Bainbridge Georgia

January 10, 2012

County Heads Into the Sewer

Category: Talk — Larry @ 11:00 pm

Decatur County government took a sharp turn into the sewer on Tuesday morning, in several different ways as Commissioner CT Stafford assumed the County Commision Chair for 2012.

Not only did they revert to the old days of hiding discussions they fear the public hearing(more below), and not caring if anyone knows they did so, but they abandoned any Decatur County residents who have a septic tank. On Tuesday morning, Decatur County Commissioners voted 5-1, with Commissioner Mosely voting no, to suspend accepting sewer tank pump out waste at the Decatur County sewage plant.

article here

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  1. I am beginning to wonder what kind of Commissioners we have in Decatur County. My husband & I own a home in the county on Flint River Hgts Rd we purchased a few years ago formally known by others as the Boat Club. When we purchased this property we paid cash for it and found many hidden factors as well. The former owners didn’t know so they said where septic tanks & drainfields were located.

    We also found many other hidden factors and have spent well over $24,000 & more to replace all rotten wood that was covered up prior to our closing & two new drainfields were also installed & Decatur County required us to also put in a lift station. I also have may photos to prove it. Now the County Commissioners all except Mr. Mosley have voted to not allow septic tanks to be pumped as needed. Does this mean we get a reduction in the taxes we pay? We also own other properties in Duval County FL (Jacksonville) & Putman County FL which require septic tanks to be flushed every so often . Some properties in the city of Jacksonville still have septic tanks by the way. The counties will also do ride by inspections to make sure that a septic tank is working properly. Sounds like this is going to be a stinking county.

    I surely hope at the next county election the citizens of this county will remember to vote for new commissioners.

    Comment by Bettye Batchelor Wester — January 11, 2012 @ 8:41 am
  2. Are the commissioners going to furnish everyone with a septic tank lumber and a carpenter to build an outhouse? I’ll bet the same commissioners will be voted in again at their next election. Thank you Butch Mosely for unsuccessfully trying to get an answer about where the waste can be taken. Excuse the pun, Same old Crap!

    Comment by Hawkey — January 11, 2012 @ 9:20 am
  3. What happened to all the–permit fees charged by the county for drainfield & septic tank pump-outs? Where did those monies collected go?

    Comment by Bettye Batchelor Wester — January 11, 2012 @ 11:54 am
  4. All of us with septic tanks could have them pump out into drums in our yard, add some fuel and burn it.

    Comment by stinkpot — January 11, 2012 @ 4:46 pm
  5. And you wonder why we can’t get new businesses to come here?!!! It kinda speaks for it self!

    Comment by circlingthedrain — January 11, 2012 @ 8:21 pm
  6. The septic tanks could be pumped out and dumped in the yards of the county commissioner’s yards in rotation starting with Perry! Skip Butch though because he voted against it.

    Comment by Hawkey — January 11, 2012 @ 8:49 pm
  7. I hope the yes men get the special pumpout rate when their tank is backing up in the future.

    Comment by For what it's worth — January 11, 2012 @ 9:44 pm
  8. As I have said before:
    To have good county commissioners, we must first have some good people run for the office.

    Comment by J. Paul — January 12, 2012 @ 3:05 am
  9. AMEN, J. Paul!!

    Comment by BDB — January 12, 2012 @ 6:44 am
  10. I am planning on installing a new septic tank and well in the county in the next few months. What are the fees associated with this other than the cost? Do i have to pay a fee to the county to do this and
    if so, then why would i bother to pay them at all?

    Comment by Wondering — January 12, 2012 @ 11:25 am
  11. In regards to this topic, I am almost at a loss for words, as to the way the powers that be, passed this with absolutely no prior public discussion, with effected taxpayers, and with no warning. I will go ahead and say it, this was done, in my opinion, in an almost child like manner.

    As adults, and especially as leaders of the community, certain responsibilities should and do apply. What about the companies that provide this much needed service, do they not realize that they could become bankrupted from this action? As a responsible adult, I look to any future consequences, PRIOR to making a MAJOR decision.

