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City working to develop storm-water plan
Council votes to hire consulting firm for management program
City of Statesboro seal

Engineering personnel for the City of Statesboro want to ensure that a little bit of rain, or even a lot of it, never hurts anyone.
Drainage issues in some portions of the city, exacerbated by recent rainstorms, have spurred local representatives to take action with regard to the city’s plan for dealing with runoff storm water.
During its regular meeting Tuesday, Statesboro City Council voted unanimously to hire a consulting group to help staff engineers develop a comprehensive storm-water management program.
The city will pay Ecological Planning Group $74,125 for the service, to help streamline its drainage system — to better manage large amounts of rainfall and maintain water quality.
“(Consultants) will be evaluating a large cross-section of the storm-water infrastructure we have in place. They will sit down with staff, and mayor and council, to determine what kind of services need to be provided. They will help us prioritize storm water-related projects, and help us identify funding mechanisms,” City Engineer Robert Cheshire said. “There is a lot entailed in this agreement, and I think that it is sorely needed. All of the recent rain has emphasized our need. I think our crews are doing an exceptional job, but we can improve and do better. We recognize that we need to do more, and this program will help us do that.”
Hiring a consultant now will give the city a leg up on upcoming state regulations that will require the city to closely monitor quality of runoff water.
“What we’d like to do, by starting to formalize a comprehensive management program, is get ahead of some of the regulations that are coming,” Cheshire said. “We can get ahead of the curve.”
Complete details of the consulting agreement are included in the Statesboro City Council Packet for May 7, which can be found on the City of Statesboro website, www.statesboroga.gov.
In other business Tuesday, Councilman Gary Lewis sounded a warning to vandals he said left gang-related markings on a walking trail at Statesboro’s Luetta Moore Park.
“I found some gang graffiti out there the other day. I want the word to get out, right now, that the City of Statesboro and the Statesboro Police Department will not tolerate any gang activity at Luetta Moore Park, ever,” Lewis said. “If it takes locking that facility down at night, or anything else, congregating for drugs, sex or gang activity will not happen. The community does not want that going on out there, and we will do everything we can to stop this. That walking path is going to be there for people to walk in a safe place, and not be worried about anyone who is not supposed to be there.”
According to Public Safety Director Wendell Turner, the graffiti (gang names) was etched into concrete that was still drying.
Aside from the markings, police have found no other evidence of gang activity, he said.
But, “when we see graffiti like that, we certainly pay attention to it,” Turner said. “We have always been very aggressive in stamping this sort of activity out. We have zero tolerance for it.”

Jeff Harrison may be reached at (912) 489-9454.

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