WHO HAS TAKEN OVER THE WOOD FLOORING PLANT?  ARE THE TAXPAYERS OFF THE HOOK FOR NOW?

July 10, 2018

On March 21, 2018, TWG asked, “Has the taxpayer backed wood flooring plant closed?” 

https://taxdogs.wordpress.com/2018/03/21/has-the-taxpayer-backed-wood-flooring-plant-closed/

On March 24, 2018, TWG reported that DAJC’s Executive Director, David Dyer, responded that the DAJC “will not honor the open records request for documents concerning the wood flooring plant…due to pending litigation.”  TWG questioned if the taxpayers were on the hook for the bond payments.

https://taxdogs.wordpress.com/2018/03/25/the-wood-flooring-plant-was-a-scam-perpetrated-on-the-taxpayers-of-jasper-county/

June 4, 2018, we followed up and asked DAJC, “Can you tell [us] who now is leasing the wood flooring plant?”  The response came back–T&F Lumber Company.  Now remember, the previous plant was run by Bert Thompson of Thompson & Thwaite, LLC.

TWG wondered if the “T” in T&F Lumber was Bert Thompson, but we were assured by Mr. Dyer, it was not.

Mr. Dyer explained that T&F Lumber Company was currently renovating the older “green building”, turning the kiln into warehouse/storage facility, and installing additional equipment and machinery in both the new and old building.

Since that time there has been no public announcement about T&F Lumber Company, LLC taking over the bond payments or the business.

Here is what we have been able to find out.

T&F Lumber Company, LLC is a Georgia Domestic Limited-Liability Company which was formed March 14, 2018 according to the Secretary of State.   They supposedly became responsible for the lease payments/bond payments and took over the wood flooring plant on April 1, 2018

Doing a little research, we found T&F Lumber Company, LLC has one (1) principal on record. The principal is Lawrence Nathaniel Thompson from Milledgeville GA.  The Registered Agent on file for this company is Lawrence Nathaniel Thompson, and the company is located at 366 Pancras Road SW, Milledgeville, GA 31061. The company’s principal address is PO Box 1233, Milledgeville, GA 31059.

There has not been much activity seen at the wood flooring plant, but of course, we hope that it is up and running so the taxpayers of Jasper County do not become liable for the 15 years of bond debt.

 

TWG

Citizens, be informed and stay informed!  Only by being informed, can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County.  That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.

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Posted in County, Economic Development, Open Government | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

K9 KENNELS SHUT DOWN BY DEP’T OF AGRICULTURE AND CITED IN MAGISTRATE COURT

July 7, 2018

In Magistrate Court yesterday, the DOA said that David Williams of K9 Kennels is still required to have a kennel license.  He disputed that, telling the Magistrate Judge, “Shane says I don’t have to have one.  Shane says he will give me a Special Use Permit.”

On 5/31/18, the DOA issued a “Stop Use” order to David Williams d/b/a Peach State K9. 


On January 26, 2018, Williams was cited for not having a business license.  On May 7, 2018 Williams still did not have a license.  In his attempts to always help the code offender, Sealy allowed Williams another 18 days to get the license (as if 4 months without a license was not time enough.)  Williams still failed to obtain the license.

On May 31, 2018 the State issued the inspection report and a stop use order due to solid waste and drainage issues as well as the lack of a county license.  (See July 4, 2018 blog post)

DOA came back on June 7, 2018 and documentation shows extremely little had been done to clean up the property.  Issues included feces, urine, junk and trash, mosquito larvae, flies, wet straw, and general trash throughout the property.  Williams has denied on Facebook posts that there was or is anything wrong on the property.

In Magistrate Court David Williams d/b/a Peach State K9 was fined $300 for not obtaining a business license.  He was given until August 3 to clean up the propertyThere was also a charge of “failure to provide humane care” from Animal Control on the docket, and he was fined $150.