    This is why most people have life insurance to take care of future needs. Was it too much to expect for our leaders to arrange an alternative waste receiving point, prior to this fiasco, to protect the “well paid for needs” of the county tax payers, as well as the business owners that provide this service?

    I feel that our current leadership has not only become complacent, but now are starting to feel non replaceable. If anyone feels that I am in error, and if your time permits, look at past the articles for the past twelve months, in relation to our leadership, and correct me. One more thing, I do not know J. Paul, but in his last post, he expressed a very important point.

    Comment by carl — January 12, 2012 @ 12:02 pm
  12. One septic tank company has gotten permission so I hear to carry waste to Cairo,GA, but how long that will last no one knows.

    Decatur County will not take any waste for two years.et3e The fees for pumping just went up also. Got this info earlier today. Wells & septic tank installations do require a permit from the County & fees are required. How much I do not know.

    Comment by Bettye Batchelor Wester — January 12, 2012 @ 2:17 pm
  13. Listen up, all you taxpaying people of Bainbridge and Decatur County. Straight out of the mouth of —— Earl Perry, or Dr. Perry, or Chairman Perry, or Mr. Perry, or Mr. Earl, or whatever his name is —— they knew, they freaking knew, there was a problem over fifteen or twenty years ago.

    However it was not priority to them to address the problem when it presented itself and became known. Which, by the way, is the very reason they are elected to these positions. Nor is it really a priority for them now. They have no choice but to correct it.

    And just to make you all feel better and comfortable and forgiving about the whole situation……….Yes it is unfortunate for the people.

    They are not enjoying a country club membership here,,,its an elected position to represent the people. And they have not done it. And this is not the first time and it will not be the last time.

    So if all you who exercise your right to vote continue to vote the same old people who have no new ideas and all think the same way back into office, then you deserve everything they send your way. Either change it by your vote or learn to live with it.

    And thank you Larry for holding Stafford accountable for his actions. But it was really all in vain. The majority of people in this community are comfortable with being in the dark about issues that can and will affect their lives and their money. Ignorance really is bliss and the norm.

    Comment by commission this — January 12, 2012 @ 6:35 pm
  14. According to the video of the meeting, Comm Perry says he knew about the sewer problem as far back as Jan 2003. He should be sentenced to the next two years shoveling the sludge himself for Dereliction of Duty. It is a shame the staff and commissioners waited so long. I remember back in the spring when we found out Patton sneaked off to Macon and hired a lawyer to beat the State back and we still got a fine! Why did he choose to do that and not fix the problem two years ago? He should be fired for dereliction of duty!! According to Perry’s comments, the county had the money to fix the problem when he came on board. Why did he sit on the finance committee along with Smith and veto budgets to take care of this? Both of them should be dunked in do-do for dereliction of duty!

    Comment by RC — January 12, 2012 @ 7:29 pm
  15. Think Stafford should be held accountable for his actions. Just look at the video. Does this look like an honest man to you, certainly not to me and others I know. All should be fired for dereliction of duty except DR Butch Mosley. A sinking mess they got this county into.

    Comment by deer hunter — January 12, 2012 @ 9:19 pm
  16. I read some of your comments above and mostly I think they all are true. Now, this morning I see the names for county comission, board of education and other city and county offices up for election are posted. My fellow citzens of Bainbridge there is no reason for some of these people to continue holding office. Some of them have shown us that they don’t have our interest at heart only there personal gain.Some of them have been in office so long they think it’s there god given right to hold office.Will some of you out there please step up to the plate and run againist some of these people.

    I know that there’s got to be somebody out there that can do a better job than the one’s we have. Throughout the years I have watched these and others belittle, put down and just plain disrespect us as citzens. Now I realize that we charge these people with the responsiblity fo handling the city s and countys business but at least fool us that you care about us as people. It’s time to shake up this hold political system, move out the “good ole boys” and career politicians that are holding back this country and our city and county. It’s time to hold people accountable whether they be city or county officals.

    Comment by c gordon — January 13, 2012 @ 9:28 am
  17. Amen Gordon!! Time for all citizens to take action!!l

    Comment by deer hunter — January 13, 2012 @ 12:24 pm
  18. What about the Bainbridge waste water plant? Would it be possible to dump the septic tank waste there? I don’t know anything about the process, but I do know that the county and city would be better off if they would cooperate with each other!

