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6-15-07 Oconee County is moving into a huge commitment that will be around for grandchildren

Melvin Davis, who has never operated a business or made a payroll in his life, is leading the charge to commit Oconee County into a 50 Year contract for a controversial project costing at least $ 353 Million!

AVOC

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June 14, 2007

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Oconee County is moving into a huge commitment that will be around for grandchildren

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By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc

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As in the past with the Melvin Davis Administration, several “Oconee Balls” are in the air right now:Water Contract and debt with Walton County; Staggered Terms, Beer & Wine and a budget in which $Millions are thrown around like toys.Our local roads have moved down to fourth in priority for funding for the County.

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All of these subjects need attention, review and public discussion.However, we can expect the “rabbits to come out of hats” in sequence with little advance warning.

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The Walton County Reservoir Contract is a bad deal for Oconee County.Our county and children are being committed to Millions of Dollars with a 3-2 vote of the County Commission.Melvin Davis, who has never operated a business or made a payroll in his life, is leading the charge to commit Oconee County into a 50 Year contract for a controversial project costing at least $ 353 Million!

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Charlie Baugh of Citizens for Oconee’s Future, Inc. has written an insightful review of the contract.He highlights some of the worst features of this proposal.   Everyone should read the contract but if you can’t, you absolutely need to read Charlie Baugh’s comments below.


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

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

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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


Charlie Baugh - Water Contract with Walton 6.11.07

 

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

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June 11, 2007

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Walton County Reservoir Project Contract

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By Charles Baugh 706-310-1580  

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To Oconee Citizens 

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By now many of you have had time to read the contract that Walton county approved and which Oconee is expected to sign for the water project. For those who have not had the time, I want to give you a summary of some of the most objectionable parts of the contract. The contract will tie up a significant part of county tax base for 50 years and put us in a position of promoting development in order to sell water to keep from paying through property taxes. 

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1. Section 202, paragraph a.

"....and willlevy an annual ad valorem tax, unlimited as to amount,sufficient to make such payments"  This contract, despite what has been promised and what Daniel Haygood said in the public hearing when I raised the issueis not funded with revenue bonds.These are full faith and credit bonds and thecontract allows the Walton County Water and Sewer Authority to issue bonds in an unlimited amount.  There are no checks and balances.  The Walton County Water and Sewer Authority which is appointed by Walton County does the construction, selects the Operator (which is Walton County Water and Sewer Authority), owns and operates the project and bills the counties for the capital costs and the operating costs.  There is no way out of the contract, period.

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2. Section 208, paragraph b.

This sectionrequires the county to pay whether or not the project is completed and is not conditioned upon the performance or nonperformance by any part of this agreement or any other cause whatever.  Folks, it requires us to pay no matter what is done by the Authority and no matter how much is spent on the project.  We must pay even if the project never produces a drop of water and it permits the Walton County Water and Sewer Authority to spend until the project is complete with no limit on amount to be spent.  In fact no where in the contract is the maximum cost of the project stated.  It is open ended.

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3. Section 210

This section specifically requires general obligation bonds backed by full faith and credit of the county.

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3. Section 601

Gives the Authority unlimited power to issue more bonds with participants paying.

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4. Requires Oconee to pay a share of the costs already incurred by Walton county.  Not only does the contract effectively turn over a significant part of the Oconee County tax base to Walton to pay future unlimited costs, it requires us to turn over more tax base to pay part of whatever Walton has already spent.

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The entire project from start to finish is turned over to the Walton County Water and Sewer Authority, an unelected body over which Oconee has no control or appointment power.  There is an Advisory committee on which Oconee has 2 of 5 seats but the advisory committee has absolutely no authority beyond reviewing and advising.  There are no checks and balances between parties.

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Folks, please take time to focus on this, read the contract if you have time.  If you do not, at least pay attention to the points I have outlined and let the Commissioners know of your concerns.  Ask the Board for a public hearing on the contract before it is signed.  Many of you run businesses.  I do not believe there is one of you who would enter into a contract like this for your business.  I have e mailed the contract to several and I again offer to e mail it to you if you want it.  If you would like to discuss the contract call me.


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