Lowndes County Chairman speaks for stopping state fee diversions 2018-01-22

The Lowndes County Commission votes tonight, 5:30 PM, on a resolution Chairman Bill Slaughter put on the agenda yesterday morning in support of stopping diversion of state fees, just after a report about a tire amnesty that was apparently funded by the Georgia Solid Waste Trust Fund, which has had fees diverted upwards of $50 million. Valdosta and Hahira also have that resolution on their agendas, after Lanier County, Adel, and Atkinson County passed it recently. If you can attend one of these meetings and thank these elected officials for doing this, I’m sure they would appreciate it.


      Chairmanr: Add to agenda resolution supporting GA  H.R. 158

Video. Chairman Bill Slaughter said “there’s been a request that has been brought before the Commission for us to support a draft resolution in regards to House Resolution 158”. He asked for a motion to add it to the agenda. Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker made the motion. Commissioner Orenstein seconded. Not clear they actually voted, but the Chairman said it was added to the agenda. Afterwards I thanked him for adding it to the agenda. He said it was needed.


      6. Reports — County Manager: Tire amnesty
6. Reports — County Manager: Tire amnesty

Video. Just before the Chairman spoke about the resolution, County Manager Joe Pritchard said Lowndes County just held its second annual tire amnesty. Public Works Director Robin Cumbus said they collected a semi-full of 5,000 tires, leaving many mosquitos without breeding areas. The Chairman wanted to know if they should do it again. She said yes, if the grant is available.


      10. Reports - County Manager - Public Works
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE), May 8, 2017, Lowndes County Commission, 10. Reports – County Manager – Public Works

That project was supported by a GA-EPD grant she discussed May 8, 2017. If I’m not mistaken, that grant comes from the Georgia Scrap Tire Abatement Reimbursement Program, which is funded by the Solid Waste Trust Fund (SWTF). The SWTF has had upwards of $50 million has been diverted to other purposes, as mentioned in a WHEREAS in the resolution on these local agendas.


      12. Council Comments - Tim Carroll
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).

Valdosta City Council Tim Carroll talked about this resolution at the January 11, 2018, Valdosta City Council meeting:

Of particular concern is that when you think about our stormwater drainage ditches and branches, and creeks, our rivers, there are fees that are charged that are supposed to be used to protect those, and as best as we can tell they are not all being used for that purpose.

The resolution is on Valdosta’s agenda for this Thursday, January 25, 2018, and on Hahira’s agenda for next Thursday, February 1, 2018.

This resolution in support of Georgia HR 158 to stop diversion of state fees has already been passed by:

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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