by Michael Prochaska
Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chair John Daniell said last week that he will seek a third term as a Republican. Incumbent commissioners Mark Saxon and Mark Thomas also announced their respective re-election bids, and The Enterprise will report more on their campaigns next week.
“Oconee County has a historically low millage rate while expanding parks, improving roadway safety, and protecting our quality of life,” Daniell stated in a campaign announcement. “Oconee County’s financial position has also improved as evidence by Moody’s Aaa bond rating.”
For the last three years, the BOC has lowered the millage rate for approved rollbacks for the past two years.
“Only four counties in the state have lower millage rate than Oconee,” said Daniell.
In addition to candidates for local office, the May 21 Primary ballot will also contain referenda that if passed, will give senior citizens homestead tax relief. This is a measure that Daniell and the other incumbent commissioners have championed.
The passage of TSPLOST allowed Oconee County to increase paving and other local road projects. In addition to the traffic light at Union Church and Hog Mountain roads, which is in production now, three new roundabouts will soon begin construction, said Daniell.
One will be located at the intersection of Lane Creek and Snows Mill roads. Another will be at the junction of Rays Church, Malcom Bridge and Hog Mountain roads.
A third roundabout is planned at the Snows Mill, Malcom Bridge and Hog Mountain road intersection, which will get a deputy out of the roadway, said Daniell, adding that the existing roundabout in front of the Malcom Bridge schools accomplished the same thing.
Daniell said work is ongoing for the Experiment Station Road widening project and that citizens have been pleased with the Mars Hill Road widening, which was completed several years ago.
Another significant achievement for the county is the expansion of broadband through a partnership with Charter Communications, he noted. A total of 3,000 homes will go from spotty to reliable internet service if they opt in to Spectrum’s plan. The majority of those will be done by the first quarter of this year, said Daniell, explaining that while it hasn’t been as quick as many wanted, those who have been hooked up are pleased with the service.