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Commission to take up new garbage fees

Monday, June 16, 2014 1:23 PM
Last updated Tuesday, June 17, 2014 11:27 AM
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Count Richmond County property owner Sarah Seago among the growing opposition to a new $155.25 fee charged for vacant lots.

“I cannot understand the reasoning behind charging for garbage pickup on a vacant lot,” said Seago, who owns a grassy lot on Fenwick Street downtown. “There’s no building, there are no people, there’s no garbage, there’s no pickup – period... It’s paying for something that’s not even there.”

Seago is just one of several property owners to speak out against the new fee, which appeared on last month’s estimated tax bills sent to every property owner. The charges won’t be due until they appear on tax bills mailed later this year.

Members of the Augusta Commission, set to discuss the fee and other waste collection changes Tuesday, have said they don’t recall approving the vacant lot charge, although it was included among numerous other changes in a sweeping solid-waste resolution signed by the mayor last year.

Environmental Services Director Mark Johnson said he expects the vacant lot fee to generate about $1.3 million in new revenue from 11,800 vacant parcels upon which it will be assessed, according to the agenda item.

Johnson said eliminating the fee also would cut into projected revenue to be paid to Augusta’s small haulers who previously handled much city garbage collection. Working as subcontractors, several of the haulers now perform vacant-lot cleanup and yard-waste collection.

Though garbage, including Johnson’s proposal to reinstitute curbside tire collection and the increased fee for properties inside the old city limits, is expected to highlight Tuesday’s regular 2 p.m. commission meeting, commissioners have several other items of business on the agenda.


Other business going for Augusta Commission approval Tuesday includes:

• A presentation by Angela Avery, of IFS Securities, on including minorities in Augusta Utilities’ water and sewer bond refinancing

• Approving McDonald Transit’s hiring of Mark A. Dorner as interim general manager of Augusta Public Transit

• Approving commissioners’ purchase of their chairs from the former commission chamber for $25

• A discussion about the legality of procedures used in the city’s contract with the Mercer Group, hired to conduct the search for an administrator

• Approving the reallocation of space around the commission’s new dais in the new commission chamber. Commissioner Bill Lockett said the current arrangement “gives the appearance of three separate groups” and wants to divide the space equally between each commissioner, with double space on either side of the mayor.

• A presentation by Finance Director Donna Williams on several city employees’ recent weeklong software training trip to Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif.

• Discussions about using a city-owned Reynolds Street depot as a source of revenue and beautifying Gordon Highway and Deans Bridge Road.

• A presentation from Karen Zipperer about the increase in soli-waste fees inside the old city limits.

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Little Lamb
Little Lamb 06/16/14 - 01:45 pm
• Reynolds Street depot as a source of revenue?

The only way they should get any revenue from this property is to sell the property at auction, as is, no minimum bid, no financing. The low bidder must bring cash within three business days of the auction.

They should not entertain any "private/public partnership" ideas from Matt Quatinetz about any artsy studios or cafés or amphitheaters.

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 06/16/14 - 01:48 pm
Garbage Taxes

They need to spell out the millage rate that people inside the old city limits are paying for garbage pickup, then roll those taxes back when the new common fees go into effect. That's the only fair way out of the new mess.

nocnoc 06/16/14 - 07:02 pm

The Air Tax,
Others suggested so that the Commissioners can increase spending:

1500+calorie Meal Tax,
7th+ Beer Bubba tax,
42" Flat screen TV tax,
2 Oak Tree tax,
Arbor Tree Tax,
The Expensive Shoe ($200+ sneakers) Tax,
29" Spinner rims & Wheels Tax,
2 Gun Tax 5+ rounds of Ammo Tax.
2 vehicle tax,
BBQ Tax,
Poll Tax
PLUS, the long awaited RAIN TAX.

An ohers as they can think of them.

Basic Infrastructure Improvements OUTSIDE OF DOWNTOWN
and the WEST SIDE.

Do things that generate NEW BUSINESSES and Real Growth
somewhere other than DOWNTOWN or on the WEST SIDE and NOT someones pockets.

Stop spending like they found the Pot Of Taxpayer Gold at the end of the Rainbow.


corgimom 06/16/14 - 08:42 pm
Nocnoc, all budgets are

Nocnoc, all budgets are prepared in advance, because they are predictions, not set in stone. No municipality knows in advance exactly how much they are going to receive in revenue.

corgimom 06/16/14 - 08:43 pm
What, noc noc, a donut shop

What, noc noc, a donut shop and a Chick Fil A isn't your idea of improvements?

Me neither. We are in total agreement about this.

corgimom 06/16/14 - 08:46 pm
The taxes in RC are just

The taxes in RC are just going to get worse.

The schools are in dire need of money, and the infrastructure is in terrible shape.

That would be because a bunch of self-serving commissioners were more concerned about a TEE Center- to book imaginary conventions that would just flock to Augusta- and wasted money on stupid stuff like the Golf Hall of Fame. Nobody can waste money like the Augusta Commissioners, and get the city involved in terrible deals that will do nothing but rape the taxpayers. Parking deck, anyone?

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