What's wrong with this picture? In a recent article published in The Augusta Chronicle "Stormwater funds coming up short," Nov. 30), it was reported the Columbia County Board of Commissioners held their annual retreat at Lake Oconee instead of Atlanta.
Annual retreat? What's with that?
Chairman Ron Cross stated that he was depressed and surprised to know that the county is $94 million short of the $100 million to comply with county stormwater regulations
Surprised? Are Mr. Cross and the commissioners unable to govern? Mr. Cross stated the commission would have "some tough decisions about how to handle that."
First of all, why is the commission spending taxpayers' money on a retreat when there are ample facilities to conduct a meeting right here in the county? Try the Evans Government Complex. Second, if the county is desperate for stormwater funds, why do only part of the landowners in the county pay the stormwater fee, or "rain tax" as most prefer to call it? It seems that if the fee had been fairly dumped on the citizens of the county when it was conceived, there would be more money in the pot.
The article stated that most of the stormwater problems are in the Martinez area. Does Mr. Cross expect only the residents of Martinez to cough up the $94 million? And please, let's not go with the Wildwood Park thing again. More than $1 million dollars was spent there for boat ramps that didn't work, and more money was spent on extending the ramps that didn't work. They should have consulted the Army Corps of Engineers. Now Mr. Cross wants to spend nonexistent money to build a lodge.
He and the other commissioners then could retreat from their homes in the county to the lodge -- in the county -- and figure out how to gouge funds from citizens to pay for it. Give us a break!
Joe Sellars, Martinez