Tag Archives: County Engineer

Stream monitoring with only annual reporting privatized by Lowndes County Commission 2020-04-28

With only one dissenting vote, last night the Lowndes County Commission approved more than $45,000 for a sole-source contract for stream monitoring, with only annual reporting required. Since the contractor is private, it doesn’t have to answer open records requests. How does this help warn people when the rivers are clean or not?

There had never been any bids, even though the requirement for this monitoring from GA-EPD apparently came in back in June 2018. The Commissioners did not have the monitoring plan in front of them, nor the GA-EPD requirement, as near as I can tell.

[BUDGET IMPACT: $45,120.00]
BUDGET IMPACT: $45,120.00

Apparently somebody read a list of streams to the Commissioners, along with the monitoring required for each. But that list was not in the posted agenda.

[Suwannee Basin impaired waters, map]
Suwannee Basin impaired waters, map by GECAP.

We can guess it was maybe the “Not Supporting” or “Assessment Pending” streams in Lowndes County from the GA-EPD Listing of Waterbodies, Clean Water Act Section 303(d), for which see below. But we don’t know.

And what about the contamination often coming down Okapilco Creek into GAR031102030902 Withlacoochee River: Okapilco Creek to Stateline? No Commissioner thought to ask that. How will this contractor work with WWALS? Perhaps an indication came when I spoke with the County Engineer Mike Fletcher Monday morning: “I don’t know what WWALS is doing,” he said.

Did Lowndes County consult with any of the various organizations that are doing stream monitoring already, such as the cities of Valdosta or Quitman, Madison Health, FDEP, SRWMD, or SGRC? If so, they didn’t mention it in last night’s meeting.

It is not even clear that this was a public meeting. At 2:38 PM, less than three hours before Continue reading

Bevel Creek, not Beaty Creek, on Williams Road off Loch Laurel, Lowndes County, Georgia

Mystery finally solved of where is the road over what creek does Lowndes County Georgia want to replace a bridge?

Loch Laurel Road to Williams Road --Google Maps Item 6.b. Replacement of Beatty Creek Bridge on Williams Road, for yesterday morning’s Lowndes County Commission Work Session: where is this for the $634,800 low bid from Southern Concrete Construction of Albany, GA? There are two Williams Roads in Lowndes County and no Beaty Creek. In the north end of the county Cat Creek has a tributary Beatty Mill Creek, with a Williams Road running near it between Upper New Bethel Road and Beatty Mill Creek Road. But according to all the maps I can find, Williams Road does not cross Beatty Mill Creek.

So what exactly is it that the county wants to pay the low bidder $634,800 for? In the 8:30 AM Tuesday 25 April 2016 Work Session, Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker asked, “Where exactly is this?” Continue reading

Another sinkhole near where Sabal Trail proposes to gouge its pipeline

What if a sinkhole develops years later under the proposed pipeline in south Georgia or north Florida, and Sabal Trail declares force majeure and doesn’t pay, like FGT did in Louisiana in 2013?

Numerous news stories are linked in the LAKE blog post, but let’s pick just one.

Winnie Wright, WCTV, 5 August 2015, 150-Foot Sinkhole Opens in Lowndes County Residential Area, Continue reading