Storm Water Fee OK Triggers Anti SPLOST Efforts

Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic
Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic

Augusta, GA – A majority of Augusta Commissioners say a Storm Water Utility Fee is needed, so that’s why it was approved even though many in Augusta don’t approve.

“I live out in the South and we don’t really have a problem out there. We’re paying for everything up here, there’s a lot of people kind of upset about that,” said Steve Lazenby.

“There has been a clear warning, I think, a clear warning before this vote even took place yesterday that SPLOST would be in trouble,” said activist Lori Davis.

Davis says, with Commissioners approving the $78 a year fee, she and other anti-SPLOST forces are already organizing to vote down extending  the one cent sales tax in November.

“They’ve raised our property taxes 22 percent, now we have a Storm Water [Utility] Fee, they cut back our garbage pickup, now we don’t have the services we already had, now they do they I think you’re going to see SPLOST go down,” said Davis.

But, Commissioners say the fee is needed and supporters do not think it puts the November SPLOST vote in danger.

“What the community has shown is they want a good package. I think, if we put together a good package, the community will be supportive of it,” said Commissioner Ben Hasan.

“Could this impact your vote for the SPLOST in November?” we asked Lazenby. “It may it may not I can’t really say at this point it depends on what I see,” said Lazenby.

“A lot of people are yet to know we’re about to have a storm water fee of $6.40 per person starting in January and when they find that out they will get on this bandwagon to stop this SPLOST,” said Davis.

City engineers say both Storm Water Utility Fee and sales tax dollars are needed because sales tax funds can’t be use for maintenance, the cutting and cleaning of drainage ditches now. Preparing for what will be part of the next SPLOST is now upon us the first work session towards putting the package together will be Friday.

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