LETTERS: Storm Water Authority revisions needed

During hearings on the 2014 county budget the term “linear assets” was used by a member of the Water Resources Department in regard to the maintenance of those assets.

Translated, “linear assets” is the pipe used for the transmission and distribution of our potable water as well as storm water conveyance. On Friday August 30 the Storm Water Authority made a recommendation to change the material standards for pipe used for storm water conveyance.

With extensive research by the Director of our Storm Water Utility Division and his staff, an excellent power point presentation, as well as hearing from those in opposition and support of the proposed changes in materials for pipe used for storm water conveyance, our Authority voted 7 - 0 to recommend to the Director of the Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources that he adopt the proposed revisions to Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 of the Storm Sewer Facilities Installation Standards and Specifications.

As a member of the Storm Water Authority I believe the adoption of these revisions would be in the best interests of the ratepayers/taxpayers as well as in the best interests of Gwinnett County from an ongoing maintenance standpoint.

However, the Council for Quality Growth(CQG), which is a not-for-profit organization comprised of architects, bankers, contractors, developers, lawyers, planners, material vendors, etc. in the commercial/residential development community, is adamantly opposed to said revisions.

In 2001, 2006 and 2011 the county staff has attempted to revise the standards and specifications for storm water pipe. Three times, county staff has been “shot down” if you will. There is the possibility that this fourth attempt could be “shot down” as well. Ratepayers and taxpayers should understand that these proposed revisions are in their best interests but apparently not in the best interests of the development community as indicated by the opposition of the CQG.

While the Authority can only make recommendations citizen pressure on their respective District Commissioners and the Commission Chair could assist in finally getting these recommendations implemented.

James H. (Jimmy) Orr, Jr., Bethlehem