During the Magistrate hearing on 7/6/18, the DOA revoked his State license because Williams had no county license and was not in compliance with county codes.  DOA told Williams that he was required have a kennel license, even if he was “only training dogs” and not boarding dogs (which he has denied despite advertising it on his sign and the internet).  Williams disputed that, telling the Magistrate Judge, “Shane says I don’t have to have one.  Shane says he will give me a Special Use Permit.”

If this is true, than Shane Sealy needs to look at the Jasper County Code of Ordinances and the Land Use Tables.  David Williams lives on Ø.63 acres of residential zoned property.  Jasper code says that kennels are allowed on AG land and commercial zoned C2 land, and those are the only designations for a “special use” permit for kennels, which require a public hearing.  There should be no kennel of any type at this location.

It will be interesting to see if Sealy will allow this business to continue in an area it is not allowed and bypass the State Agriculture kennel rules.

 

TWG

Citizens, be informed and stay informed!  Only by being informed, can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County.  That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.

www.taxdogs.wordpress.com

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Posted in Animal Control, Code Enforcement, Open Government, Shane Sealy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

RUMORS HAVE IT—ARRESTS AT CITY HALL

July 6, 2018

Rumors were all over town today about the GBI arresting two people at City Hall.  These arrests were supposedly made about two weeks ago, and people are just now talking about it.  

  In Jasper County, things are kept as quiet as possible when someone important gets in trouble. 

Again, these are just rumors.  What have you heard?

 

TWG

Citizens, be informed and stay informed!  Only by being informed, can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County.  That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.

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Posted in City | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

STATE HAS TO SHUT DOWN KENNEL BECAUSE SHANE SEALY REFUSES TO DO HIS JOB

July 4, 2018

Back in May of this year, TWG sent out a blog about several violations being allowed by Shane Sealy, who is over Code Enforcement.  One was the Peach State K-9 Kennel on Hwy 212 W near Larry’s 4 Way.  Violations that we knew of included no permits, a large sign on the ROW, and no business license.  Additionally, per county code, a kennel is not allowed on residentially zoned property.

After our blog, Sealy promptly sent an article to the paper stating that he was keeping a watch on this business and denied any problems.  According to documents obtained from an open records request, the real problem was Sealy; he was keeping citations from being issued by the code enforcement officer and allowing the owner to operate without a license since he was first cited in January 2018.

On May 31, 2018, the State Department of Agriculture came in and shut the kennel down, basically for the filthy conditions the dogs were living in.

When the State inspector came, there were only four dry dog pens.  Along with the drainage issues, there was mud, feces, urine, flies, and solid waste violations.

How would you like to board your dog in a place like this?  (And there are many other pictures this bad.) 

Either Sealy does not know the laws or willfully ignores them.  Either the County BOC and the County Manager choose to look the other way or they are allowing Sealy to pick and choose who he will cite and fine.

 This case will be in Magistrate Court on Friday, July 6.  We will be interested to see how the Magistrate Judge handles this case and if Sealy sends a recommendation to reduce the fine or have the case dismissed.

TWG

Citizens, be informed and stay informed!  Only by being informed, can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County.  That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.

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Posted in Code Enforcement, County, Open Government, Planning & Zoning, Shane Sealy | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

BOC proud of cuts to FY19 budget….but it is $388,000 higher than last year and taxes are going up

June 28, 2018

Even though the FY19 budget increased by $388,653 over the FY18 budget, the commissioners were proud of themselves for all the “cuts” they made.  There will be  additional revenue of $350,480 over the previous year and the BOC will still have to take $261,646 out of fund balance to balance the $10,429,900 FY19 budget.

What the BOC cut was the huge wish list submitted by all the departments.  The budget still increased 4% over last year.  Taxes will increase overall by 4.27% for the County portion only.

The BOC advertised the budget in the paper the same day as the public hearings, so no one could know what was in the budget or anything else about it.  Remember, when no one shows up for the hearings, Carl Pennamon says this means the public doesn’t have a problem with the budget.  No, it means no one knows anything about it.  We all have come to realize it does not matter if we have any concerns or comments; the BOC does not react to public comments anyway. 

The BOC approved the FY19 budget tonight at a special called meeting.  It included a 3% pay raise for county employees, and a 54% increase in debt payments.

