings would be “a place to identify and implement solutions to problems” in the county’s schools.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Oconee County Planning Commission Rejects Restrictions On Slab Construction But Approves Revisions To Comprehensive Plan

***Recommendations To Board Of Commissioners***

The Oconee County Planning Commission, in an 8 to 2 vote last week, rebuffed a proposal from the county administration to modify the county development code to restrict the use of slab foundations in residential construction.

County Administrator Justin Kirouac told Planning Commission members that the proposed changes merely codify what the Board of Commissioners has been doing in rezone cases, but that didn’t influence the majority of the Planning Commission members, who recommended that the Board of Commissioners reject the code changes.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Oconee County Changes Construction Plans For Sewer Line On Daniells Bridge Road Because Of Water Line

***Switch Sewer Line To East Side***

A pipeline for a private water company has caused contractors to switch construction of a pressured sewer line leading from Epps Bridge Parkway to the Calls Creek wastewater treatment plant to the east side of a section of Daniells Bridge Road.

The change in construction plans will result in a three-day closure of Natalie Drive, which is an entrance to Welbrook Farms subdivision, the Oconee County Water Resources Department announced on Friday.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Morgan County Commissioners Voice Support For Citizens Opposed To Location Of Proposed Intake Facility On Apalachee River

Possible Vote Next Month

Morgan and Oconee county residents opposed to the proposed intake facility on the Apalachee River in Morgan County for an expanded Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir got their first major victory on Tuesday evening.

Three of the five members of the Morgan County Board of Commissioners said they support citizens who are opposing construction of the intake facility in Morgan County.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Residents Along Apalachee River Who Oppose Intake Facility Have Two Opportunities On Tuesday To Speak Out

***No Decision Yet On Public Hearing***

Residents in Morgan and Oconee counties who live along the Apalachee River and are opposed to the proposed intake facility on the river in Morgan County for the Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir have two opportunities this week to voice their concerns.

The Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir Management Board has set aside two times for public comment on its agenda for its meeting at 1 p.m. on Tuesday at the historic Courthouse in downtown Monroe–one at the beginning and another near the end.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Oconee County Board Of Education To Be Asked to Spend Sales Tax Revenue On Computers For Teachers And Students

$1 Million Bid

Oconee County School administrators will ask the county Board of Education on Monday to spend nearly $1 million to buy computer equipment as part of the system’s efforts to have one computer for every student in the schools.

Claire Buck, chief academic officer for the Oconee County School System, is recommending that the Board accept a $949,647 bid by Virtucom, of Norcross in Gwinnett County, to provide 3,100 computer and mobile devices.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Oconee Farmers Market Starts Its New Season Saturday In Downtown Watkinsville

***8 a.m. To 1 p.m.***

Oconee Farmers Market will launch its 15th season Saturday in front of the Courthouse in Watkinsville, with offerings such as baby spinach, lettuce, kale, eggs, potatoes, grass-fed beef, lamb, boiled peanuts, gelato, tamales, empanadas, and lemon squares.

An estimated 20 vendors are expected to set up tables and tents for the 8 a.m. opening, according to Annie Kennedy, Market Board president. The Market will close at 1 p.m.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Comprehensive Plan Spurs Revisit Of 2008 Film On Development In Oconee County

*** “Carving Up Oconee” ***

Ann Stoneburner said she was motivated to help set up the program at the Oconee County Library late last month by a concern with the rewrite of the county’s Comprehensive Plan and its impact on development in the county.

The centerpiece of that program, sponsored by the Oconee County Democratic Committee and the Oconee County Progressives, was a showing of the 2008 film by Celestea Sharp, “Carving Up Oconee.” Stoneburner is vice-chair of the Oconee County Democratic Committee.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Oconee County Animal Services Director Placed On Administrative Leave As State Conducts Audit Of Pharmaceuticals

***Leave With Pay***

Oconee County has placed Catlyn Vickers, Animal Services Department director, on administrative leave with pay while the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency conducts an audit of pharmaceuticals at the Animal Services Department.

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office requested the audit by the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency following an initial investigation by the Sheriff’s Office of a discrepancy of $398 in the account of the Animal Service Department.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Citizens Again Voice Concerns To Oconee County Board Of Commissioners About Apalachee River Intake Permit

***Chair Tried To Limit Comments***

After initially trying to cut off discussion of the proposed Apalachee River intake facility, Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chair John Daniell relented last (Tuesday) night and allowed 12 citizens from Oconee and Morgan counties to state their opposition to the project.

As was the case a week ago, those who spoke focused primarily on the water levels in the Apalachee, arguing that the river does not have sufficient flow to sustain pumping to the Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir in southeastern Walton County.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Oconee County School Administrator Explains Teacher Total Benefits To Board Of Education

***Based On Example Of Jane Smith***

A teacher is Oconee County Schools who makes a little more than $60,000 a year in salary actually has a total estimated benefit of nearly $86,000 when the contributions of the school system itself are included.

That was the message of Saranna Charping, chief financial officer for the school system, who reviewed the Total Benefits Statement sent to all school system employees with the Board of Education last month.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Two Republican Candidates Offer Criticism Of Party At Oconee Area Republicans Meeting

***Also Take Stands On Issues***

Michael Williams told the gathering of Oconee Area Republicans that the state legislature, which is controlled by Republicans, is dominated by lobbyists, special interests and big corporations.

Joe Hunt said that the Republic Party at the national level is struggling to make clear that it is not controlled by dark money, is not racist, and is not dominated by big business.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Oconee County Issues New Citations Against Landscaper As Trial On 2017 Citations Is Set

***April 13 Date***

Oconee County has been trying since August of last year to get Chad Forehand to stop operating a landscaping business at New High Shoals Road and Union Church Road.

County code enforcement officers have filed new citations charging they have not been successful.