Valdosta Daily Times

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January 28, 2014

County expected to vote on GEFA loan

VALDOSTA — The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners discussed two appointments, one bid, one presentation, and five items for consideration Monday during its work session.

The County Commission is considering a Georgia Environmental Finance Authority loan to upgrade the Alapaha water-treatment plant, and to meet the project’s deadline while minimizing the continuing permit violation. The board approved the design of the upgrade on Aug. 13, 2013.

Lowndes County Utilities Director Mike Allen informed commissioners that the $1.7 million loan will be paid back within five years by using the department’s general operation budget. The interest on the loan will be at 1.62 percent.

Once approved by the commission, the loan must be submitted to the state so it can review and approve the request.

After the meeting, Kelly Lenz, South Georgia Regional Library director, asked commissioners if Lowndes County would partner with the Air Force to reopen Moody Air Force Base’s library and make it the seventh branch in the library system.

Moody’s library had to shut its doors Sept. 30, 2013, because of budget cuts. Lenz and the SGRL are willing to staff the facility and to maintain the literary collection while Moody is willing to provide custodial and refuse services, maintain the building, and pay the utilities on the facility.

This agreement is estimated to cost SGRL $69,146 to reopen the facility whereas it would cost SGRL more to build and equip a new library, Lenz said. This funding would reopen the 8,000-square-foot building only to military members, their families, and civilian service employees, but it would allow anyone with a PINES card access to the 45,000-item library catalog.

“It would be a shame for Moody to lose its educational resources that the library offers to service members and their families,” Lenz said.

As of now, Moody’s library is open but does not provide reference help, story time, or allow its patrons to check out any material.

Lenz informed the commission, “This is a great offer with what Moody is offering.”

The commission is considering utilizing some of the county’s SPLOST VII funds to begin the replacement process on the Cat Creek Road bridge. This process will begin with an $11,100 foundation inspection. This inspection is necessary so the engineer can determine the depth and size of the piles, and it will take 30 days to complete.

Lowndes County plans to begin the replacement of Cat Creek’s bridge in June.

The Lowndes County Finance Department is requesting the commission declare nine Ford Crown Victorias and one Dodge Charger as surplus items so they can be sold on Govdeals.com. These vehicles range in their production year, and four of the Crown Victorias will not start, and according to Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter, the Charger’s parts have been utilized for other vehicles, and will be sold for parts only because it is not a complete automobile.

The commission approved the purchase of a replacement bar screen at the county’s land application site, in December 2013. The equipment has been ordered, and the commission opened bids Monday for the installation. Three bids were solicited by Killen Construction, Standard Contractors, and Hancock Electric.

Other items discussed at the commission’s work session include:

• The Utilities Department recommended the commission approve a trust deed with Stoker Utilities for the development of a Nottinghill subdivision.

• The reappointment of Molly Deese to the Conference Center/Tourism Authority for a three-year term.

• The reappointment of Roy Copeland to the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority Board, for a five-year term.

• A zero cost Presidio Change Order.

The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners adjourned their work session and went into an executive session to discuss personnel matters. The commission will vote on all of these issues during its regularly scheduled meeting 5:30 p.m. today.

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