School taxes will also increase by 2.58% over their last year’s budget, according to the school board’s ad in the paper.

County budget as advertised:

 

TWG

Citizens, be informed and stay informed!  Only by being informed, can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County.  That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.

www.taxdogs.wordpress.com

Posted in Budgets, County, Property taxes | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

COUNTY ALLOWS DEVELOPER TO TEAR UP ROADS WITH NO CONSEQUENCES—EXCEPT TO THE TAXPAYERS

June 27, 2018

It is hard to deal with county officials and their employees that do not seem to understand the rules or enforce the existing rules/ordinances.  The developers tearing up county roads with heavy equipment are given more time to do more damage, while the citizens’ complaints are not dealt with appropriately.

Eagle Dr. Damage at Peninsula Entrance

Yesterday on Eagle Dr., more heavy equipment was brought in.  Heavy lowboys carrying the equipment traveled all the way down Eagle to Peregrine Ct. where they turned around, and then drove all the way back up to the new “Peninsula” entrance off Eagle and dropped off the equipment—tearing up the road in the process. 

This map shows the problem area.  The contractor said the reason he had to go down and turn around at Peregrine, was because the truck was too big to make the turn to go into the Peninsula property.  You would think this would mean the truck  was much too heavy to be on a poorly constructed county road like Eagle Dr.!

Eagle Dr. was blocked with the trucks and with heavy equipment yesterday.  Over half the road blocked, and anyone driving on Eagle Dr. had to drive on the shoulder to get around.

Problems that could be fixed, but….no one seems to do their job.  (Or doesn’t have time to their job because they are too busy micromanaging everyone else.)

  1. Over 3 months ago, there was great concern at the P&Z hearing about the Peninsula People that commented were concerned about the dangerous area on Jackson Lake Rd. where the main entrance would be built, and the damage that would be done to Eagle Dr.  They called for an inspection of Eagle, as required by County Ordinance Sec. 105-222. – Improvements to existing streets and rights-of-way for subdivisions…shall be resurfaced and widened….”  This work is required by county code to be done BY THE DEVELOPER, not the county/taxpayers.  So far, the P&Z director, Public Works director, and the County Manager seem to have been too busy to do any inspections, take pictures, or be concerned about the damages to our county roads.
  1.  Over 2 months ago, residents of Eagle Dr. contacted Public Works, and Director Preston Campbell said he would put up signs to prevent heavy construction equipment and trucks on Eagle Dr.  Those signs were still not up 6/26/18, and according to residents on Eagle Dr., the Public Works Director will not put them up until the County Manager approves it.  Why would the County Manager have to approve something like that?  Doesn’t the Public Works director have any authority to do his job?

  2. This week  no construction signs or warning signs were placed on Jackson Lake Rd. to warn people to slow down or be aware of equipment.  Despite putting up two barrels after complaints on Friday, as of 6/26/18 there were still no warning signs.  If this was a logger, there would signs up and down Jackson Lake Rd.  This developer seems to have special privileges. 
  3. Yesterday heavy equipment tearing up a county road got the attention of the County Manager after he was called by residents, but all he told the developer was to widen their entrance so the trucks could get in.  There seems to be NO county oversight on this project, and anything the developer wants to do—block the road, damage the road, and use the road—seems to be permissible. 
  4. Later this week there will be at least two (2) more bulldozers brought in by semi trucks with lowboy trailers.  We expect more road damage due to the weight of the loaded trucks.

 

This project should concern ALL county taxpayers, because it sure looks like we are going to be paying for repairing the road damageThe final plat of the subdivision should NOT be approved until Eagle Dr. is widened and repaved by the developer—as required.

 

TWG

Citizens, be informed and stay informed!  Only by being informed, can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County.  That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.

