Monday, April 29, 2019

Debate Between Oconee County Young Republicans And Young Democrats Shows Areas Of Agreement And Disagreement

***Immigration And Abortion Hot Issues***

Oconee County Young Democrats and Young Republicans, meeting for a debate on Saturday at the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce, agreed on two things.

First, they said it was good that they met and talked about their views on issues and said it was a rare opportunity to do so.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

New State Anti-Abortion Bill Prominent In Meeting Of Oconee County Republicans

***Focus On Recent Legislative Session***

Discussion of the fetal heartbeat bill passed by the Georgia General Assembly in late March permeated the more than 90-minute meeting of the Oconee County Republican Party on Monday.

Scott Hilton, director of implementation for the Georgians First Commission, brought up the bill in his keynote address to 38 people assembled at the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce meeting room in Watkinsville.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Tours Of Oconee County Sewage Treatment Facilities Show Recent Investments And Future Plans

***Oconee Waters Organized Tours***

It was a cool, windy and rainy day that Vicki Soutar and Erin Carlton had agreed upon for tours of Oconee County’s two sewage treatment facilities.

Soutar, chair of the Oconee Waters unit of the Upper Oconee Watershed Network, wanted her group to be able to see the county’s new Calls Creek Wastewater Reclamation Facility on the northeastern edge of Watkinsville.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Cold And Rainy Oconee County Earth Day Celebration Attracted Large Number Of Exhibitors and Enthusiastic Crowd

***Organized By Oconee Democrats***

Twenty-four exhibitors participated in the Earth Day celebration organized by the Oconee County Democrats at Harris Shoals Park in Watkinsville on Saturday.

The cold and rainy weather kept the crowd small and forced most of the exhibitors into the main shelter house at the park.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Oconee County Citizens Told At Town Hall Meeting To Expect A Sales Tax Vote For Road Repairs

***Transportation Dominated Session***

Oconee County voters should not be surprised if at some time in the not-so-distant future they are asked to approved a county Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax to improve county roads.

That was the message delivered to those who attended a Town Hall Meeting held by the Oconee County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday night at the community center in Oconee Veterans Park.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

School Board Approves Oconee County Requests For Construction Of Roundabouts On Malcom Bridge Road, But With Conditions

***Also Calls For Communication With Parents***

The Oconee County Board of Education on Monday granted the rights of way and easements to the county for roundabouts at the two entrances to Malcom Bridge Middle School, but with conditions.

The Board of Education said the county has to provide “assurance” that the work on the entrances will be completed by the beginning of the school year in August.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

State Leader Told Oconee County Democrats That Running For Local Offices Is Key To Party’s Future

***City Council Seats Should Be Targets***

Norman Garrett, newly elected Democratic 10th Georgia Congressional District chair, last month encouraged Oconee County Democrats to run for local offices, particularly in the cities, as a stepping stone for strengthening the party in the county.

“What you’ll find is it is a whole lot easier to win these seats than you think it is,” Garrett said, speaking specifically of seats on city councils.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Season Opening Of Farmers Market, Easter Egg Hunt Part Of Busy Day In Watkinsville

***Earth Day Event Planned***

Eighteen vendors turned out for the launch of the 16th season of the Oconee Farmers Market in front of the Courthouse in Watkinsville on Saturday.

The market opening was only one of a number of activities Saturday in downtown Watkinsville, with the Easter Egg Hunt on Rocket Field drawing a large crowd.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Oconee School Board Members Raise Concerns About Roundabouts Planned For Malcom Bridge Middle Schools Entrances

***Get Update On Strategic Plan***

Members of the Oconee County Board of Education on Monday went out of their way to show their lack of enthusiasm for the county’s plans to build two roundabouts at the entrances to Malcom Bridge Middle School.

“I want to get on the record that this is not our project,” Board member Tim Burgess said.

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Farmers Market Launch, Egg Hunt, Enviro Fest, And Welcome Center Reopening All Scheduled For Saturday In Watkinsville

***Earth Day Event Also Announced***

It should be busy in Watkinsville on Saturday.

The Oconee Farmers Market launches its 16th season at 8 a.m. Saturday in front of the Courthouse on Main Street in Watkinsville.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

House Bill 302 Prohibiting Cities And Counties From Regulating Housing Design Still Has Life

***Resolution Creates Study Group***

Georgia Rep. Vance Smith, a Republican Pine Mountain, north of Columbus, has not given up his efforts to prohibit cities and counties from regulating design standards for one and two-family residential properties.

House Bill 302, which Smith authored, did not make it out of the House Rules Committee during the just-completed session of the General Assembly.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Oconee Commission Postpones Action On Rezone For Commercial Development At Mars Hill Road and U.S. 78

***Delay Until May 7***

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday night granted the request of Butts County developer Bill Jones for a postponement of consideration of a rezone of 32 acres for a commercial development at Mars Hill Road and U.S. 78.

Jones had told the county that he plans to build a JP convenience store and gas station with 20 fueling positions and a Burger King at the intersection where a BP station now stands.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Bogart Library Reopening Includes News That State Budget Provides Funding For Future Upgrade Of Watkinsville Library

***Ribbon Cutting And Tour***

The good news of the grand reopening of the Bogart Library on Saturday morning got even better as the ribbon cutting ceremonies progressed.

“I want to thank you all for coming out and welcome you to your newly renovated and expanded Bogart Branch Library,” Valerie Bell, executive director of the Athens Regional Library System, said at the start of the ceremonies a little after 11 a.m.

Monday, April 01, 2019

Oconee Commissioners To Decide On Rezone For Shopping Complex On Mars Hill Road At U.S. 78

***Planning Commission Recommended Denial***

A Butts County businessman is asking the Oconee County Board of Commissioners at its meeting on Tuesday evening to approve his plans for a 32-acre commercial development on Mars Hill Road at U.S. 78 that could include a hotel and a big box store–possibly a Publix grocery.

Plans for the initial phase of the project call for a JP convenience store and gas station with 20 fueling positions and Burger King with a drive through lane to replace the BP station and small shops already at the northwest corner of Mars Hill Road and U.S. 78.