County may create stormwater utility

Tue, 08/11/2009 - 3:52pm
By: John Munford

Fayette County will consider conducting a study on the feasibility of implementing a stormwater utility to fund drainage improvements.

Currently such projects are funded out of the county’s general fund, but under a stormwater utility a bill would be assessed to property owners to provide funds for projects.

The County Commission was presented information about a feasibility study last week by county staff.

The study would take between 90 days and six months, costing anywhere between $15,0000 and $100,000. Once the study is available, the commission would then be able to decide if creation of a stormwater utility is a viable option.

The cost of the study has been defrayed somewhat through work conducted by a summer intern who did GIS work and also floodplain mapping agreements with Coweta County for Line Creek and Peachtree City for Camp Creek, officials said.

Generally, stormwater utilities base their fees on the amount of impervious area on a given lot.

County Attorney Scott Bennett said the feasibility study was crucial to making sure a stormwater utility, if created, will be successful.

If the county adopts a stormwater utility, the cost of the study can be reimbursed from the stormwater fees. If not, the county will still benefit from the study because it will point out issues the county might not otherwise be aware of, said Commission Chairman Jack Smith.

Commissioner Lee Hearn said he felt the selection of the consultant on the project was crucial to its success.

Commissioner Herb Frady said the biggest goal of the stormwater program is to keep pollutants out of local streams.

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