Tag Archives: Mark Barber

Videos: Florida Counties meet Valdosta about sewage in rivers and wells 2019-04-10

Update 2019-04-13: Added Task Force Resolution.

Everyone in the dozen downstream Florida counties wants to help Valdosta finish fixing its sewage problems, and all were impressed with the thoroughness of the presentations by Valdosta Utilities Director Darryl Muse. There was even an offer to contact federal representatives and agencies from the elephant in the room, Ken Cornell of Alachua County, which contains half the population of the dozen Task Force Counties (and twice the population of Valdosta and Lowndes County),

[Ken Cornell, Alachua County, offers assistance]
Ken Cornell, Alachua County, offers assistance

Mayor John Gayle said “Valdosta is privileged to be a regional city”, serving eighteen counties and benefitting from sales taxes of all those who shop in Valdosta, and later offered assurances that Valdosta was doing everything it could.

[Assurances --Mayor John Gayle]
Assurances –Mayor John Gayle

They could answer the question from Beth Burnham of Hamilton County about reporting times: less than 24 hours to the state of Georgia.

[Hamilton County Commission District 1 Beth Burnham]
Hamilton County Commission District 1 Beth Burnham

Nonetheless Continue reading

The rest of the Valdosta wastewater story at SRWMD 2019-02-12

Valdosta Utilities naturally painted as rosy a picture as possible, and newspapers have limited space, so here is the rest of the story about Valdosta wastewater at the Suwannee River Water Management District board meeting last Tuesday. SRWMD Chair Virginia H. Johns understands the stigma, and Board Member Virginia Sanchez spelled it out:

SRWMD Chair Virginia H. Johns

“You don’t want to swim in a little sewage versus a lot of sewage either. Both of them are bad. A spill is bad.”

Featured in this post, drawing from the WWALS videos of all the relevant speakers, are Valdosta Utilities Director Darryl Muse, who talked about the catch basin Valdosta is digging, Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman, who filled in many pieces omitted by Valdosta and FDEP, and Hamilton County resident Jim McBrayer, who got the attention of the SRWMD board by saying there was E. coli in his well and SRWMD should know where it came from, plus especially the very participatory SRWMD board, who made it pretty clear to FDEP they wanted data by their next meeting, and they wanted Valdosta to move along in fixing their problems in less than a hundred years.

Let’s not forget Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, who pointed out something Valdosta doesn’t want to hear: it’s the stigma of sewage spills that is the big problem they are causing. For sure we need to find out what the specific health and other effects are of Valdosta sewage and other contamination on river water and nearby wells. But the stigma of Valdosta sewage goes far beyond that.

Darryl Muse, Utilities Director, Valdosta

In the WWALS video, Continue reading

Videos: Valdosta Wastewater at SRWMD Board 2019-02-12

Update 2019-02-18: The rest of the Valdosta wastewater story at SRWMD 2019-02-12.

The most direct interaction by the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) Board that I’ve ever seen, yesterday, when Valdosta Utilities Director Darryl Muse came to explain what Valdosta has done and is doing to stop its sewage spills. Neither the board nor the audience seemed satisfied.

[Movie: Darryl Muse, Utilities Director, Valdosta (1458M)]
Movie: Darryl Muse, Utilities Director, Valdosta (1458M)

Stay tuned for another post about some of what was said. Meanwhile, below are links to each WWALS video of each speaker or agenda item, with a few notes. These WWALS videos are under a Creative Commons Attribution license, which means you can use them, provide you cite the source, which is WWALS. There are a few more pictures on the WWALS website. See also the agenda. For background and data, see: Continue reading

Valdosta wastewater at Suwannee River Water Management Board Meeting 2019-02-12

2019-002-13: WWALS videos.

Received just now, the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) agenda for next Tuesday includes:

7.B. Cooperating Agencies and Organizations — City of Valdosta Utilities Department Presentation

When: 9 AM, Tuesday, February 23, 2019

Where: 9225 Co Rd 49, Live Oak, FL 32060

What: SRWMD Board Packet.

[7.B. Valdosta Utilities]
7.B. Valdosta Utilities

Good news: the GA-EPD Sewage Spill Reports do not have any spills reported from Valdosta or anywhere else in the Suwannee River Basin during the rains of last weekend.

Plenty of water was coming out of the pipe from Valdosta’s Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) into the Withlacoochee River yesterday, but it smelled merely mildly like Continue reading

New catch basin proposed for Valdosta’s WWTP

Items 2 (new catch basin proposed for Valdosta’s Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant, WWTP) and 3 (zero lift station spills) have not been published elsewhere. Received Thursday, December 6, 2018. -jsq

From: Tim Carroll

Hey John,

I just wanted to follow up from our conversation the other day. I had a very good conversation with [Utilities Director] Darryl Muse and [City Manager] Mark Barber Tuesday. Here are the highlights:

Valdosta City Council Tim Carroll

  1. We are still seeing way to[o] much Continue reading

Paddle Race, Film festival, Songwriting Contest, and Water Trails @ VCC 2018-04-05

The audience was amused at the thought of the Valdosta City Council racing at Reed Bingham, or of any of them writing songs. But it could happen! And any of them can come on down to the Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Valdosta.

You’ve already seen the videos of the two resolutions, for the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT) and the Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT). Here are videos of three WWALS members thanking Valdosta Mayor and Council for those, plus three festivals. We call WWALS a coalition because many people are involved, from many backgrounds, doing many different things to conserve and advocate for our watersheds being swimmable, fishable, and at least our well water drinkable.

WWALS Watershed Coalition --jsq, Stills

There’s a playlist at the end.

Video: Valdosta resolution for Alapaha River Water Trail 2018-04-05

Not bad for a spring break agenda: Valdosta also passed a resolution for the Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT), introduced by City Manager Mark Barber, moved by Council Vivian Miller-Cody, seconded by Tim Carroll, and approved unanimously.

Movie: 4.c. ARWT Resolution (2.7M), 4. Resolutions

Here’s the video: Continue reading

Valdosta passed resolution for Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail 2018-04-05

As scheduled, the resolution was introduced by Valdosta City Manager Mark Barber, moved by Council Vivian Miller-Cody, seconded by Tim Carroll, and approved unanimously. Mayor John Gayle then volunteered that despite the empty seats, which he attributed to spring break, they did have a quorum with four Council members and the Mayor.

Here’s the video, followed by the resolution: Continue reading

Biggest city in Suwannee River Basin passed resolution for dedicated state fees @ VCC 2018-01-25

Hear it from the Mayor, Acting City Manager, and Council of Valdosta, Georgia, and just in time for them and the Lowndes County Chairman, Manager, and Commissioners to attend their annual Bird Supper in Atlanta to discuss it with state legislators: fees collected by the state of Georgia should be dedicated to the purposes for which they were collected. Below are LAKE videos are from the Valdosta City Council, Thursday, January 25, 2018, including a few words I said about which local governments already passed this resolution.