Sunday, April 12, 2020

Oconee Commissioners Approve Contracts For New Water Tower And Pressure Valves To Improve Watkinsville Area Water Service

***Virtual Meetings Scheduled***

The Oconee County Board of Commissioners agreed on Tuesday, in a brief meeting closed to the public except through live-streaming because of the COVID-19 pandemic, to two contracts totaling $3.1 million for a new elevated water storage tank and pressure valves to improve water pressure in the Watkinsville area.

The Board approved a bid of $2,475,000 with Caldwell Tank Inc., of Louisville, Ky., for construction of the 750,000-gallon elevated water tank at the intersection of the US. 441 Bypass and Macon Highway (South Main Street).

It also approved the bid of $615,687 with Griffin Brothers Inc., of Maysville, in Banks and Jackson counties, for installation of five pressure reducing valves as part of the project.

In other action, the Board voted to move forward with a grant application for expansion of the Senior Center in Veterans Park and approved a bid for renovation of the Civic Center on Hog Mountain Road west of Butler’s Crossing.

Both the water project and Civic Center renovation will be covered by funds from the current Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.

The Board of Commissioners will hold a virtual Town Hall meeting on Tuesday night to launch discussion of renewal of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax in 2021 and Malcom Bridge Road improvements.

Citizens can submit question in advance and link in to view the meeting, which will begin at 6 p.m. Commission Chair John Daniell will preside.

The Oconee County Democratic Party also will hold its regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday via live stream. Dr. Neal Priest, chief of the Emergency Room at St. Mary’s Hospital, and Amanda Davis, executive director of the Oconee Area Resource Council, will be guest speakers.

Water Project

Tim Durham, Oconee County Water Resources director, told the Board in a memo before the Tuesday meeting that water in not circulating optimally through the existing Elevated Water Tank in Watkinsville on Concord Drive near New High Shoals Road.

Daniell 4/7/2020

That tank, Durham told me in an email message on March 3, will remain operative, but the new valves will improve water flow to it and the new elevated tank at the intersection of the U.S. 441 Bypass and Macon Highway.

Walton EMC Granted an easement to the county for the new site, Durham said.

Construction will be completed in 450 days from the execution of the project.

Caldwell Tank Inc. and Griffin Brothers Inc. were low bidders on the project.

Other Business

The Board on Tuesday also approved a resolution designating the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission as grant administrator for the 2020 Community Development Block Grant application submission for the expansion of the Oconee Senior Center.

Map Of Locations Of Water Towers From Durham 

The county applied for these federal funds administered by the state Department of Community Affairs but was unsuccessful with the application.

The Board also awarded a $1,173,838 bid to Garland Construction Company of Bogart for design and construction services and HVAC upgrade for the Civic Center.

The Board approved a modification for the Jennings Mill Country Club alcohol licenses because of a change of corporate ownership. The new license is held by L&J Acquisitions LLC of Alpharetta.

The Board appointed David Henson, 1140 Roberta Drive, off High Shoals Road outside of Bishop, to be the county’s representative of the MACORTS (Madison Athens Clarke Oconee Regional Transportation Study) Policy Committee.

Hansen, who moved to Oconee County last year, according to his application, works in information technology security.

Upcoming Meetings

Those interested in participating in the Board of Commissioners Town Hall meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday can get information on how to find the live stream and on how to submit questions at the county web site.

Information on the Democratic Party live-streamed meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday can be accessed through the events list on the party’s Facebook page. Participants must register in advance.

Guest speaker Dr. Priest has worked as an Emergency Room physician at St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens for 34 years.

He and Davis, executive director of the Athens Area Resource Council (OARC), will be speaking on how COVID-19 is affecting the community.

OARC is a non-profit corporation that has been designated by the Oconee County Board of Commissioners as the official advisory body for human services in Oconee County.


The video below is of the April 7 meeting of the Board of Commissioners.

Sarah Bell attended the meeting at the invitation of the county and recorded the video.

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