Fayette eyes new stormwater fee at workshop today

Unincorporated areas face annual charge for runoff of rainwater

The Fayette County Commission may be adding a new bill for property owners in the unincorporated county.

The commission is expected to decide at its workshop meeting today (July 6) whether to create a new stormwater utility that will result in the average homeowner paying about $70 a year, most likely added to residents’ water bills. It will be called a fee, not a tax.

The fee would be assessed to all property owners, including businesses and churches, for example, according to county staff. The fee would be based on the total amount of impervious surface on a given property, including not just the buildings on a parcel but also any driveway and parking lot.

The commission’s workshop meeting begins at 3:30 p.m. at the county’s Stonewall administrative complex at the southwest corner of Ga. Highways 54 and 85 in downtown Fayetteville.

County stormwater staff contend the utility is necessary because some 7 percent of stormwater pipes are believed to be in poor condition, needing either maintenance or replacement. Another 26 percent of stormwater pipes are in an unknown condition and will need maintenance prior to their inspection, according to a memo from county staff.

Nearly all of the stormwater pipes run underneath roads, and if they fail the damage will affect the roadway, officials have said.

In addition to funding a number of improvement projects, the county will also bring on board three additional personnel to serve as a stormwater maintenance crew.

Currently, stormwater maintenance is funded through the county’s general fund at about $437,000 a year.

Part of the problem with funding stormwater operations out of the general fund is the argument that taxpayers in Fayetteville and Peachtree City would also be footing the bill for work that will be done exclusively in the unincorporated areas, said County Manager Jack Krakeel.

Both Fayetteville and Peachtree City have their own stormwater utility programs, and both assess fees to all property owners within their city limits. So in that respect, city residents could argue they were being “double taxed” for the same service.

The upside of a stormwater fee is that it can be assessed on entities that are immune to property taxes, such as churches and schools, which have significant impervious surface footprints, officials said.

So far, staff has compiled a list of $1.08 million in necessary stormwater projects, with four of them being the most critical at a cost of $630,000.

The highest priority project is Merrydale Drive, as the stormpipe under the road gets closer to the point of causing the roadbed to collapse. Other top-priority projects include Kirkley Road, Emerald Lake Drive and Morning Dove Drive.

The pipe on Merrydale Drive is in such poor shape that it must be checked after each rainfall event, Birrell said.

Lowering that figure to $60 a year will only bring in $1.22 million, and at $50 a year it would bring in $1.02 million, according to county calculations.

The commission will discuss the matter at its Wednesday afternoon workshop meeting, but even if the consensus is to plow ahead, a formal vote will occur at a later date when the utility is codified with a new county ordinance, officials have said.

BHH
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Please update this article.

What went down at the meeting?

pomsmom
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70dollars added to my water bill

Why did we need all of the walk/don't walk signs out in the middle of nowhere? When they put these at New hope road and 92 highway I thought it was a complete waste of taxpayer money. we might have one pedestrian a year crossing there. The money could have been used for this tax instead. The sidewalks to no where were a waste of money. The extra large signs that told us how they were improving our roads was a complete waste of money. I don't need a 10,000.00 sign to tell me that my tax dollars are being spent. This is a joke. We need to see some waste cut before any tax goes up. Why do we need to know if shrimp can walk on treadmill? Why do we need to know what squirrels do all day? They lay up food for winter,unlike humans. We can't lay up food for the winter because we have to pay more,more and more tax for the government's waste.

roundabout
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Oh, Pomsmom!

Let the federal government pay for signs that will probably be needed someday. If we don't we will locally have to pay for them when needed. Anyway it is the law---no roads if no signs.

They are going to grow 2-3 pound shrimp at $1.50 a piece. They will be muscular also. And will eat Carp and Cat Fish. And oil residue.

They are trying to get squirrels to stop eating all of the bird food. Must know their habits to do that! Humans get studied sometimes to see what and how much they do.

You don't need to sacrifice savings any more so you can retire, we are going to take care of all old people (in one way or another). I don't plan to get too old.

Not sure what it is that you want other than to pay no tax and leave the squirrels alone!

Spyglass
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I thought that was stimulus monies..

That had to be spent on roads, etc.

roundabout
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Getting directly charged for it raining!!

Never in the history of taxation (fees!) has the USA ever experienced a tax by those who are friends of erosion on how much rain usually falls, not what falls in a drought, but what usually falls, or is it whatever they need to stop erosion---obviously a this is a general tax requirement to be done by those responsible for it's prevention!

Now I will say that it is a spite tax due to the USA government trying to stop our huge erosion and filth problems since states or counties won't do it---they will all be dead before whole cities disappear due to erosion.

Many have disappeared in the past (Ephesus, Turkey for instance) when we were more ignorant than now about planet changes.

Yes, there is waste of money involved whenever the feds have to will something done, but were it not for them locals would simply rot down, do without roads and transportation, run out of drinking water, and still have slaves.

BHH
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No No No, this is wrong.

A "storm water utility" is not right.

A fee for road work is not right.

An increase in funds to inspect these pipes is not right.

Charging a fee to schools is not right.

Charging a fee to churches is not right.

Mimicking the cities fees is not right.

"County stormwater staff contend the utility is necessary because some 7 percent of stormwater pipes are believed to be in poor condition, needing either maintenance or replacement. Another 26 percent of stormwater pipes are in an unknown condition and will need maintenance prior to their inspection, according to a memo from county staff."

This is just stupidity because;

"Nearly all of the stormwater pipes run underneath roads, and if they fail the damage will affect the roadway, officials have said."

Road taxes rule.

"Maintenance prior to their inspection"?

What kind of foolishness is this?

"Currently, stormwater maintenance is funded through the county’s general fund at about $437,000 a year."

So fund it from the road taxes and save the general fund this much money.

"In addition to funding a number of improvement projects, the county will also bring on board three additional personnel to serve as a stormwater maintenance crew."

Road maintenance crews already exist.

USE THEM.

citizenal
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The Game is On

Like ARC the Stormwater Utility is just another way to tax the citizens without giving them any say in the process. Roads and control of run off were both paid for out of regular tax revenue until this new game started. But Politicians always put off whatever they could so they could fund their pet projects (or just pets) but it always caught up to them until...

Politicians are learning faster than citizens. It is time to play - the game is on and we are losing if we don't start to THROUGH THE BUMS OUT!

BHH
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I totally disagree with this plan.

It's need is overblown.

It's true purpose is not revealed.

There is no plan for it's end after the projects have been completed.

The whole idea is to create local funding for future federal mandates of the out of control EPA.

A fee is just a buzz word for tax increase.

If pipes under roads need improvement they should be funded by road taxes already in place or voted on for funding by a new tax.

The bridge over Flint river at McIntosh was named for funding by the SPLOST.

Why not pipes under roads too?

thinkingisgood
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Another tax or Another fee.

Why wasn't storm water improvement and repair in the last splosh that the county passed if it is such a pressing matter. The citizens of the county pay property tax and splosh taxes why should we pay another tax(fee) on top of what we now pay in taxes. The next question how can you add a fee to the water bill when the water system is a authority that has absolutely nothing to do with roads and storm water. It is not the responsibility of the home owners to pay for road improvements that helps all the citizens that use the roads. This to me is and example of tax the county citizens and give everyone else a break.