Thursday, August 29, 2019

Oconee County Commissioners Approve Flat Property Tax Rates Following Public Hearings

***Rate Not Rolled Back For Inflation***

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners formally approved property tax rates for the county on Tuesday night, adopting a millage rate of 6.686 for the unincorporated parts of the county and 7.626 in the county’s four cities.

The millage rates are unchanged from a year ago, but they represent a tax increase because property in the county has been assessed at a higher value this year than last, reflecting the inflationary forces in the market.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Oconee County’s Increase In Residential Lot Size Requirements Challenged At Planning Commission Hearings

***Four Cases Before Commission***

All four of the applicants who appeared before the Oconee County Planning Commission last week had a similar request.

Each had begun the rezone application to convert land now zoned for agriculture to residential use before the county changed its regulations on minimum residential lot sizes, and each wanted to follow the old regulations rather than the new ones.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Watkinsville To Hold Election For Mayor And One Contested Council Seat

***No Elections: Bogart, North High Shoals, Bishop***

Watkinsville alone among Oconee County’s four cities will hold an election this fall, with two candidates competing for the mayor of the city and two more competing for Post 2 on the City Council.

Incumbent Watkinsville Mayor Dave Shearon and Bob Smith, a real estate agent, filed paperwork last week qualifying for the mayoral contest.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

GDOT Has Given Oconee County A Long Range Transportation Plan With Recommendations For Roadway And Bikeway Improvements

***Not Yet Before Citizen Committee***

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners has not yet gotten around to appointing its new advisory committee on transportation.

Commission Chair John Daniell, has said, however, that its first order of business will be to review the 282-page report presented to the county by the Georgia Department of Transportation earlier this year.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Oconee County Citizens To Get Opportunity To Comment On 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan

***Includes 13 Projects In County***

MACORTS, the metropolitan planning authority for Oconee County and its neighbors, is asking the public to comment on the 2045 draft of its Metropolitan Transportation Plan that includes 13 road projects in Oconee County on the prioritized project list.

Included is a last-minute update to the plan for widening Hog Mountain Road from Butler’s Crossing to U.S. 441. The update calls for a two-lane rather than four-lane road that also will include turn lanes, sidewalks and bike lanes.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

New Security System At Oconee County Schools Empowers Every Employee To Report Safety Threat To Schools And Sheriff’s Office

***System Demonstrated On Friday***

Every Oconee County School System employee–from the first-in-the-morning bus driver to the school superintendent–is now wearing an electronic alert system badge that can signal a school safety threat with three small taps of a button.

With the taps, the employee sends a signal to the school office and to the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office telling exactly who pushed the button and where that person is located.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

U.S. Senate Candidate Tomlinson Tells Oconee County Democrats They Only Need To Reduce Republican Margin In County In 2020

***Not Necessary To Flip County***

Former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson told Oconee County Democrats on Thursday night that they didn’t have to flip Oconee County for the party to be able to beat incumbent Republican David Perdue in the U.S. Senate race in November.

All they need to do is shave three or four percent off the county margin from Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s victory over Democrat Stacey Abrams in 2018, Tomlinson said.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Oconee County School Board Officially Adopts Decrease In Millage Rate For Fiscal Year Underway

***Drop Of Half Point To 16.5 Mills***

The Oconee County Board of Education at its meeting on Monday officially adopted a millage rate of 16.5, down from the 17.0 from last year, and the lowest property tax rate collected for the county’s schools since 2003.

The millage rate vote was unanimous and expected, as the Board of Education had adopted a budget for the 2019-2020 Fiscal Year that began on July 1 based on the lowered rate.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Oconee County Board Of Education Gets Another Report On School Performance On State Milestones Assessments

***SchoolDigger.Com Rating Touted***

Oconee County School System Chief Operating Officer Claire Buck on Monday returned to the performance of Oconee County Schools in the Spring 2019 state Milestones assessments in her report to the Board of Education.

Anisa Sullivan Jimenez, director of Communications for the school system, had told the Board at its July 29 meeting that Oconee County Schools had performed well in the results of the state testing, released on July 26.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Oconee County Republicans Are Told Women Will Play A Crucial Role In The Party’s Future

***Two Of Three Speakers Focused On Women***

Women are crucial to the future of the Republican Party, two of the three speakers told the attendees at the June meeting of the Oconee County Republican Party.

Tim Echols, Public Service Commission vice chair, called on the “gentlemen” in the audience to help young women get “credentialed,” saying that the Democrats–particularly in the 2018 primaries–demonstrated the ability of female candidates to win elections.

Monday, August 05, 2019

Rezone Request For Morningside Subdivision Withdrawn, But Agenda For Oconee County Board of Commissioners Remains Full

***Event Venue Request Before Board***

Scout Construction LLC has decided it no longer wants Oconee County to grant it permission to violate the 40-foot buffers imposed in 2001 on six lots in Morningside subdivision on Hodges Mill Road.

Scout’s request for a modification of the 2001 rezone requirements is one of five major zoning issues on the agenda for the Oconee County Board of Commissioners meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) night.

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Roundabouts Reduce Fatal And Injury Accidents, State Transportation Official Told Citizens At Oconee County Town Hall Meeting

***Roundabouts Dominated Questions Posed***

To get to the Oconee County Board of Commissioners’ Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, visitors had to walk through a simulated roundabout constructed in the lobby of the Civic Center on Hog Mountain Road.

Once inside the meeting room, the visitors found easels with diagrams of roundabouts and explanations of the signage commonly found in them.

Friday, August 02, 2019

Oconee County Accepts Bid For Improvements To Mars Hill Road Intersection With Rocky Branch And Virgil Langford Roads

***Construction To Start Soon***

Oconee County commissioners on Tuesday tentatively approved a $702,447 bid by CMES Inc. of Norcross for reconstruction of the Mars Hill Road intersection with Rocky Branch Road and Virgil Langford Road.

The site construction plans call for the addition of right-hand and decel turn lanes as well as left-hand turn lanes on Mars Hill Road, Virgil Langford Road and Rocky Branch Road.

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Student And Parents Tell Oconee County Board Of Education That Use Of Computers In Classroom Instruction Is Excessive

***Ask For Return Of Paper, Pencils And Books***

Fred Reifsteck IV, who next week will be a seventh grader at Oconee County Middle School, does not like the policy of the Oconee County Board of Education that fully integrates Chromebook computers into classroom instruction.

“I would rather use books and paper and not Chromebooks,” Reifsteck told the members of the Board at their regular meeting on Monday.