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
  • Cardiovascular Surgeons.jpg SGMC hires three cardiovascular surgeons

    South Georgia Medical Center has hired three cardiovascular surgeons, according to the hospital Wednesday.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moody firefighter 2.jpg Moody firefighter feeds burning passion for food

    He can bust down a burning door and save lives from a flaming inferno. If the kitchen survives, he might whip up some elegant blackened salmon.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • vpd accreditation.jpg VPD receives national reaccreditation

    The Valdosta Police Department received reaccreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies and is ready to file for accreditation for the regional crime lab.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fussell Tire & Service to expand into new facility

    An existing business will open a new facility and expand its operations, according to the Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority Wednesday.

    July 31, 2014

  • Brown Johnson Solis Cardiovascular Surgeons.jpeg Cardiac, Vascular, Thoracic & Endovascular Surgeons Join South Georgia Medical Center

    The three surgeons will operate a full-time medical practice and professional office named the SGMC CardioVascular Institute.  The medical office, which is located in Suite 230 of the Professional Building which is adjacent to SGMC, will be open 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140729-Gas_Leak002.jpg Roadway closed after second gas line break

    For a second day in a row, workers from Valdosta’s Utilities Department struck a natural gas service line causing a leak that shut down a portion of Forrest Street, officials said.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • dump truck arrest photo.jpg Deputies nab stolen dump truck suspects

    The search for suspected dump truck thieves ended Tuesday afternoon with the arrest of two men in the same area officials searched extensively Monday.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bears sighted on Baytree

    A pair of bear sightings along Baytree Road this week could indicate a growing black bear population in Lowndes County.

    July 30, 2014

  • Johnson family files second suit against school

    Two months after filing a civil suit against Lowndes County Schools, Kendrick Johnson’s parents have filed a second suit against the school system which again claims that negligence and bullying led to their son’s death.

    July 30, 2014

  • Teachers Harvest

    With students and teachers returning to the classroom in the coming days, the need for school supplies is at the top of numerous priority lists. For teachers, this often means spending their money to ensure classrooms are fully stocked.

    July 30, 2014

Top News

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results