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Posted in Code Enforcement, County, Planning & Zoning, Roads | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

JACKSON LAKE ROAD—DANGEROUS AND GETTING MORE DANGEROUS WHILE COUNTY IGNORES PLEAS

June 23, 2018

Despite pleas from neighbors on Eagle Dr., both the County Manager, Mike Benton, and the P&Z Director, Shane Sealy, have ignored the dangerous situation reported on Jackson Lake Rd. at the entrance to the new subdivision (“The Peninsula”).  In addition, they have also ignored County Ordinance Sec. 105-222. – Improvements to existing streets and rights-of-way for subdivisions despite requests for a review of Eagle Dr. for more than 3 months.

The developers started moving in heavy equipment on June 4, and used Eagle Dr. to get to the staging area.  According to our county ordinance, “b)  Existing paved road. Any existing paved county road upon which a subdivision has frontage and/or access and which is deficient relative to county specifications (see Tables 105-221.1 and 105-221.2) shall be resurfaced and widened as determined by the county department of transportation for the entire frontage of the subdivision.”

Eagle Dr. is deficient and has been deficient, and the heavy trucks using it now to deliver rock, equipment, and other materials, will damage Eagle Dr. even furtherShane Sealy has ignored requests to have the road inspected as required by the ordinance since March 15, 2018.  He has said that he had to ask the county attorney for an opinion on whether #105-222 (b) applied.  What part of “shall” does Mr. Sealy not understand?  After three (3) months, Mr. Sealy has expressed in an email that he has just been “too busy” to come out and look at Eagle Dr.

It appears that Sealy is allowing the developers to move forward without the required road inspection.  The developers are supposed to be responsible for the resurfacing of Eagle Dr., and the damages, not the taxpayers.  The longer the inspection is delayed the more damage to Eagle Dr. and the less responsibility to the developers.  All five commissioners and the County Manager are aware of the issue, and none of them has done anything.

Even though the final plat has not been approved, work has begun on The Peninsula.  According to Shane Sealy, there was an amendment to the preliminary plat allowing this work to be done.  No one knows what this amendment is as there was no public hearing concerning it.

 Dring this week (6/20-6/22/18), the entrance road for The Peninsula was being cut.  The entrance is in a curve on Jackson Lake Rd. 

Coming from E going W

Coming from W going E

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bulldozers and other equipment have worked right up to Jackson Lake Rd., without warning signs or barrels to warn motorist. There is a big drop-off.  This has presented a dangerous situation. 

On 6/22/18 at approximately 10:00AM, Mike Benton was called about the unsafe conditions on Jackson Lake Rd. in the construction area.  He said if there were unsafe conditions, he would get it taken care of right away.  At 3:00PM, there were still no barrels, and Comm. Jernigan was contacted.  Comm. Jernigan  said that he went and inspected the work site and felt that it was not safe.  He then called Mike Benton again, and asked him to have 2 orange barrels brought out.  Later that evening the barrels finally arrived.

This entire project is under the supervision of Shane Sealy as P&Z Director.  His job is to protect the citizens of the county and make sure things are done according to code; his job is not to help out the developers at taxpayers’ expense.  Ignoring the ordinance to inspect and document the condition of Eagle Dr., allowing work with an amendment to the plat that no one knows about, and ignoring dangerous road conditions caused by the construction work, are not good signs.  Not knowing the code and having to ask the county attorney to “look into” every little thing is becoming costly for the taxpayers.  Mr. Sealy has said that, “The next hearing will be for approval of the Final Plat. It cannot be approved until construction is complete.”  It is hard to comprehend letting the work go forward, then having a public hearing to approve the plat AFTER the work is done.

It seems the people on Eagle Dr. should not worry about their road being damaged and used by heavy trucks and equipment because Comm. Jernigan told one of the neighbors concerned about it, “You know, eventually all roads in the county are going to be resurfaced.”  We are all wondering in whose lifetime will that occur?

These issues have consequences for every county taxpayer.  We will end up paying for the damage to the road and the resurfacing, while the developers get rich.

 

TWG

Citizens, be informed and stay informed!  Only by being informed, can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County.  That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.

www.taxdogs.wordpress.com

www.facebook.com/taxdogs

 

 

Posted in County, Planning & Zoning, Roads, Shane Sealy | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments