Dear editor:

There are numerous unresolved drainage issues in our city and county. I implore our engineers to make these issues a priority. Your leaders will fight you however; they prefer to choose how the money is spent. “Drainage issues on local levels is the sole responsibility of local governments,” says the EPD, EPA and Corps of Engineers.

Mr. Leigh, your enemy is my enemy. The city and county have no favorites when drainage issues are presented. They avoid action at all costs.

The county turned 101 acres into a public dump on Industrial Road, allowed a firm to dump aluminum oxide on the area. Rather than clean up their mess, they auctioned the property to the highest bidder in 1995.

I purchased the 101 acres in 1997. Three years later at my own expense, after repeated refusal to define and reconstruct 1,200 feet of eroded ditch, I billed the county $10 per lineal foot ($12,000) for its repair. Fourteen years later, I’m still waiting for payment.

Another firm at the industrial park spent a quarter of a million dollars cleaning up the mess allowed by the county government in 1998.

Then in November of 2000, Mr. Al Gore was shouting “We are recounting the votes until I’m declared the winner,” the EPD was on my property threatening a $300,000 charge for cleaning up debris allowed on the property for the staging area of dumpsters where citizens were encouraged by the county to dump their garbage. The EPD waited three years, while I cleaned up the county’s mess, to pounce on me.

The EPD threatened me for doing a chore the county ignored. I threatened them  for denying my right to clean up my property. They counter-threatened with proceeding construction efforts without benefit of a “Soil Erosion Control Permit.” The threats went nowhere. I spent $600,000 and developed a 9-hole golf course. The citizens enjoyed my efforts for the next 12 years.

In 2012, the county approved my golf course site for a junk yard. Utilities director Roger King advised me that the Bridgeport Brass property “will not be settled in our lifetime.”

In 1986-2014 we’re still waiting for EPD approval of a 100 percent cleaned site in 2004. Government will never be the solution we seek until we show fiscal and moral responsibility.

To understand the nature of our state and federal governments, one need only recognize these people came from local government. If not held responsible at the local level, by the time they get to Atlanta or Washington, they are quite sure they can continue having their way with the folks back home.

The EPD and I have agreed to disagree and they dropped all actions against me. I still do not feel exonerated, knowing EPD’s power was granted by Atlanta and Washington elite.

 If they want respect, then show all of us some respect.

Tom Rogers


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