Newsletter from Council Person Julie Zahner Bailey
City Council Vote Proposed Monday Night, September 15th, 6:00 p.m.
Dear Friends, Neighbors and Milton Citizens -
Thank you for your emails and comments regarding the upcoming sewer service proposal.
I promised to keep you updated on the continued sewer vs. no-sewer debate. This important issue is currently on the Monday, September 15th Mayor and Council meeting under new business which reads as follows:
"Consideration of a Milton-Fulton Sanitary Sewer IGA process".
Please note, the Sept. 15th agenda also includes two rezonings and a Public Hearing on the 2009 Budget:
a Special Use Permit on Birmingham Road for a proposed Green Cemetery, and
a Senior Living Residential development on Bethany Bend with a proposed three story, 19+ units to the acre development on just under 5 acres.
Sewer Situation -- A quick review
August 4, 2008 Work Session Summary
Fulton County presented proposed sewer service maps and their proposed IGA. Note: The Fulton County proposed maps and revised IGA have only changed slightly from the August 4th work session. They are virtually the same as what was presented.
The Milton City Attorney confirmed that the Fulton County proposed maps and revised IGA represent sewer extension. Fulton County argued that the additional land lots were not included in the 2006 No Inter Basin Transfer policy because it was always intended that those land lots were to have sewer. The problem with that argument is that the 2006 No Inter Basin Transfer Policy is quite clear and only makes a legal exception for 15 land lots in the Etowah not 50 as Fulton County presented in their map legend. Since each land lot represents about 40 acres, thousands of acres could be affected. And while some of the land lots might have some existing sewer service within them, in many cases there is no existing sewer service at all in the land lots identified by Fulton County for sewer service.
Some on Council (including me) stated publicly that the Fulton County map and revised IGA represent sewer extension while other Council members claimed they don't. I have consistently stated that I do not support sewer extension and, therefore, cannot support these proposed maps and text as proposed by Fulton County in that work session. As you know, sewer allows density at higher rates than naturally limited by land constraints.
Monday's Council Meeting -- September 15, 2008
The current agenda for Monday, September 15th includes the Fulton County proposed maps and IGA. Meanwhile, Milton's City Attorney and staff have been working towards an alternative map and IGA text over the last few days to come up with a revised map and IGA that would be more consistent with the 2006 No Inter Basin Transfer Policy, but we have not had time to review it. Any new maps or new IGA's being proposed need to be reviewed thoroughly by Council and the public. To date, a work session has not been scheduled on these newly revised pieces, but instead, the Monday agenda includes this item.
And, while the map we have only just received may be moving in the right direction, I have substantive questions. I remain hopeful an alternative will be presented that I could support following a work session and public input. But let me be clear, I could only support a revised map and revised text for an IGA if it is consistent with the 2006 No Inter Basin Transfer Policy and if it only identifies parcels previously allowed sewer and/or parcels that specifically have been provided actual sewer service by Fulton County where:
exceptions have existed via the No Inter Basin Transfer Policy,
parcels where Fulton County provided sewer to parcels under their jurisdiction and where existing sewer customers exist and/or where Fulton County permitted development as evidenced by Land Disturbance Permits and substantial development that has already taken place.
Receiving a "new map" on a Friday night for a Monday Council meeting with no revised IGA to accompany it and no opportunity for questions, dialogue or public comment is not adequate. This issue deserves reasonable and adequate time to make a sound decision on behalf of all citizens.
What Can You Do?
Contact us. If the issue of sewer extension into Milton is a
concern to you, I encourage you to let me and the entire Council hear from you.
Please use this link to access contact information for the
Mayor, Council and staff.
You are welcome to attend the Public meeting at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall. Public comments are at the beginning of the meeting and comments specific to zoning cases, or other issues on the agenda can be made when that item is sounded.
Thank you for the opportunity and privilege to serve our community.
All my best -
Julie Zahner Bailey
Milton City Council