Chairman Brown: Argument by Chase ‘is devoid of reasoning’

I can honestly say I was taken aback by Dennis Chase’s letter to the editor last week with a headline stating there was “no evidence” that any of the Core Infrastructure SPLOST projects were needed.

Mr. Chase, a wildlife biologist, has worked with me on several projects in the past. I think he will tell you that I have always been inclusive in terms of his participation on any project where he has an interest. In addition, Mr. Chase has been given full access to our staff and has come to various meetings with staff at our invitation.

Of course, with 181 stormwater projects in the Core Infrastructure SPLOST there is going to be some quibbling on some project or another, guaranteed, but to infer that none of the projects are warranted is such a gross exaggeration that it is devoid of reason.

We have already had to pay for stormwater repairs and replacements, unbudgeted, pulling the funds out of other line items. We know more are coming and there is no adequate funding source. This is no way to operate.

The day before one of our stormwater town hall meetings, the culvert on Morrison Road collapsed taking a section of road with it. Since there was only one way in and out of the subdivision, we had to have a crew working around the clock, doing the project half at a time so that cars and emergency vehicles could ride over fill dirt dangerously close to the crew in the hole. Again, this is no way to operate. The culvert should have been replaced long ago.

Mr. Chase’s chief complaint was he has no information on the dam projects. The county personally told the editors of both local newspapers and Mr. Chase that our subcontracted engineers could not get the project data and costs on the dams to us by July 8 when we promised the project workbooks.

We told the editors and Mr. Chase that we would send the information on the dams over once we received it. Mr. Chase knew this and I am disappointed that he chose to give a blatant misrepresentation of the promise we extended as though we had no intention of providing the data.

As promised, we now have the data on the dams from Walden, Ashworth and Associates, Inc. and have updated all the workbooks and online copies.

The state government requires that the dams be brought into compliance with the Georgia Safe Dams Act of 1978. This is a mandate from the state and it is the right thing to do to prevent possible loss of life and property.

We have two options per the state: upgrade the dams or breach the dams. Both options have considerable costs and we currently do not have the funding for either option. Doing nothing is not a choice available to us.

The current Board of Commissioners did not build the dams or the county roads adjacent to the dams. We are simply trying to resolve the problem.

I am incensed that Mr. Chase would accuse the county of willy-nilly creating a “toxic chemical flow” from two auto junk yards in the Roberts Road area into the local creek by our planned project there, stating no pollution control exists.

First of all, the water is flowing to the auto junk yards now, anyway (Mr. Chase knows this). Why would controlling the water be more harmful?

Second, in 2008, the Metropolitan North Georgia Water District required implementation of the “Illicit Discharge and Detection” program and our staff notified auto salvage companies in the county they were not in compliance with Georgia Industrial National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit requirements.

Auto salvage yards are one of ten categories required to have an Industrial National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System by the Federal and State government [specifically, 40 CFR 122.26(b)(14)]. This permit requires industrial facilities to develop and implement stormwater management practices to control pollutants in discharges of storm waters associated with industrial activity from the auto salvage yards.

So much to their credit, all auto salvage yard owners complied with these stormwater requirements at significant cost to their operations and submitted “Notice of Intents” within 2008 and updated them in 2012 as required by state law.

Do not take my word for it, please go to and see for yourself. On that site are all the auto salvage yards that are in compliance located in Fayette County, including those on Roberts Road.

Now the reason I am so riled about Mr. Chase’s inciting comments about “toxic chemicals” and no prevention is that I personally had our county staff give Mr. Chase a copy of that report in February of 2013.

Mr. Chase is a biologist and not an engineer. I appreciate the fact that Mr. Chase wants engineering on all the 181 projects. However, as I said before, we do not have a funding source for that expense, especially after the previous years of deficit spending.

Besides, it is not a financially sensible idea to do all the engineering for a large pile of stormwater projects on a voter referendum in the $20,000 and under range, principally because it would consume a great deal of time and cash we do not have. That is why we built the design costs into the Core Infrastructure SPLOST.