    Comment by JP — January 13, 2012 @ 8:50 pm
  19. County officials have told me no, the city does not accept the septic tank pump outs.
    Finance Director Carl Rowland has stated that he contacted Cairo and they will accept it.

    Comment by Larry — January 13, 2012 @ 9:06 pm
  20. If everybody was focused on the problem then there would be no need to look for solutions. The problem being the county commission has not done their job. They were aware of this problem long long before it became this critical.

    Had this problem occurred in a few months time leaving no alternative than to reach a decision not to accept any pumpouts then it would be understandable, to me anyway. However they knew and had plenty of time to allocate funds over a 3 or 4 year period if necessary to correct it. Now they find themselves in a revenue seeking mode and a wore out treatment plant needing $3.5 million dollars worth of upgrading.

    Where do you think they will get the funds? Mr. and Mrs. John Doe Taxpayer. Sure they will sniff out grants and whatever else can be dug up, but in the end the taxpayers will foot the majority of this bill with increased property taxes or any other way they can find to tax the working man. This CRAP is getting old quick fast and in a hurry.

    Comment by twilight zone — January 13, 2012 @ 9:46 pm
  21. A trip to Cairo and back will be an additional cost to customers. What a shame that our city and county leaders can’t sit down and work together to solve our problems. They’re acting like spoiled brats!

    Comment by JP — January 14, 2012 @ 9:42 am
  22. Earl Perry was quoted by Larry as saying the commission held a one hour long discussion about the sewer issue. I think he was trying to make Mosely look bad by being absent from the meeting. I looked back at the public notice of the work session and the notice stated the workshop was to be held for communications (emergency radio). Nowhere was the issue of the sewerage made public. Then, it looks like Stafford and the commissioners broke up the meeting and just hung around drinking coffee and making chit-chat. Then once you all in the press were told that the called workshop was over, and you left, they had a “meeting after the meeting”. If this is not accurate, correct me.

    This conduct smells like violating the notice of meeting requirements. Same thing happened a year ago when no notice was given when Earl Perry and his gang members tried to sneek through a business license fee on county businesses. NOTICE TO COMMISSIONERS: You all can keep falling in line behind Earl Perry all you want to, and you will be in the crosshairs of the voters scope. For some of you, it is too late, you have too much Perrier Stains on your shirts.

    Comment by RC — January 14, 2012 @ 1:46 pm
  23. RC, I just pulled out my old newspaper and found the notice of the meeting. I read, Jan 3, 2012, “The Decatur County Board of Commissioners will hold a workshop meeting on Thursday, Jan. 5 at 6 p.m. at the County Administration Office, located at 203 W. Broughton St. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss proposed upgrades to the county’s public safety telecommunications systems.”

    The chariman should be empeached and removed from office for this flagrant violation of the state open meeting law requiring notice and content of meeting. At the very least he should recieve sanctions from the remaining members. (Oops, they were all in on it too.) This is the kind of stuff comming from the county commission that has clogged up the sewer plant!!

    Comment by New Decatur — January 14, 2012 @ 2:01 pm
  24. Sounds like they all are in violation of the state open meeting law. Time for citizens & the law to take action.p

    Comment by Deputy Dog — January 14, 2012 @ 4:44 pm
  25. I know for a fact the county sewage plant was in dire need of repair and upgrade BEFORE 2000 because they were getting citation in the 90’s for dumping raw sewage and bubbles floating down the river from the outlet near Flint River Heights.

    Comment by Hawkey — January 14, 2012 @ 5:55 pm
  26. Hawkey, you are absolutely right. The sewer line from Industrial Park comes all the way down to Manhole RD crosses Flint RiverHgts Road and right into the Flint River. Just a couple of years ago or maybe last year they were in violation. Lots of fishermen on the river have seen raw sewage dumped into the river. They say what they dump into the river is treated like drinking water. A lie if ever I heard one.
    Glad others are investigating this instead of our county commissioners.

    Comment by Deputy Dog — January 15, 2012 @ 8:43 am
  27. What are taxpayers and citizens to do when those who hold public office are reckless and irresponsible and cost us money after they get caught and are forced to something about it at greater expense? In Georgia, a Grand Jury can look into these matters. When the Grand Juries are selected, the Judge needs to tell them that is part of what then can do. Unless citizens take charge we will be at the mercy of what we have always received. It is unfortunate, but true, we have a county commission (body politic) and an administrative staff that is driving this county into financial paralysis.

    Comment by RC — January 15, 2012 @ 11:09 am
  28. I have gone back and listened to the videos. In one of them, Perry stated that he remembers the sewer plant manager coming to the commission and “begging” for funds to fix the plant. He says the county had the funds at the times to fix the plant. Since Perry is perched on the county finance/budget committee, along with his puppet Smith, why has HE AND THEY being held responsible?

    If what he admits to is true, (and if Earl said it you know it is true) then he is the very one who has summarily stripped the money from the budget requests of the plant manager. Now he wants to go on video and bellow into the microphone with his “radio” voice and attempt to make it look like he is not culpritable. Stafford looks into the camera lens with a guilty glare and bemoans his being caught lying is “out of line” and “inappropriate”.

    Then Commissioner Frank Loeffler joins in a motion to shut off all dumping. He too sits on the finance/budget committee and has joined with the culprits of gross irresponsibility. He does not “get it”! Does he not realize that a huge populace in his own district has septic tanks. Does he not know that anytime you get a permit to do any type of work at a home the septic tank pumping currentcy is an issue? Does he not know this is a city problem and not just a problem for rural county residents?

    It is obvious we not get candidates who want to work for the county, but only want to spend money on things for ribbon cutting events, get free tickets to local events, have their names on some plaque to be displayed on some wall. I am sorry to say, but “the whole bunch who has their finger prints on this problem needs flushing!

    Comment by New Decatur — January 15, 2012 @ 1:07 pm
  29. If this situation holds, this actually means any house with a septic tank that an owner may consider selling will be unsaleable. Nobody in their right mind wants a home where they may not be able to use their toilets. A county that can not provide such basic services has no right to sell permits to establish a homestead that will eventually become impossible to live in. I moved here 5 years ago and I am consistently running into situations caused by the city and county which has caused to me regret the move.

    Comment by WMS — January 15, 2012 @ 8:57 pm
  30. This is what the county departments have been dealing with these people. So if you work for the county you should not be surprised on how the county commissioners due things in a childish manner. Decatur County people I hope you wake up and lets make some noise and quit just writing about it.

    Comment by hummm — January 16, 2012 @ 12:59 am
  31. As long as we are on the topic of sewage, my sister lives in a section of town that will soon have city sewage. Whether she hooks up or not she will have a sewage bill that will be based on amount of water used. Does it seem fair to charge residents for water that goes to keeping a landscape alive or filling a pool when that water does not go into the sewer system? Would it not be possible to pro rate amount used especially in the summer when more water goes into the yard than is used in the house?

    Comment by Mad Max — January 16, 2012 @ 9:38 am
  32. Although you are all making good points, I believe that you are missing something…I’m sure that Cairo will be charging a fee for any sewage taken there from Decatur County. After all of the hoopla that has been promoted about “keeping Decatur County’s money in Decatur County” and OUR County Commissioners are FORCING us to pay EXTRA money for a service that they should provide to a DIFFERENT county??? This means more money leaving Decatur County and less money being spent here! HELLO?!?! Am I the only one who understands that? Our local economy is already struggling and now the C.C.’s are knowingly crippling it even more. Are we sure that these guys are really in it for the good of Decatur County? Or are they there for the good of themselves?

    Here’s a question: Can anyone post what the requirements are to run for the position of a County Commissioner? If so, please do! If people know that they are qualified for a position, they may actually try to get elected and actually do some good for our county.

    Comment by A Missed Point — January 18, 2012 @ 2:11 pm
  33. There are no requirements, all u need is to live in the District and enough money to pay qualifying fee. But, above all you need to have an interest in the county, and not just a personal thing.

    Comment by Benny Hayes — January 18, 2012 @ 5:41 pm
  34. This county is in such sad condition now, It breaks my heart that the commissioners are allowing the County Adm. to run the county, and they seem to allow it. The Commissioners need to take hold of the county business, but it takes time and dedication from the Commissioners.

    When I was Commissioner, if a dept. head screwed up, they were history, they were gone, no severance pay, You do your job or You are gone. End of Conversation. In the past, If the Co. Adm and Fin. Dir. had violated their duties as these two have done, they would have been fired on the spot. If You can’t believe that would happen, Just ask anyone who knew them.

    Comment by Benny Hayes — January 18, 2012 @ 5:53 pm
  35. Yea, Benny when you ain’t
    you can change the world.

    Comment by woodfin — January 19, 2012 @ 7:21 am
  36. DECATUR COUNTY…I continue to read this site and the ‘goings-on’ and you all continue to amaze me…it also makes me laugh…keep em’ I know your current administration will…I am working on a stand up comedy all are gonna make me millions!

    Comment by Indian — January 19, 2012 @ 10:55 pm
  37. I know that it is off topic, but I would like to know how we ended up with this fancy new high school that we apparently cannot afford?

    Comment by Maxwell — January 20, 2012 @ 1:54 pm
  38. You had a chance to elect Ted Snell and you chose to elect another “GOOD OLD BOY”. Nuff said!

    Comment by Hawkeye — January 20, 2012 @ 5:32 pm
  39. Maxwell, you can look this up at the State DOE website.
    Facilities Services of the Georgia Department of Education assists local school systems in developing long-range capital improvement plans, acquiring the funds needed to implement their plans, and reviewing their architect’s plans to construct adequate and safe school facilities.

    Georgia law (20-2-260) requires all school systems to develop and maintain a long range comprehensive facilities plan that is updated every five years to be eligible to participate in Georgia’s Capital Outlay Program. Area consultants and State staff work directly with each school system to provide technical assistance in developing comprehensive plans.

    At the beginning of each fiscal year eligible school systems may make applications for state funding for projects in their current facilities plan. When eligible projects are approved by the Legislature and construction design begins the Grants Management staff of the Facilities Services assists the system to establish a schedule for reimbursement of funds.

    So to answer your question, the State helps to pay for the bulk of new school construction otherwise local systems would never be able to afford to build a new school. So the fancy new school was apparently not too fancy in that it was approved by the state to reimburse the construction costs.

    Comment by Mad Max — January 21, 2012 @ 2:27 pm
  40. So you are saying that if we had maintained our schools are they were, with periodic upkeep, we would still be in this outrageous shortfall of money that the DOE needs to maintain this new school? Look out for higher and higer property taxes! This is not the first community who built a fancy new high school who found themselves in a whoops situation.

    Comment by Maxwell — January 24, 2012 @ 8:53 am
  41. Maxwell, As with every school system in Georgia, the short fall is a result of the legislature’s continued cutting of funding for the past several years for just about everything it has helped pay for in the past that goes toward the day to day operation of any school system like money to help pay for salaries, books, paper for copies, fuel for buses, etc. without taking into account that each year the cost of all of it continues to increase while the money they provide continues to decrease.

    Student populations grow; periodic upkeep and renovations are not going to solve the problem of an over-crowded building as with the need several years ago to build the new West Bainbridge Elementary school facility when LEW had to be closed any why the new high school needed to be built. It is State cuts in funding, not maintaining the new school, that is the main cause of the shortfall in funds our BOE faces, teacher salaries are the largest expense and with continued cuts from the State, our BOE is doing their best cover all costs and not have to let teachers go or cut salaries any more than the furlough days that have already been implemented.

    I do agree that property taxes are an unfair way to cover costs in that a lot of kids attend public school from families who do not own property and many property owners have no kids in school, but then the only fair way to tax everyone for the school system would be to add on some more sales tax, and nobody wants any more of that either. The new school is not the problem, it is our legislature. So what do you suggest should be done to solve the problem?

