I am writing regarding Columbia County's proposed Betty's Branch Relief Sewer project. I am strongly opposed to this project and its subsequent ramifications for several different reasons.
First, after carefully considering the proposed site layout for this project, I quickly realized the proximity of the sewer line to my house. My late husband and I purchased our home and a little over five acres of land in 1992. In the following years, we felt the need to purchase two additional lots in excess of five acres to hopefully secure our privacy. We feared the construction of a home too close to ours. We never expected Columbia County would be responsible for the invasion of our privacy.
Secondly, this sewer line is in no way beneficial to me. I have two septic tanks on my property and I plan to properly maintain these tanks in the years to come. Additionally, I have no need to pay to tie into this sewer line and therefore, see no reason why this line should be run directly through my property.
The proposed 40-foot easement for this project will undoubtedly destroy a well-preserved hardwood forest. The fact that Water and Sewer Director Billy Clayton has made a so-called promise to replant this forest gives me no comfort whatsoever. This pristine forest cannot ever be truly replaced. A natural forest such as this is a very valuable asset to our environment; has the county considered this aspect?
I was under the impression that the purpose of Columbia County's Greenspace Program was to protect watersheds and stream banks, and to ensure water quality and to sustain wildlife habitats. How can we be protecting the stream bank when we dig along Betty's Branch to bury a sewer line? And what will this disruption do to the wildlife living in this forest?
Finally, this proposed sewer line will surely decrease my property value. My late husband and I worked together for 12 years in every possible way to increase our property value. Now the county, who should be for higher property values, is going to come in and decrease those values. Will we see a decrease in our property tax bill if this proposed sewer line goes through?
I urge all involved officials to find an alternate route for this sewer if, in fact, it is a necessity.
Wanda Milford, Evans
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