County puts hold on stormwater decision

Citing a need for more information, the Fayette County Commission has postponed a decision to create a new stormwater utility and subsequent fee on residents of unincorporated Fayette County.

At its Wednesday workshop, several commissioners asked for specific data about the proposal, which would cost about $50 a year for the average size home.

The fee would be based on the total size of impervious surface for a given lot, but unlike taxes it would be assessed on churches and schools in addition to businesses and homeowners, officials said.

County stormwater officials argue the utility is needed to pay for millions in necessary pipe repair and replacement, a review of all stormwater pipes and also a three-person maintenance crew.

County staff will be preparing a comparison of the county’s proposed fees to what other similar counties are doing, as well as Peachtree City and Fayetteville. Commissioner Lee Hearn wanted a breakdown of how the fee would affect certain businesses and homes with a certain square footage, including the driveway and patio areas.

Hearn said he also wanted to know what the effect would be on the small, medium and large churches in the county. Commissioner Steve Brown said he didn’t want the stormwater fee to apply to churches “if we can help it,” as many are suffering financially.

Commissioner Allen McCarty argued vehemently that the county should use its transportation SPLOST funds to fix the pipes since they run under the roadway. But county staff explained that wasn’t possible because the stormwater pipes needing replacement don’t match up with road projects specified for SPLOST funded construction.

McCarty then suggested that the county ignore the state mandates that require much of the stormwater work involved with the proposed utility.

County Attorney Scott Bennett noted that if the county took that route, it would stand to lose funding for state and federal projects. McCarty countered that the county isn’t getting much of that money now as it stands anyway.

The county has an estimated 6.7 miles of stormwater pipe running underneath roads in what is deemed as the “worst” condition which need either repair or replacement.

A project to replace one such pipe, which runs under Merrydale Drive, is projected to cost upwards of $100,000.

One of the benefits of adopting a stormwater utility fee is that it won’t leave Peachtree City and Fayetteville residents on the hook, County Manager Jack Krakeel explained. Both municipalities have their own stormwater utility system in operation, so if the county continues to fund the stormwater operations from its general fund, the argument can be made that Peachtree City and Fayetteville residents are paying for work that they are already being charged for, Krakeel said.

Brown said he thought the commission could’ve handled the stormwater costs without asking property owners for more money. He cited the commission’s recent 3-2 vote against redirecting transportation sales tax funds toward other county projects and/or property tax relief.

moelarrycurly
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Hey Jack Krakeel....new job opening

in Clayton county----wanna go play with Eldrin Bell for a change? Hint, hint

http://www.ajc.com/news/clayton/clayton-creates-county-manager-1013204.html

suggarfoot
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I despise Frady, Hearn, and Horgan!!!

ALL THAT SPLOST MONEY ...COULD...HAVE BEEN USED ON THIS...!!!

There is no excuse for this! At All..

And then they have the NERVE when McCarty said the funds from SPLOST should be used for this to tell him/us it can't! YES IT COULD HAVE..IF THEY HAD VOTED FOR IT!!

"But county staff explained that wasn’t possible because the stormwater pipes needing replacement don’t match up with road projects specified for SPLOST funded construction."

What idiots Frady, Hearn and Horgan are!

But family land trust are so important to Bible thumpers you know!

ginga1414
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suggar and BHH, I SO AGREE!

"CLEAN THE SHELVES IN 2012!"

BHH
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Fire Jack Krakeel and the county attorney.

If PTC and Fayetteville want to abolish their fees for their storm pipe problems then that's up to them.

If they don't live in Fayette county then they don't have to pay for repairs in Fayette county.

"One of the benefits of adopting a stormwater utility fee is that it won’t leave Peachtree City and Fayetteville residents on the hook, County Manager Jack Krakeel explained. Both municipalities have their own stormwater utility system in operation, so if the county continues to fund the stormwater operations from its general fund, the argument can be made that Peachtree City and Fayetteville residents are paying for work that they are already being charged for, Krakeel said."

If this stupid logic were applied to everything then Fayette county would be a city.

Their stormwater fees are only being used for their city problems.

It was stupidity that allowed their collection of those fees in the first place.

