Mayor says Powder Springs had a year of great gains
by Noreen Cochran
February 18, 2013 01:28 AM | 2250 views | 3 3 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
POWDER SPRINGS — Mayor Patricia Vaughn said last week that Powder Springs made gains during the past year.

The city’s top accomplishments in 2012 included five new police cars and 24 new housing permits, which is 24 more than in 2011.

Revenue was up by about $850,000 more than expected, while expenses came in at $1 million less than in the $13.8 million budget the Powder Springs City Council adopted in June.

The city planned for about $307,000 in revenue from a new $3 monthly stormwater fee adopted to cope with rainwater running off hard surfaces into storm drains.

Vaughn said during her State of the City address at the city’s Ford Center that the fees pay for labor-intensive federal and state mandates.

“We are required to map the entire stormwater system. We are required to conduct annual inspections,” she told about 60 attendees. “It is definitely a full-time job for several people. By the time they finish, they have to start all over again.”

But the city’s water department came under fire during the question-and-answer period, when resident Aundree Kellam said she hadn’t been paid what the city owed her.

“There was a leak. We had it repaired. We filled out the form to get the credit,” she said.

Kellam said she was also irked at still being billed for a water line she disconnected in September.

“I’m off on Mondays. I’m more than willing to volunteer my time to straighten this out,” she said. “I want this department to function.”

City Manager Brad Hulsey responded that the city is behind in issuing leak credits.

“We have been for quite some time. I’ve made that a priority,” he said.

Leaky pipes and broken water mains led to a “modified” water rate structure, Vaughn said, which put businesses on the same sliding scale of water usage as residents.

“The city does have an aging infrastructure,” she said.

It causes headaches for residents and business owners, who become alarmed at seeing brown water come out of their taps.

“It’s caused by various factors,” said Public Works Director Greg Ramsey. “Sometimes it’s a water main break. We’ve been having a lot of those.”

The breaks underscored a breakdown in how the city alerts its utility customers.

“We run into a problem with communication all the time,” Ramsey said. “When we have an emergency, there’s several thousand customers impacted and we have no way to get the word out. What we do is try to fix it as quick as we can.”

The city’s six bridges also need attention, Vaughn said.

“GDOT and Croy Engineering evaluated area bridges and identified certain deficiencies, the most serious being the bridge on Powder Springs Road over the Silver Comet Trail,” she said.

Don Hix, the Croy Engineering project manager, said they’re taking precautions until the 60-year-old bridge can be replaced this summer.

“It’s weight-restricted,” he said.

Hulsey said after the meeting the bridge is “nearing the end of its useful life,” but is “not in imminent danger of falling.”

Other accomplishments for 2012, Vaughn said, included a renovated courthouse, stream cleanups and the near-completion of 2005 SPLOST projects.

Ahead for 2013 are a new theater at the Ford Center, more sidewalks and special events like the city’s 175th anniversary on Oct. 5.
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Terri Foschini
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February 20, 2013
I have a good question. My home has one of those city water run-off retension ponds. After many almost 20 years that we lived here the City of Powder Springs have had the "Paulding County work release prisioners come to clean out the pond from the trash, cans, kids balls and other gunky material. I really don't know why the City used Paulding County workers and not the men or women from the Cobb prision. This is not my question. About a year ago we recieved a certified mail stating that we, my husband and I would now take on the responsibility of the cleaning of the city owned retention pond. If we did not clean and landscape this area to one of the environmental dept. standards we would be fined. There was a list of all that was expected for us to do. This is funny but not funny cause all the city ever did was pick up trash and cut the grass or weeds. We were expected to buy special rocks for drainage and other materials to bring the area up to code. So then the City after many meeting and discussions decided to charge all citizens of Powder Springs with a fee for the upkeep of those retaining ponds in the city limits. We got a letter from the city stating that the retention pond passed a visual inspection. Yeah! But why!! Isn't the fee charged to each citizen used for the expense of keeping these retaining ponds areas clean and working properly? Why send us a certificate for the area in question? Keep your certificate and come clean the retaining ponds of Powder Springs yourselves. We have enough to do by working to pay the taxes that Powder Springs charges without seeing much used properly in the city. Oh and don't tell me to get involved in the city government if I want to complain about the issues. I work hard with special needs children and I will not subject myself to an evening of watching the powers that be spin their webs. We are another city tax payers who has called the city hall repeatedly to have our calls ignored. I do not have time to go down to city hall and have a door slammed on me. Would love to have someone in charge of these issues contact us but I guess I'll just wait till I get another pretty certificate from the city. Note to self: buy a shiny certificate frame.
anonymous
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February 18, 2013
Great job, Mayor Vaughn. When your revenues are up more than expected and your expenses are less than budget, somebody is doing something right in controlling the money. I am confident as the year rolls on, Powder Springs will solve its water woes. Powder Springs is a charming little town and you should be quite proud of keeping it that way.
mk- poor so co
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February 18, 2013
Boy, these people in elected positions throughout Cobb are just plain unqualified.

No wonder south Cobb has turned into south Dekalb.

All we hear about is crime, crime, crime!

Not one peep about economic development.

Not one peep about bring jobs!

Not one peep about working w/ Cobb County & other mayors.

Gwinnett has put together a PLAN, brought everyone to the table & carried it out. Gwinnett groundbreakings for manufacturing, distributing, world headquarets & high tech jobs are a weekly event.

South Cobb is dying from a self inflicted suicide.

Looks like the only employment in Powder Springs is the fat cats at Croy Engineering!

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