LINCOLN COUNTY, GA-- Some Lincoln County residents are paying for sewer hookups while their neighbors are getting it for free.
"To me, someone dropped the ball," Leverta Elam said. The magistrate judge says she was excited when she found out she and her neighbors in the Blackjack Community would be getting sewer lines in 2005. Now she is just angry . "I'm angry because they did not verify the incomes," Elam said.
The county began installing many of the sewer lines this spring.
Elam was one of only eight residents required to pay more than $1600 for the hookup. More than 130 residents did not have to pays. She had to pay because she was one of a handful of residents who made too much money to qualify for the free hookup. Elam says she didn't mind paying except that the county never verify incomes.
Elam's sister-in-law did not pay a dime for her hook-up, even though she makes more money. "She never did a survey. She was just automatically hooked up for free and she wasn't even here during 2005," Elam said.
"If had a neighbor that does make enough money and doesn't pay it, it would bother me." Wade Johnson said. The Lincoln County Chairman of the Board of Commissioners admits the process is unfair but says it is out of his hands.
The dual state grant that paid for the sewage lines did not require people to show proof of income. County leaders say the state should be held responsible.
"To me that was just not fair," Elam said.
County leaders say they talked to the state about refunding some of the residents but say it's not possible. The sewer project is over budget and they say the money is not there.