Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Will Augusta Weather the Storm?

AUGUSTA, GA (Anibal Ibarra) - UPDATE 12/2: Stormwater fee was approved by the Richmond County Commission. It was a victory for Abie L. Ladson Director of the Engineering Department who stated before that the Commission must resource other sources of funds to keep the current (over 100 years old in many of the 36.000 cases) and future utilities projects. The $76.80 annual stormwater fee to 98% of homeowners in the county was included in the 2015 budget after the November 18 session and details will be revealed in another time.

Ladson explained about the “needed fee” during the meeting organized by the Historic Harrisburg Community Council, and joined by Commission William Fennoy, District 1, both emphasized that without the stormwater fee the city won’t be able to keep up with maintenance of the utilities projects.

The Commission probably will introduce the fee in the budget for 2015 still in consideration of the local legislative body. The Interim Administrator, Tameka Allen, didn’t include in the proposed budget presented to the Commission November 18 in spite of the request of Ladson, Fennoy and other government officials.

The new Administrator Janice Jackson, among other heated issues, will be tested with the stormwater fee as soon as 2015 begins not only with her 10 bosses but also with those in Augusta crying loud against the fee. 

It is not clear why Allen decided to “boicot” the wishes of the Engineering Department in this particular item. 

She told the Commission at the November 18 session that she "sensed" the unwillingness of the legislative body to impose the fee to the taxpayers.   

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