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Grovetown studies stormwater utility fee

Posted: October 19, 2013 - 11:05pm
Grovetown Water & Sewer Operations Manager Raymond Fulcher looks over an overgrown retention pond on Old Berzelia Road. City officials are working to implement a Water Utility Fee to maintain their stormwater system.   Photo by Jim Blaylock
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Grovetown Water & Sewer Operations Manager Raymond Fulcher looks over an overgrown retention pond on Old Berzelia Road. City officials are working to implement a Water Utility Fee to maintain their stormwater system.

Grovetown officials are considering how to establish and implement a new stormwater utility fee.

Within the next year, Grovetown residents might see a new stormwater fee on their water bills.

In 2009, the city hired Integrated Science and Engineering Inc. to help established the city’s stormwater management program as required by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Since then, the city operates the management plan, but it has not established it as a self-supporting system.

The city needs money to maintain the stormwater system that includes everything needed to collect, treat or dispose of storm, flood or surface drainage water, including detention ponds, drains, pipes, streams, culverts, wetlands, ditches and catch basins.

“Now, it’s getting to the point where we need some funding,” Public Works Director Michael Woods said, adding that the company made a presentation to city leaders at Monday’s city council meeting.

Woods said the issue of funding the stormwater system was initially put on hold, but was recently revisited as funding was needed to maintain the system.

“We got back with them, finalized the first phase of their contract to go back in and look at our city,” Woods said, “and come up with some scenarios of how to fund it. To help us get a budget together and what it would take to fund it.”

Woods said maintenance of the system is currently shouldered by the Water Department.

City officials are considering charging residents a flat rate of $4 or $5 per month, which would be added to water bills. Commercial properties would be billed differently, to make it fair, Woods said.

Columbia County officials established a Stormwater Utility in 2000 for a particular service area centered around the Martinez and Evans areas, said Water Utility Director Billy Clayton, who oversaw the program from the mid-2000s until recently. The department is self-supporting.

The county charges $0.0875 per 100 square feet of impervious surface including paved area and rooftops. The money collected as a stormwater fee can only be used for the stormwater system, including personnel, supplies, equipment and materials.

The city owns 20 to 30 detention ponds. Maintenance of those ponds, many of which are overgrown with trees, is regulated by EPD.

“One of the first things we’re wanting to do when (the funding) is in place is to hire an outside contractor to come in and clean all the retention ponds,” Woods said.

Grovetown officials could approve implementation of the fee as early as the Nov. 11 meeting.

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Comments (6)


Ben Dover arrives in Grovetown. Create a problem through

mismanagement and neglect. More taxation is the cure. Where is the money collected for maintenance? It is in every budget.

The Sherlock blindness fraud is nothing compared to public servant fraud perpetrated on a uninformed citizens of CC.

Great schools. Come here, come here. Great schools at what price? Do you forfeit your powers of reason and just bury your head in the sand. Yes.

Which shell hides the pea? In CC, the dealers have a 99% percent success rate.


2000 years ago the Romans knew how to get fresh drinking water

into a town and the sewage out of the town. And they did not have engineering degrees. So if the laws of fluid mechanics has not changed, then we are being had.

Roads and viaducts that have survived and function 2000 years after construction.

The Romans were not hindered by the a board of realtors and developers with hearts that crave more and more money.


If rain can be taxed, the sunshine is the next obviuos source of

government revenue. Why not? Willfully ignorant and apathetic peasants will not object. Build another entertainment venue. Give everyone a smart phone. Build another coliseum. But this one will need to be replaced every twenty years. New construction, capital expenditure, are ripe fruit for the picking.


The ingredients for a "kingdom in CC". Money, land and timber.

Add to that a will to be rich beyond measure.

Little Lamb

Prison Labor

Couldn't they use a state prison crew to clean out the retention ponds? They don't all have to be done at one time. Just do one at a time when a crew is available.

Little Lamb

Retention Ponds

I was looking at that picture of Mr. Fulcher standing in a retention pond. Then I read that statement of Mr. Woods that they needed to collect a stormwater fee to hire a company to clean out the retention ponds. Then it hit me. Those weeds and trees in the retention ponds are beneficial. They slow down the flow of storm water and they also treat the storm water, removing silt and oil before the water exits the ponds into the streams.

Retention ponds don't have to look prettylike a travel brochure in order to be effective in temporarily holding back the storm water.

The next time you are shopping at Lowes in Evans, walk behind the store and take a look at the "constructed wetlands" behind the store. It is there to hold up and treat the runoff from Lowes’ parking lot. It doesn't look fancy, but it does the job.