Again, Tyrone ignores environmental rules

Tue, 12/27/2005 - 4:23pm
By: The Citizen


It is disappointing, but not a big surprise to me, that environmental problems continue in Tyrone.

On Dec. 20, 2005, I visited several locations around Tyrone and, based on what I saw, I immediately filed multiple complaints with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) against Tyrone for the following violations:

1. Possible hazardous materials, improperly stored next to City Hall;

2. An illegal landfill of trash near City Hall and no sediment and erosion control around that illegal landfill;

3. Filling wetlands (again) at Handley Park and inadequate sediment and erosion control around the disturbed land at Handley Park;

4. Several violations of sediment and erosion control measures in the Millbrook subdivision which were not handled by Tyrone as should be under their authority to require corrections.

Every one of the violations on this list is evidence that the town manager is not doing his job. I know the mayor and several members of the Town Council continue to support the manager, but existence of the above is sound reason for Tyrone residents to again raise loud voices against them.

The troubling thing about what I have told you in the first two paragraphs is that most of it has been said before, by me and a number of citizens from Tyrone.

I am especially concerned by once again having to ask state or federal agencies to take action at Handley Park for intentional filling of wetlands.

Several years ago, the town manager knew he was directing an illegal action when the filling for the original ball fields was taking place.

During that original construction work, he also knew the sediment and erosion control features of this operation were totally inadequate and did nothing to fix the problems.

And now, a short time later, he is doing it again.

I have also asked the state EPD enforcement officer to investigate the illegal dump site behind City Hall. Tyrone has piled all types of construction trash there and it looks like they have allowed the area to be used by others to dump their trash as well.

The state directed Tyrone to clean the area, and they did remove the tires, but some trash has been pushed over the edge (downhill toward Shamrock Park) and covered with dirt to hide the evidence.

Since there are no sediment and erosion control measures, whatever washes off the dump will find its way into the pond in Shamrock Park.

Georgia has given Tyrone the authority and responsibility to meet and enforce several environmental laws, but not only are those laws not enforced, Tyrone continues to be one of the worst violators of those laws.

Think about this: the very people we rely on to protect our fragile environment are doing the most damage.

The taxpayers of Tyrone pay their town manager a lot of money and this is what they get?

In my opinion, he would not/could not be manager of any other city in Fayette County or most of the surrounding counties because they care far more for their environment.

Despite repeated concerns expressed to the Town Council by Tyrone residents, the council continues to support the town manager.

I know of several other locations in Tyrone where there are problems similar to those I described from my Dec. 20 visit. Be assured there will be more visits and more violation reports; this has got to stop sometime.

There are a lot of really great people living in Tyrone trying to have their voices heard about correcting these and other problems. Why does non-action continue? Why?

Dennis Chase, now retired, was a fish and wildlife biologist with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service for more than 26 years. Since retiring, he has worked as a consultant for Fayette County on environmental concerns, is a volunteer with the Southern Conservation Trust Inc., and has published numerous newspaper columns.

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Submitted by did not know on Tue, 12/27/2005 - 11:10pm.

I live in Tyrone and it IS a disgrace what has been going on. We are paying a person to be the "Town Manager",95,000.00 a year? and yet when Millbrook's sewage could be smelled a mile away, and taxpayers who lived there turned to the town for help, they were told it was a 'government issue'. It is a government issue, Tyrone's. I am sick of MY money being spent to pay people with an attitude toward us and environment. The answers, or lack of them, given to questions asked of the council and Mayor at meetings, could only lead one to think that they do not keep themselves informed. The council members are paid about $500.00 a month and the Mayor, $1000.00 to come to these meetings and make choices that effect us all. These meeings are twice a month for about an hour. So you might say the Mayor is making about $500.00 an hour meeting and the councilment $250.00 an hour. For MY money, I would like to see a little bit more interest paid by them, or they should step down. Gloria Furr and Grace Caldwell are going into office to help us make a difference. With them there, the indifference of the others, will only be more glaring. I urge everyone to come to the meetings and help these two help us and the enviroment, before we all are washed away with the erosion, sewage and indifference.

gail onesi

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