Storm water fee closer to becoming reality for Augusta

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News 12 First at Five/ Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014

(MGN Online)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Growth is good, but an Augusta man says too much growth is making his street unsafe.

Gregory Tripp said city leaders haven't cut the grass around his home in months.

It's blocking the storm drain and is dangerous for drivers. The city tells News 12 a new fee could be the key to solving problems like this even faster.

"I'm expected to take care of my property and do my part. I pay taxes. I expect something to be done," Tripp said.

Tripp knows first hand the grass is greener next door. It's grown so high he can't help but see it. Tripp said things are out of control on all three sides of his house.

An empty home on one side, overflowing county property on the other and overgrown school property on the third. It's clogging storm drains and flooding his yard.

"My tenants can't take a shower or go to the bathroom. They have to go to a hotel. and it's coming out of my pocket," Tripp said.

He said it's not just inconvenient, but dangerous, his tenants can't see if cars are coming. Tripp said he's called 311 and sent emails. He said improvement has happened and the look leaves a lot to be desired.

"If we had gotten some of those emails, we would have gotten our portion done what ever portion that is," said City Engineer Abie Ladsen.

The Engineering Department said the storm water fee is $10 million a year. The money will help them clear more lots and storm drains.

"If somebody were to come tell me that I'd be paying an extra $10 or $11 on a $100 house that would be no problem. If the work would get done," Tripp said.

Engineering Director Abie Ladsen estimates 90 percent of homeowners could have to pay an extra $6.50 on their water bill next year. Businesses and churches with more parking lot space and roads could pay several thousand a year.

Tripp said he doesn't mind paying more green to get rid of well more green.

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