This whole "stormwater" issue stinks to high heaven and whoever is responsible for it needs to be reprimanded and punished quickly and severely.

suggarfoot
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BHH

I totaly agree. The next election, clean the 3 holdovers out and the rest goes with them.

But the damage they are doing in the mean time will cost those that can least afford it. All for the betterment of a few.

And people don't think this just got thought up....look where Rivers Elementary is. It has 40 kids in it. And don't forget they OKed community septic tanks (50 houses or more on one septic tank!) right there next to Rivers. That whole area is suppose to have them. The county has already said, if they fail, it will take over fixing them! They had the same thing in Tyrone, a community with one big septic tank...and boy has it failed many times and when it does,you could smell it for miles! Ask anyone in Tyrone. The community septics have been outlawed in Cowetta for years. That is another deal the taxpayers have been set up for!

The people of this county have been served up with an apple in their mouths. It is perfectly DISGUSTING!!!!

PTC Observer
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BHH - You

You can thank the Clean Water Act, brought to you and your wallet by the Federal Government.

bladderq
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1972 CWA & Nixon

You mean this act signed by a Republican president? Of course we know now that there is no place in the present day Repug party for the likes of him or Jerry Ford or probably an Ike. I am waiting to gag when Paleon or Bankmann issue their statements on the passing of Betty Ford.

ginga1414
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County Officials Can't Maintain What We Have

Yet they are building more roads. The West Bypass will require many storm culverts because the road will cross many large creeks and streams. One creek on my property has a span of 30 to 35 feet from bank to bank. We also have another creek and an underground spring on our property that will require a huge stormwater culvert.

There is one earthen dam in very close proximity to the Bypass. There is an even larger earthen dam that will be about 3/4 mile from the bypass. What would happen if one or both of those two dams were to break? It would be a tragedy because it is very likely that prospective new homes in addition to the bypass would receive a direct hit from all that water.

One property on Tillman Rd. has 5 streams and an underground spring that converge on that one piece of property. That problem will have to be addressed.

There is another deep and wide creek on Janice Drive. The last information I had about that site, the county engineers had not decided whether they would have to build a very expensive bridge or if they could get away with another huge storm culvert.

All together the West Bypass will have to cross various creeks in eight different places. Some of those places are where two to five streams converge. Some of those creeks provide drinking water.

It really doesn't make good sense to build another road that will require the amount of stormwater culverts and bridges as the West Bypass when we can't maintain the culverts and roadways we already have.

However, it seems that our county officials don't have to deal with the practicality of any issues. They just add another fee here and another tax there and their problems are solved.

Our State legislature passed HB-240 because most counties are having financial problems due to the economy. Other counties are utilizing this new law, but Fayette County officials refused with another 3 to 2 vote.

suggarfoot
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YES THEY CAN...BY RAISING OUR TAXES!!!!

and that is what they intend to do. We build the roads, we pay for the new schools, we condemm homes that are peoples lives...all for the sake of family land trust and developers.

Let the family land trust, developers, and 3 county commisoners foot the bill for it! Why should we pay for all this?

We are being FORCED to ...I feel like I'm watching Robin Hood in reverse! ( or on crack!)

PTC Observer
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ginga1414

Sadly, you have lost, it is time to give it up.

We'll vote them out, but too late.

ginga1414
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PTC, I Can't "Give It Up"

I "have lost" my land! My family's life will never be the same! Every single family unit along the West Bypass has had their lifelong hopes and dreams destroyed!

Those are just a few of the reasons I can't "give it up!"

As long as there are people running this county who conduct my business and your business in a closed (non-transparent) manner, I can't "give it up!"

As long as there is a continual 3 to 2 vote on vital issues, you, I, and every other Fayette citizen should scrutinize every candidate we vote for in minute detail!

When I find that I have been lied to repeatedly by people I helped put in office, I can't, won't, and shouldn't "give it up!"

If we all just "give it up," we will all be served up on some politician's silver platter!

So, PTC, as long as I am standing and breathing, and as long as there are folks like Smith, Maxwell, Frady, Horgan, and Hearn conducting the people's business, I won't be giving it up! I refuse to be a victim!