    Comment by Mad Max — January 24, 2012 @ 4:59 pm
  42. I agree with Maxwell that the new school was an overspending of money that Decatur county did not have. Even if the state does pay for certain things, or even if the state does reimburse the county for certain things, it is idiotic not to realize that is still taxpayer money being spent. Also the county still has to maintain the new school which will recquire more money. And now the county is going to go up on property taxes to pay for insurance for the schools employees. I personally own a small business and had to cancel my entire families health insurance 6 years ago because I realized I could no longer afford it. I currently pay for all health cost out of pocket, yet my taxes will increase to pay for someones elses insurance. It looks to me that our commissioners are not being financially responsible to the citizens of this county. I hate to see someone lose their health insurance, but continuing to give away what you do not have makes no sense. Our county is being ran by the same thinking that the government in DC is using.

    Comment by WMS — January 25, 2012 @ 8:20 am
  43. I think it is important to realize a couple of things.

    1. Overall school operating expenses actually decreased after the new high school was put into service.

    2. Insurance provided to teachers is specified by the state. Local BOE’s have no control over if it is provided and what is provided.

    Comment by Larry — January 25, 2012 @ 12:48 pm
  44. If the insurance is specified by the state, then this is obviously a very flawed system since the state is expecting the county to pay for the insurance. Since the state is short of funds, and the county is short of funds, maybe the needed solution is to stop providing what neither can afford to pay for. I disagree that that the local BOE has no control, they certainly have the ability to keep borrowing and spending money. And how long has the new school been open, 1 or 2 years? Of course the operating cost are lower right at this moment, but they will certainly start growing year by year. So if you are calculating the lower maintenance expense, then that must mean that the old buildings have all been sold and no longer have any maintenance or upkeep cost to the county. If that is not the case, then we add the cost of keeping the old buildings insured, the liabilty insurance, the grass mowing, etc to the cost of maintaining the new school as well, is it still lower?

    Comment by WMS — January 25, 2012 @ 8:19 pm
  45. Yes, WMS, you are correct. Communities are like the folks in them, and will spend either well, or badly, thus, debt that cannot be paid in the future. Of course, all those issues about the fancy new school down the road should have been foreseen and calculated into the equation. This is not rocket science; there have been many before who were caught in this never ending financial trap. Kids can learn as well in a barn as in a palace. This school was not built so kids could be educated better; obviously, it was built as a show off. And, it will continue to be more and more of a white elephant as the years go by. Too bad for us. Plus, I don’t see much educational value coming out of all that money spent, and will be drained out of taxpayers progressively more as time goes by. For an overdone institutional building, which is what it is behind all those expensive bells and whistles?

    Comment by Maxwell — January 26, 2012 @ 7:09 am
  46. Also, every mistake is an opportunity to learn a lesson and do better in the future. Unless, of course, the mistake is not accepted, and then, it will be made again in a similar situation, as in, history repeats itself. I would think, energy experts’ advice could teach how to tighten up that “overblown” high school building, as it were. I am sure those high ceilings, big windows, all the offices and cubby spaces, etc. could be addressed to some degree to lower the heating and a/c costs, which I suspect are outrageous and will get even higher. Others could think of solutions to lower the bills and make it much more energy efficient, simplier for maintenance, and perhaps even doable financially for a community of our size and wealth. The students don’t care about the building. Teachers matter.

    Comment by Maxwell — January 26, 2012 @ 8:47 am
  47. Sorta got off the subject of septic tanks didn’t you? I think the county should have to reimburse everyone who has their septic tank pumped out for the extra fee required to take it to Cairo until the county plant is repaired!

    Comment by Hawkeye — January 28, 2012 @ 9:32 am
  48. WMS,
    Maybe you need to take your children/grandchildren out of the school system and educate them yourselves since you don’t want to provide the educators with insurance and the facilities that are needed. While you are at it, let’s just cancel all the money that we spend on public servants’ insurance, etc…like police officers, firefighters, paramedics, etc.

    Why don’t you look at where the majority of our money actually goes to: Welfare. Let’s start doing drug testing and intensive looks into those who apply for food stamps, housing, and monthly checks and I bet our country’s deficit would drastically be reduced.

    Comment by Alrighty Then — February 21, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

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