Your current Board of Commissioners did not cause the problems, but we are trying to resolve them.

If you want straight answers for any of your Core Infrastructure SPLOST questions or you would like to make a comment, please email We will release the questions and answers to the news media.

Steve Brown, Chairman
Fayette County Board of Commissioners
Fayetteville, Ga.

Evil Elvis
Evil Elvis's picture
Joined: 04/19/2008
Let's break this vicious cycle

Is there anyway we can indulge Steve's seemingly endless need to be a local big shot without actually subjecting ourselves to the crap he says? Like Honorary Guy Who Doesn't Get the Hint or something? Maybe a sash or a tiara?

Robert W. Morgan
Robert W. Morgan's picture
Joined: 10/26/2005
No Elvis, we can't. It is in his DNA.

But it could actually have been worse, believe it or not. If his carefully orchestrated bid for county commission chair had failed and someone normal like Oddo or even McCarty became chair, he would have been devastated. Then his attention-getting rants and personal attacks would have reached new heights - especially if the new chair ran the meetings in such a way as to muzzle his theatrics during the meetings. He would have to seek attention through letter writing and creating numerous straw men. He'd be doing things like that dope in Senoia who wants everybody to carry marijuana around in their pocket.

Thankfully he did become chair and has a pulpit and feels entitled to speak out on everything. Special thanks to new commissioners Barlow and Ognio for getting in lockstep with him and making him chair. Remember how they campaigned together and Brown endorsed them? All very clever.

But all this will come to an end with district voting. Brown can't win in his PTC district and I doubt he can talk his family into moving into the new northern district where he certainly could get elected. He can't win at the state level as he's already proven, so he''ll go after Westmoreland's seat. That will be entertaining.

Barlow might get sacrificed by the judge and his map and the NAACP's demand that no incumbents be allowed to run (Can you believe they actually have the nerve to demand that?). Or he could just plain lose to someone better who might be black. Let's hope it is someone who doesn't quote the bible. For diversity sake - how about a black or hispanic gay person in a committed relationship? You ok with that? Surely we can find one somewhere up there.

fernkids2's picture
Joined: 12/02/2006

Mr. Brown, I do not know you, but have noticed over the past several years, you seem to always come out swinging. Your initial response in the paper a couple of weeks ago to Mr. Chase was rude and unnecessary. Here you go again? you do not build community confidence with bullying and condescension. There is a problem with your need to always respond in attack mode! Again, in another article about our Water Treatment problems, and the comments by readers you do not come off as professional or trustworthy. You have dragged your feet on this issue way too long. I appreciate Mr. Chases time and effort to educate the county citizens as you are asking us to fund these projects. I also think it is a shame that we had to wait for the State report on the Treatment plant for you to admit there is a problem. I for one don't want the stormwater projects to come back and bite us down the road.

Husband and Fat...
Husband and Father of 2's picture
Joined: 07/23/2012
Keep swinging

How many times must you state or infer that the current commission is not the cause of the problem? We understand this. We also understand that you signed up knowing full well what you were getting into. Stop complaining already.

You are quoted as stating "We have already had to pay for stormwater repairs and replacements, unbudgeted, pulling the funds out of other line items. We know more are coming and there is no adequate funding source. This is no way to operate."

If you truly believe your own statement, then please explain why your self proclaimed balanced budget does not include adequate funding?

Mr. Chase questioned why the county was prepared to fix a dam on private property and questioned why the landowner had no responsibility and if other less expensive methods were considered. Please don't cloud the issue.

Mr. Chase simply questioned the plan regarding the work by the auto salvage yard. What is the plan and impact here?

You see Mr. Brown, you didn't answer either item Mr. Chase brought up. You simply attack the person asking the question.

How is this different from the earlier commissioner who told the woman she would need a bucket to cross the road to get to her well after the bypass crossed her yard.

When stuck in a corner come out swinging.

conditon55's picture
Joined: 03/12/2010

Stop complaining already....

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