Environmentalist Chase says vote no against this SPLOST


For months, I have attempted to learn just what Fayette County intends to do on each of the 181 projects on their SPLOST list.

But no matter what I have said or written, the responses have invariably been about funding those projects.

No matter how much time I have spent reviewing files or how many of the sites I have visited, I could not obtain anything near an understandable plan. I do not believe any of our commissioners know either.

If you are willing to accept unsubstantiated proclamations that they really need our money, then I guess you will vote to increase taxes.

If, on the other hand, you agree with me that understanding what those politicians intend to build or fix with new tax money is mandatory, then vote a resounding no.

In some ways, the new tax proposed for the cities isn’t much better than what we have been hearing (or not) from the county. Shouldn’t our cities be able to manage day-to-day budgets and infrastructure without using SPLOST as a crutch?

If Fayette County is going to have real stormwater management, the following list should be a big part of the program.

One of the first requirements of every stormwater department is to locate and evaluate any and all structures that deal with stormwater runoff. With a catalog of those stormwater structures, an analysis of the condition of each watershed can be completed.

The stormwater department needs basic information on each watershed as follows:

1. Total size in acres;

2. Stream size — i.e. amount of water during normal flow and standard flood levels;

3. Percent of total area covered by impermeable surfaces;

4. Percent of watershed undeveloped, leading to an estimate of development potential;

5. Zoning types and relationship to the county land use plan;

6. List of any 303(d) water quality issues;

7. List of water quality sampling stations. Who is performing the sampling and general analysis of stream quality and where that data is published;

8. Potential hazardous materials source(s) such as existing NPDES permits, junk car dealers, dry cleaners, gas stations, etc.; and,

9. Stream use designation, such as drinking water source or recreational use.

There are other funding mechanisms out there as well. But there must be an effective stormwater drainage plan in place before other funding sources can be applied.

In short, if we understand how the watershed drainage systems work, we can better understand how to pay for needed work.

Other governments all around Georgia and the Southeast seem to have effective stormwater departments. Why can’t we do the same?

To date, Fayette County has finally reached the first step, identification of structures in need of work. But without a stormwater drainage plan their approach of throwing money at a list of projects is a gamble at best.

The Fayette County SPLOST proposal is simply wrong. Vote NO.

Dennis Chase
Fayetteville, Ga.