Valdosta Daily Times

December 11, 2012

County moves forward on library, annex demolition

Commissioners consider alcohol revision, MAZ amendment

Jason Schaefer
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — The agenda for the final Lowndes County Board of Commissioners meeting of 2012 is a long one, but the Board moved through the 20 listed items in about 30 minutes during Monday morning’s work session.

Major points that appear on the agenda for consideration at the regular meeting this evening at 5:30 p.m. include a revision to a new alcoholic beverage ordinance, a text amendment to the Moody Activity Zone ordinance, the selection of a construction manager at-risk for a new library at Five Points and bids for the demolition of the courthouse annex.

Though the seventh cycle of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST VII) was turned down by voters in November, the County is moving forward on the demolition of the annex behind the historic County Courthouse and the design phase of the new county library. Both were listed on the referendum.

The low bid on the demolition project was presented by Complete Demolition Services out of Carrolton, Ga. in the amount of $54,480—less than half the price of the high bidder, Kellerman Construction of Valdosta. Commissioner Crawford Powell asked whether the low bidder had all the details of the project.

"It makes me nervous when an out-of-town company gives us a bid at half the cost of a local company," Powell said. "It's a great price, as long as they are able to complete the project."

The Carrolton-based company is already in Valdosta working on another project.

The demolition project will be funded with SPLOST V revenues.

The continued planning for the new Lowndes County Library to be constructed at the Five Points site comes at a time when zero funds are available for the building, but the County is moving forward with the design phase hoping for a time "if and when funds are available," County Manager Joe Pritchard said.

Three firms were selected for the board's consideration—Cauthan Construction Company, Pinnacle Prime Contractors, and Quillian Powell Construction working with Allstate Construction out of Warner Robins. All firms are based in Valdosta.

If a firm is selected at the regular meeting, it will proceed at-risk, with no contract and no costs associated with the development of the design, Pritchard said.

"I understand that not only SPLOST funds can be used to build this library," Commissioner Richard Raines remarked, to which Pritchard agreed.

The Commission was presented with a text amendment to the Unified Land Development Code that would decrease the allowable residential density in the Moody Activity Zoning III district, enabling landowners to lower their lot size to one unit per acre, creating a higher-density area.

Raines expressed that he hopes to table the item until the Board's January meeting. Chairman Ashley Paulk agreed this would be a good idea, since the Greater Lowndes Planning Commission "didn't read the document, but took action anyway," he said.

The GLPC voted to recommend denial of the text amendment at their regular meeting earlier this month, expressing concern that the residential density it allows could lead to an encroachment issue with Moody Air Force Base that could in turn lead to its closure.

The Commission was presented with a revision to the Lowndes County Alcoholic Beverage Ordinance that would charge current license-holders an additional $250 to sell packaged alcohol on Sunday outside city limits, as well as other controls.

Powell questioned the viability of the revision, asking why Sunday sales couldn't be included as part of the original license. Once the initial charge is assessed to sellers, it will be offered as part of the license bundle in the future.

The revision will allow the citation of an adult in control of a residence or other premises at which an underage party is occurring and the adult knows underage drinking is occurring.

Commissioners considered an Exclusive Franchise Agreement with Advanced Disposal Services of Central Alabama, Inc., which bought Veolia Environmental Services, the previous contractor holding the agreement.

The contract with Veolia, which included the combined service of curbside trash pick-up, curbside recycling and curbside large waste will not change under the new contractor, but the service start date will be postponed until Feb. 1, according to City Clerk Paige Dukes.

County recycling centers will remain open until service begins.

The Commission also considered;

• the appointment of Mac McCall to the seat on the Valdosta/Lowndes County Zoning Board of Appeals vacated by David Kirk.

• the adoption of a solid waste ordinance that will "establish a uniform and consistent procedure for regulating the storage, collection, transportation and disposal of solid waste in the unincorporated areas of the County," according to the ordinance.

• the rezoning of Moody Activity Zones II and III to Suburban Density Residential, to develop the area into a residential subdivision of about 70 lots.

• the rezoning of a .87-acre property at 1006 Lakes Boulevard from Crossroads Commercial to Highway Commercial to develop the area for more intense commercial uses and for the construction of a billboard.

• the rezoning of a two-acre property off of U.S. Highway 84 East from Estate Agricultural to General Commercial to allow the development of a Dollar General retail store.

• the establishment of Decorative Special Tax Lighting Districts for 22 lots in Walker Run, 16 lots in Laurelbrooke Phase Two, 30 lots in Glen Laurel Phase II and 82 lots in Quarterman Estates West Phase 1 subdivisions.

• the correction of the taxation scheme for a Special Tax Lighting District involving 26 lots in the River North Phase 1. Because the lighting is not decorative, the charge per property will be lowered from $53.30 per year to $30 per year, and residents overcharged due to this error will be given a refund.

• the FY 2013 budget calendar.

• a Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) from the Georgia Department of Transportation in the amount of $746,984.75. The grant will be matched with $224,095.43 from County funds.

• the adoption of a resolution accepting infrastructure in the Ivy Gate Subdivision.

• the approval of funding in the amount of $9,655 for the purchase of a new Netclock, a device that receives a signal from the Bureau of Standards in Boulder, Colo. to synchronize the time across the country, allowing for better public safety response.

• the approval of funding in the amount of $7,413 per month for five years for a new 911 phone system.

• a supplemental resolution to refund revenue bonds that will approve the final terms of the refunding bonds approved Oct. 9.

The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners will meet at 5:30 p.m. tonight. It will be Chairman Ashley Paulk’s last official meeting as he did not seek re-election for the position.