DeKalb County homeowners don't want special tax district - CBS46 News

DeKalb Co. homeowners don't want special tax district for sewer projects

Posted: Updated:
Scottdale Mill Village Scottdale Mill Village

Pamela Glosson-Saint's husband and their children were raised in DeKalb County's Scottdale Mill Village neighborhood.

"Our home was built in 1905, as were most of the Mill homes - 1905 to 1910," said Glosson-Saint.

Saint said she and some of her neighbors have been fighting to get their deteriorating sewer lines, which in most cases run under the homes, changed from private to public.

"The problem is that the homeowners in this area will have to pay to have the sewers replaced," said Glosson-Saint.

Now they are fighting to keep DeKalb County commissioners from approving an ordinance that will create a special tax district for older neighborhoods, like theirs, with private sewer lines that need to be replaced.

County spokesman Burke Brennan said the ordinance helps homeowners offset the cost to replace private sewer lines.

"Sometimes you have old properties sitting on old sewer lines - 50, 60, maybe up to 100 years old. This is a private line that's not publicly maintained," said Brennan. "This is a solution that, if the majority of the property owners want, allow some public/private participation where there can be a partnership to achieve an equitable solution."

Elle Vickery said she and her neighbors already pay sewer fees and they don't want to pay more for a problem they believe the county should fix.

"The commissioners are trying to tell us that the only way we can have our sewers redone is to pay $7,500 per household, plus tap fees, which can be up to $3,000 more, which will be a huge burden on a lot of people here living on fixed incomes," said Vickery.

The ordinance, which commissioner put off voting on for almost a year, if passed, will not apply to residents on a septic system or with public lines.

"The residents who are affected by this aren't shouldering 100 percent. Then again, the innocent rate payers who had nothing to do with this are not shouldering 100 percent," said Brennan.

Commissioners will vote on the ordinance Tuesday, April 9. Check back with CBS Atlanta for the decision.

Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.