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6-6-07 Oconee 'delegates' taxing authority with Walton Agreement

Citizens for Oconee's Future, Inc ….The Authority owns 71% and is totally independent of any control by the participants, especially Oconee since the Authority is appointed by Walton. . Athens Banner-Herald….. Oconee would pay $ 45.6 million and get 3.4 million gallons of water a day.

AVOC

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June 4, 2007

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Oconee delegates taxing authority with Walton Agreement

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By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc

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This “contract’ is very one-sided!   Walton will be in charge.   The Walton County BOC appoints the Water Authority who is the “Operator”.   Oconee Citizens have been kept in the dark on this boondoggle.

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The local media is letting Melvin Davis and Company obligate our county for huge amounts for 50 years.   This is ridiculous!

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You can read the contract by clicking on the following link:

Oconee-Walton.Intergovernmental.Contract.Reservoir.6.4.07.pdfx

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This contract binds Oconee County and the backing of the bonded indebtedness with the “County’s full faith and credit”.

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All of Melvin Davis’s assurances about customers paying the cost is just more “smoke and mirrors”.

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The figures do not make sense.We have been told Bear Creek Reservoir was only a “Band-aid”.   Yet we have 7 mgd capacity for less than $ 10 Million while the first phase at Walton (Hard Labor Creek) will provide 3.4 mgd at a cost of $ 45.6 Million.   Bear Creek came online in 2002 and now is not enough yet the 3.4 mgd will take care of us until 2030.   The numbers do not make sense!

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Oconee Citizens need to wake up!

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FOR BACKGROUND, CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINKS:

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6-4-07 Oconee to sign 50 year contract with Walton on $ 353 million reservoir project

3-7-07 Oconee to join Walton Reservoir on split Vote – 3 to 2

3-6-07Various thoughts and comments on the Oconee Water Decision

3-16-07 What the Oconee 3-2 (Melvin Davis) vote on Hard Labor Creek Means

1-6-07 Oconee Water needs and plans need public discussion and input –large impact on future

1-20-07 Oconee Commissioners seem determined to incur big and lasting debt for Fast Growth


Citizens for Oconee's Future, Inc
P. O. Box 1301
Watkinsville, GA 30677

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http://www.oconeesfuture.com/index.html

OconeesFuture@aol.com

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June 4, 2007

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Walton-Oconee Contract

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By Charlie Baugh

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I just read that contract.  It is the most one sided contract I have ever seen.  The operator and the Authority are one and the same.  The Authority owns 71% and is totally independent of any control by the participants, especially Oconee since the Authority is appointed by Walton. 

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The Advisory Board has no authority and if it did Oconee only has 2 of 5 appointments.  The county must pledge ad valorem taxes to pay the bonds.

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6-5-07 Walton Contract to be “considered” in Oconee and dealt with at Called Meeting

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The Athens Banner-Herald

http://onlineathens.com/stories/060507/news_20070605041.shtml

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June 5, 2007

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Hard Labor plan approved by Walton

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By Lee Shearer  

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Oconee and Walton counties soon may make it legal - signing a 50-year agreement to build a $ 353 million water reservoir together……..

Oconee would own rights to 28.8 percent of the water, Walton 71.2 percent. Each county would pay a proportional share of the project's costs, including land acquisition, construction, financing and land costs.

In the first phase of the project, according to engineering studies released earlier this year, Oconee would pay $ 45.6 million and get 3.4 million gallons of water a day. In a second phase, Oconee would pay an additional $ 59.3 million and get an additional 8.6 million gallons of water a day.

The second phase would not be needed before 2030, according to engineers' estimates…….

"I don't anticipate anything being done (Tuesday). We may have to have a called meeting," Davis said.

The proposed agreement got a strongly negative response from Charles Baugh, president of a group called Citizens for Oconee's Future.

Baugh said he objected to two features in particular - the advisory committee and a part of the agreement that calls on each government to levy taxes in the event that water revenues aren't enough to pay the county's monthly obligations for debt payment and operating expenses.

"Actually, once we sign on the dotted line, the way I see it, we have little or no control. You can't back out of it. All you can do is write checks," he said of the agreement.

And the possibility that Oconee County might have to levy taxes is a direct contradiction to what the public was told in earlier meetings, Baugh said.

"That flies in the face of what we were told, that (the project) would pay for itself and the county wouldn't have to back it up," he said. "That little agreement there is proof positive that what they've been telling us is nothing but lies."……………….


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