Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

March 8, 2013

City officials praise plant shutdown

Say Times’ criticism of spill unfounded

VALDOSTA — Reports by Utilities Director Henry Hicks and comments from council and citizens took up most of the time at the Valdosta City Council meeting Thursday.

Following a run-down of the four action items that appeared on the agenda, which were all unanimously approved, Hicks took center stage at the podium to deliver the particulars on the City’s history of fighting problems at the Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant since 2009.

Hicks also offered to the Council details about this year’s flooding event that resulted in the spill of raw sewage into the Withlacoochee River and the cleanup and restoration efforts currently underway.

Hicks delivered a report on the sampling of areas of the river where significant spills occurred, which shows the dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature and the amount of fecal coliform in the water during the event and seven days after.

He reminded the Council that the trillions of gallons of stormwater in the flood heavily diluted the estimated 15 million gallons of raw sewage that spilled during the flood, saying more than 99.9 percent of the water in the Withlacoochee during the weather event was from rainfall, not from sewage.

At the conclusion of the report, Hicks received applause for his efforts in responding to the disaster, and Council Members Tim Carroll, Sonny Vickers and Deidra White also congratulated him, in agreement that taking the WWTP offline was "a wise decision."

Councilman Robert Yost took five minutes to question the validity of stories printed by The Valdosta Daily Times on the weather event, and criticized the editorial staff for its negative opinion of the City's reaction to the flood and the spill.

During the Citizens to be Heard portion of the meeting, several citizens came forward to speak out against the hiring of new Valdosta City Schools Superintendent Marty Roesch and new Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress, saying that the black community was misrepresented in these personnel decisions.

Rev. Floyd Rose took the podium to speak on behalf of the black community to claim inequality in city government. He spoke until his allowed time ended, and was escorted out of the meeting by Childress when he refused to step down from the podium.

The Council unanimously approved:

• the rezoning of .5 acres at 411 West Mary Street from Single-Family Residential to Multi-Family Residential for the development of Phase 3 expansion of the Brooks Trace apartment complex.

• a request to approve the 2014 Southern Hospitality Group Workcamp Agreement at a cost of $9,500 from the general fund, matched with $9,500 by the Lowe's Distribution Center of Valdosta. The Southern Hospitality Workcamp is a minor homeowner repair program that has helped repair 255 owner-occupied homes in the Designated Revitalization Area.

• a request to approve the Community Development Block Grant Fiscal Year 2013 Annual Action Plan, which outlines the City's proposed use of funds allocated under the CDBG program.

• a low bid for the Georgia Department of Transportation Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant Program for street resurfacing in the amount of $408,706.66. Funds from the sixth cycle of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax will be used to pay the amount over the GDOT commitment level.

Text Only
Local News
  • election.jpg Black earns most votes in runoff

    State Rep. Ellis Black led the votes for state Senate District 8 Friday with seven of seven counties reporting certified results, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140724-LAT1.jpg Little Actors Theatre ready for summer show

    Since 2004, the Little Actors Theatre has provided a place for children ages 6 to 19 to express themselves through acting.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072414-MichelleNunn003.jpeg Michelle Nunn visits Valdosta

    The day after learning that her Republican challenger would be David Perdue, Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn kicked off her Common Sense and Collaboration Tour Wednesday by meeting with business owners in Atlanta, Athens and Macon and continued her tour Thursday morning by visiting the David S. Waller Unit facility of the Boys and Girls Club of Valdosta.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • lunch.jpg Valdosta One Lunch feeds summer-hungry kids

    Hunger is a concept that many people associate with third-world countries, not their hometown. However, in Valdosta, hunger is real. To combat this hunger, a group of Valdostans have created Valdosta One Lunch, a program that distributes bagged meals to children in need.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • thumbs up.jpeg Moody squadron commander reaches milestone

    The 75th Fighter Squadron commander hit a career milestone July 17, by surpassing 3,000 flight hours in an A-10C Thunderbolt II.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • water.jpg New equipment expected to deal with Lowndes water violations

    The Lowndes County Commission’s recent approval of $1.6 million for water-treatment equipment is expected to counter a past series of water-quality violations within the county.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 142314-Goodwill.jpg Goodwill hosts the Mexican Consulate

    Mexican citizens living in South Georgia have spent this week lining up at the Valdosta Goodwill to meet with the Mexican Consulate to obtain Mexican government issued identification.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140723-Tree001.jpg Chamber plants 100th centennial tree

    Founded in September 1912, the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest chambers in the state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140723 - Operation M#10E3C7.JPG Veterans First

    With Moody Air Force Base expecting to lose 300 to 400 personnel due to government cutbacks, area organizations are working with military personnel about to enter the civilian work force.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lowndes increases millage rate

    For the first time since 1999, the Lowndes County Commission voted Wednesday to increase the millage rate.

    July 24, 2014

Top News

School starts again in about two weeks. What do you think?

It's still summer. School starts too soon.
Seems like the right time to return.
Abolish summer recess. Make school year-round.
     View Results