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Airport, WHA still in legal talks with county over stormwater fees

POSTED: June 18, 2014 1:00 p.m.

The Barrow County Airport Authority and Winder Housing Authority have still not come to any final agreement with the county government regarding both past stormwater fees and what they will be paying in the future.

Both Winder Housing Authority Executive Director Michelle Yawn and Barrow County Airport Authority Chairman Scott Miller told the Barrow County News recently that there had been no new developments.

And it’ll likely be a little longer before anything could be finalized due to the Winder Housing Authority having no legal report in its Monday meeting and the Tuesday airport meeting being cancelled.

The issue stems from stormwater fees, both for last year and year’s prior, which were assessed to both quasi-governmental organizations due to their having at least some property in unincorporated Barrow County, which for the last few years has had to pay a stormwater fee which goes to county maintenance of stormwater infrastructure.

Winder Housing Authority Executive Director Michelle Yawn said recently that it was the WHA's position that it is exempt from all such fees as stated by state law Section 8-3-8. The law refers specifically to housing authorities. Including the storm water fees for the past three years and a streetlight tax, the county's bill to the WHA is $960.09.

There’s more money being discussed with the airport, due to all of its property being in an unincorporated area.

The authority received a bill at the end of 2013 for stormwater fees in excess of $6000 from the county for the past year and previous years. The authority has said repeatedly that they should not have to pay this amount since they maintain their own detention pond.

Airport attorney John Stell said at a recent meeting the county seems willing to discount the stormwater fees, possibly by as much as half, for credit given for onsite management at the airport’s expense.



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