MYTMITE
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Ginga, did you ever find a way to get a copy of your petition

on line where people could download it? Might get a few additional signatures for you. I, like PTCO, am completely against the use of eminent domain as it has come to be used. It was not meant to be used to build shopping centers, and subdivisions to enrich builders and developers and increase the tax base. It is disgraceful to take homesites that has been in a family for years (sometimes generations) and that the family wants to pass on to future generations. We as a nation are becoming much too passive with the things we allow those in office to foist upon us. Until we get angry enough to do something about it at all levels of government it will just continue to erode away all our rights.

ginga1414
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MYTMITE, Petition

I am still working on including the petition within a website. It seems that nothing comes easy. There is always something or someone tossing a monkey wrench into whatever needs to be done quickly.

PTC Observer
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Ginga1414 - Give it up?

You need to understand that trying to couple things like storm water runoff to saving your land is a lost cause.

You need to focus on the next election, where if you are successful the three amigos will be thrown out of office.

Focus on this and perhaps we can stop the construction. The election is not that far off. I was part of the stopping of the construction of Freedom Parkway years ago, the people who lost their homes, lost them that's for sure. However, at least the land was used for public parks and other homes were completely saved. It took a concerted effort of citizens and some elections to change the whole direction of the Parkway.

Unlike many on this board, I am with you Ginga, because I actually believe in individual property rights. The state should have no right to take someone's property against their will for roads or for "developments". The Constitution gives the government the right to eminent domain for one and only one reason, the protection and defense of our country, nothing else. The courts and the legislators have corrupted the meaning of the Constitution in this regard.

ginga1414
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PTC, How Stormwater Utility Relates To WFB

Our county officials are using the same methodology in obtaining approval for the Stormwater Utility as they used to get approval for the West Fayetteville Bypass.

As an example: There was an article written about the City of Griffin stormwater utility in the June 2011 issue of Stormwater Magazine. In the article, Brant Keller from the City of Griffin stormwater utility was quoted as saying, "We did more than 120 presentations before we even brought the utility before the board of commissioners for approval." Mr. Keller goes on to say that he polled the top 100 customers in the utilities arena and he visited the top 50 executives to explain to them the stormwater utility one-on-one, face-to-face.

To date, Fayette County has done less than 10 presentations and not a single presentation has been to a group of citizens via a true public meeting that was open to all. All 10 presentations have been given to a select group of citizens that were hand picked by the county staff.

If the utility idea is so good, the county staff should take the same facts and information that were presented to the Committee and present them to the county citizenry in a series of public meetings.

Fayette County may not achieve 120 presentations as Griffin did, but reasonable people would surely agree that the county needs more public engagement and customer notification than has been done.

Maybe the City of Griffin didn't really know what they were doing when they set-up their stormwater utility.

Maybe Fayette County officials have a better approach which is to keep all the citizens and customers as uninformed as possible and just say "trust us" which is similar to how the construction of the WFB happened.

We have already started a movement to vote out the 3 amigos in 2012. We plan to have a different group of commissioners with an eye for transparency next time around. You will soon be seeing our magnetic signs on cars throughout the county.

PTC, it is very gratifying to know that someone else is familiar with and understands the premise behind the Constitution's stance on eminent domain.

PTC Observer
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Ginga1414 - Government

Government run amuck, pure and simple.

The county has no choice, it is the Georgia EPA and the Federal EPA enforcing provisions of the Clean Water Act.

Gym may think that his property has no impact on the water, but he needs to convince our EPA friends, they have Congress on their side.

BHH
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It's nothing more than a Federal property tax scam.

Once in place, the Feds can mandate anything they choose with these funds and it will NEVER go away.

There has never been a Federal property tax but this is like the income tax and SSI an FICA.

Wait and see how long before it is used to fund other things.

Also there is no limit to the number of other utilities the government can create to collect taxes through.

I'm dead set against it.

AtHomeGym
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Stormwater Management

Anybody read the Clean Water Act? You can, you know. It deals mostly with pollutants getting into water sources. Know what? I can just about guarantee that NO pollutants from my property will get into a water source as a result of stormwater runoff--just ain't possible! I still don't see the justification and still have questions about why our Public Works Dept hasn't maintained under-road culverts that handle stormwater runoff.

