Columbia County will spend about $75,000 to fix a large hole that has developed in Park West Drive.
County Engineer Jim Leiper said the hole, near the entrance of Augusta Sportswear, is the result of a a failed stormwater pipe and is the second such problem in the area in recent weeks.
"This is in one of the areas in Columbia County where the storm water infrastructure is failing because it has been in the ground for years," Leiper said. "There are several areas like that, especially in some of the older neighborhoods."
The repair work, which has already started, will be completed by J. Howell Construction Inc.
"This is a really good example of why Columbia County needs a stormwater fund in place," Storm Water Utility Manager Zulakha Ahmad said.
Recent rains have created a sinkhole in Park West Drive. Columbia County's stormwater utility will pay for the repairs.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
The repair works comes just before the county's stormwater funding source goes before a judge. Tuesday, Superior Judge Carlisle Overstreet is scheduled to hear arguments for and against the county's stormwater utility.
A group of residents sued the county in July 2001 over the monthly stormwater fee. The suit says county officials should have done one of two things to establish the stormwater utility: either get consent of most of the property owners in the utility area or charge the fee to the entire county. The suit also alleges the county is providing no service for people paying the fee.
Columbia County began charging a monthly fee for stormwater work, dubbed a stormwater utility, in 1999. The fee is based on the amount of impervious surface - anything water does not seep into - on a piece of property.
The utility is geared toward raising money to help control flooding along Reed Creek and other areas. The billing area includes about 20,000 property owners in Martinez and Evans and near Grovetown.
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