Stormwater fee scaled back but still on

County officials have significantly scaled back a proposal to increase the scope of Fayette County’s stormwater management program through a new fee assessed to property owners in the unincorporated area.

The latest proposal, which would cost $25.20 a year for the average 6,400 square feet of impervious surface of the typical residential lot, will be considered Thursday night

by the Fayette County Board of Commissioners. The previous recommendation called for a fee rate that would have the same 6,400 square-foot homesite facing a $48.96 annual fee.

Furthermore, staff’s proposal includes no new employees as was proposed by a previous plan from the county’s stormwater management staff.

The commission will consider adopting the new stormwater fee, and thus creating a new stormwater utility, at its 7 p.m. meeting Thursday night at the county’s Stonewall government complex in downtown Fayetteville.

Similar to how Peachtree City and Tyrone fund their stormwater utilities, Fayette County would apply its rate based on the total amount of square footage of impervious surface on each lot. Fayette County’s proposed rate would be 35 cents per month for each 1,000 square feet of impervious surface.

Peachtree City’s annual fee, based on each 4,600 square feet of impervious surface, is $47.40. Fayetteville’s fee is $35.40 for every 3,800 square feet of impervious surface.

Last month, the commission directed staff to scale back the fees, in particular because of the effect they would have on schools and churches, who would have to pay larger fees directly attributable to the size of their parking lots, for example.

To scale back the fees, county stormwater staff have also had to scale back the vision for the utility. That means eschewing additional staff in the form of a three-person maintenance crew, which has been deleted from the three-year budget.

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.

Commissioner Allen McCarty has said on several occasions that he prefers not implementing a stormwater fee at all, but instead spending money on stormwater improvements — particularly for pipes underneath roads — from the county’s 2004 transportation sales tax revenues.

County staff in July said that was not feasible because the SPLOST project list did not match up with the pipes that need replacing as identified by the stormwater department.

The county currently funds stormwater operations out of the general fund, but that has not provided enough funds to adequately address capital needs, county staff have told the commission.

BHH
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Don't say you weren't warned.

When this tax comes back to bite you all in the butt.

BHH
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This will be an unrestricted and unending tax.

It will be regretted in the future by all tax payers if allowed to be created as a "utility".

BHH
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Get "utility" out of this plan.

It's the wrong thing to do.

BHH
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Okay "County staff", it's not about

how much is collected.

It's about HOW it's collected.

Get off the "utility" band wagon.

BHH
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Why is this issue is being buried?

Is no one else interested?

Is there no one else out there who does not live in PTC or Fayetteville that gives a damn?

BHH
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"County staff" needs to stop pushing this

down our throats.

This money should come out of the general funds so that the cities pay their share of county needs.

Just because the cities have separate funds for their storm water purposes doesn't mean that the county should separate theirs.

And if this is pushed through, are the cities going to pay their share to the county for the county repairs?

After all the cities are part of the county.

If the county has a separate utility for this then the cities are subject to object to paying their share of the county fees.

This is just another tax increase with an attempt to sidestep the usual process required for increases.

"County staff" needs to submit a proposal for these repairs to be made in due time and paid for out of the general funds.

What other options are available?

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