AtHomeGym
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Stormwater Management

Anybody read the Clean Water Act? You can, you know. It deals mostly with pollutants getting into water sources. Know what? I can just about guarantee that NO pollutants from my property will get into a water source as a result of stormwater runoff--just ain't possible! I still don't see the justification and still have questions about why our Public Works Dept hasn't maintained under-road culverts that handle stormwater runoff.

suggarfoot
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the way they do ?bussiness? in Fayette county

." Mr. Keller goes on to say that he polled the top 100 customers in the utilities arena and he visited the top 50 executives to explain to them the stormwater utility one-on-one, face-to-face."

I have to agree, the above is how honest politicans, developers, or anyone who takes pride in their reputation does things.

People here think this hiding it from the public and then shoving down their throats is normal...but I can assure you it is not.

I moved here from Dekalb county. Granted Dekalb is a place to move FROM. But, I will say, the developers were much more honest and above board.

I lived in an older subdivision, but the land was very expensive. A developer wanted to tear down an old house with an extremly large yard and put in very exspensive homes on smaller lots. To be a good neighbor, he sent invitations to all us 'neighbors' to come of one of many meetings he had on the land. He is very honest and above board. He asked for people's input, and if what he was doing was offensive, he changed it.

When I moved to Tyrone,in Fayette county, I wasn't prepared for how they do bussiness down here. I thought the developers would be honest and upfront.

I can't tell you how wrong I was. I've never seen anything like the underhanded double dealing I came face to face with here. Part of this also was I came from a family that when they gave their word, it meant something. Also, the little town I'm from in Mississippi, your word was your honor. People back home would have NEVER stood for this kind of thing. They would have pulled the accountable people out in the street and tarred and feathered them! Then run the out of town!

In my eyes, you have some of the most corrupt, underhanded goings on here that I've ever seen. And the citizen just go right along...and are pigs to the slaughter.

I will say, in Tyrone, we started a grass roots effort and rooted out the double dealing. We took control back. That is what the citizens of Fayette county need to do .

This IS NOT NORMAL!

And to add insult to injury, they are reaching in your pockets in the form of taxes and SPLOST, to fun their friends and family adventures!

PTC Observer
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Deleted - PTCO

Kinda duplicated

carbonunit52
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PTC O,
Quote:

Sadly, you have lost, it is time to give it up.

I am surprised at that statement coming from you, really. It ain't over 'till it's over. It appears to the carbonunit that there is an over abundence of maleficience with this WFB project, certainly there ought to be enough to delay progress long enough for the county government to be cleaned up. Time is indeed running out to save this part of Creation from the results of the distilled ignorance of certain politicians.

moelarrycurly
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Lee Hearn concerned

with the churches? Puhleese....

More so with the homes, driveways and patios. You know, the ones he's going to have built on the big land parcels his family owns when his WFB is built?

Between this fee and the fees that PTC sewer users will be hit with when they start filming in the sewer lines of WASA, we all gonna be swimming in financial muck.

My question to Jack Krakeel, just what "stormwater operations" are being done right now that he claims to be coming from the general fund?

Seems if those operations were ongoing, we wouldn't need "millions in necessary pipe repair, a review of all stormwater pipes and also a three person maintenance crew".

And will the county take the 3 man crew and use them for other public works issues just as PTC has done?

bad_ptc
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First the County needs to tell me

where they tinkled away the money in the general fund that was supposed to be used for maintaining the storm pipe system.

This creating a new authority and collecting new taxes for something that we were already taxed for needs to stop.

When are the people going to demand a line item accounting of the general funds/slush funds the county and cities have?

Mike King
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bad_ptc

Your point is well taken. All levels of government have learned that in order to increase their size and scope they need but to create a crisis of sorts. Problem is, more taxes will only result in perhaps half to contract out the required work and the other half to hire government workers to monitor the contracts. Funny, though that when the work is completed the government workers never go away.

Remember those 23 maintenance types in PTC that that were fired only to have the work contracted? Care to guess the overall costs of PTC government since?

suggarfoot
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Bad PTC

where did the money go? Can you say ByPass?

Spyglass
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East or West..

You know it does matter. SB is for one of them, not for the other.

bad_ptc
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suggarfoot, I hear what your saying

but it damn well better not have.

It's my understanding that the SPLOST monies couldn't be 'mixed' with other funds. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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