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12 Comments

  1. 1

    Heather

    I’m glad to hear they are finally working to fix this.

    Our last water bill was $18 but some neighbors with similar water usage gets charged $400- $600.

  2. 2

    Thomas Porter

    Whaaaaaat? If you read the last paragraph, that’s what our friend Chad Boles has been saying all along, most of it being dismissed by by City & County.
    Happy it’s acknowledged.

  3. 3

    Heather

    I just know that the county has been trying to gaslight people with crazy bills (including hundreds for empty houses) saying that “they must have a leak” for quite some time now.

    The horror stories of people trying to argue that they don’t have crazy water usage only to be told by Dekalb that their house must have a leaky pipe is astounding.

    They pay a plumber $$$ to confirm there are no leaky pipes- and just get more gaslighting about the bill. The plumber must not have found the leaking pipe!

    Some reporters for national news organizations were recently looking into it.

    We’ve been lucky as far as billing, but I think it’s freaky when your water turns brown and they tell you to turn on all your faucets and let them run for 15 minutes.

  4. 4

    Truth

    So all of sudden you realize this??? Where have you been all these years while serving as our county commissioner???? That’s right and you have been part of that problem. Sadly, you have been a commissioner for too long. You barely can make a decision and you pass the buck. I hope we can find someone else who is PRO PUBLIC SAFETY. YOU ARE INEFFECTIVE AND INEFFICIENT AS A COUNTY COMMISSIONER!!!!

  5. 5

    Tatum

    Hi Heather, Do you know which national news organizations?

  6. 6

    Riley OConnor

    And, there is the example of those who know that they are consuming water, only to be be told “just pay the minimum administrative amount” because the meter is broken. Then the County notifies them that they are being cited because their house is vacant (no water billing).

  7. 8

    Chad B

    The DeKalb County Water and Sewer Department has issued over $500m in Sewer Bonds since the EPA Consent Decree began in 2010.. The interest payments are supported by your sewer bill that has doubled in the last 5 years. All the money has been spent in sewer system mapping, which is mostly complete. Testing is nowhere close to finished. Cleaning has only begun. Cleaning will not fix the following items that account for 65% of all sewer spills that resulted in a Consent Decree: root balls that have collapsed pipes, rocks and other construction rubble, sagging pipes that no longer connect, leaking and broken manholes and lift stations and, finally, city owned storm water assets that flow directly into the sewer system.

    Our 3rd Director in 3 years, Scott Towler, suggested in the absence of a required sewer capacity model DCSW give sewer contingency plans in order to circumvent the EPA requirement of denying sewer capacity models. The County is empowered to deny all Development certificates of occupancy until that capacity model is completed. ANY sewer capacity model can only be created in the ABSENCE of stormwater infiltration. So COB, Chamblee, Doraville and Dunwoody stormwater must be disconnected from the sanitary sewer system first.

    Lastly, the EPA Consent Decree itemized $1.3 Billion for repairs. $500m is gone. Mr Rader suggested deferring as much of DeKalb’s responsibility as possible because even another $400m of bond issuance, much less the full $800 million agreed upon, will lower our credit rating, create instability in our financial system and increase financial costs. The most likely outcome is either bankruptcy for DeKalb County in another 5 years, or your sewer bill will double, or more likely triple, as repairs are deferred in deference to ‘cleaning’ and the county’s unsustainable pension is supported (Employee contribution is doubled but DC County and guaranteed at 7.5% ROI).

    I hope everyone is beginning to see sewer could be the straw that breaks the camels back unless our city leadership and DeKalb County begin to work together. Even if that were to happen, the financial load is precarious at best, disastrous at worst. Rezoning large tracks of land and approving medium to high density projects is rendering a solution further out of reach.

  8. 9

    Eddie E.

    Meanwhile, Senator Frank Ginn has a jaunty piece in the Legislature (SB-116) to allow Counties and Municipalities to pretend the problem isn’t there at all. Might want to contact your Senator about this.

  9. 10

    It\'s never my fault

    Oh Jeff, go back to sleep. We will let you know when it is time to again blame your dereliction of duty on someone else. You so funny..

  10. 11

    Chad B.

    Thanks for the heads up, E. The bill seems to allow any property owner with large tracts of undeveloped land to avoid storm sewer fees. Does that mean Ashford Park Greenspace will be exempt from storm fees? Or does it mean any new high density project can avoid storm water fees by installing peak cycle, over flow vaults? Why would they do that?Eventually, storm water from both scenarios will use the system. I don’t know the impetus for the bill so I’m just guessing.

    Which P.E. will the city or county hire to specify which of his/her designs must be used to comply? Will it be the same group generating monopolistic ideas from a small group of architects on a Design Review Board. “Of course you can build in Brookhaven. You might contact one of the architects on our Design Review Board as they will provide you with the quickest path to Design Review Board compliance.”

    You see how this can snowball. And has. Our very own City Council just last Tuesday obliterated any confidence in the Comprehensive Plan. Now they want to utilize other Economic Development Plans to drive a bond issue. None of which are defendable in court, according to said city council.

    https://legiscan.com/GA/text/SB116/id/1494415

  11. 12

    Chad B.

    Meanwhile, back in the sewer pipe…

    25% of DeKalb County’s budget ($1b) goes to retiree pensions. Another 25% goes to retiree healthcare…about $500M.

    http://www.myajc.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/big-state-subsidy-for-pensions-spurs-concern-for-georgia-lawmakers/JG9tyRCqCBmUxM9uggKENJ/

    DeKalb generates about $1B in tax revenues and with $2.75B of debt…up $750m in 3 years. That’s a 2.75:1 ratio of debt to income. A home mortgage applicant gets 2:1 max with the reasonable expectation they can repay the loan.

    http://www.dekalbcountyga.gov/sites/default/files/CAFR_2015_Final.pdf

    DC Commissioners are considering another $400M to correct the sewer issues. That’s half of the additional $800m required in the consent decree, not to mention the pension obligation bonds they will soon have to issue for approximately $100M. Your sewer bill is going to triple to approximately $250-$350 per month. When do you bite the bullet and move to Fulton County (i.e. sewers already fixed)?

    It’s over. DC is toast. Brookhaven mayor and council are more concerned with Peachtree Creek Greenway, developer give-aways and Buford Highway gentrification. Brookhaven should be circling the wagons. The next 3 years are going to be a very bumpy ride.

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