Event Preview Story
Event Preview Story

Event Preview Story


Feb. 25, 2022

By Melanie Velasquez

Courtesy Photo Provided By Todd Stevenson. He is the Stormwater Advisory Committee Staff Liaison and Administrator.

Athens, GA—A Wednesday night meeting of the Athens-Clarke County Stormwater Advisory Committee will include discussion of the pricing of the Stormwater fee, homeowners growing concerns over stormwater drainage and erosion, failing pipes, and the probability of receiving funding from SPLOST or TSPLOST. 

Increasing rainfall amounts have raised concerns within the committee. The accumulation of rainfall has expedited the rusting of old corrugated metal pipes used for stormwater drainage. These pipes are spread across Athens-Clarke County underneath roads, bridges, and some around homes.

“We think they might be 40 to 50 years old,” said Todd Stevenson, Stormwater Administrator and liaison of Athens-Clarke County. 

Stevenson said he speculates what age they are and because of  keeping track of their physical assets and their information one of the many things that they plan to work on and discuss in the meeting. He said that they aim to have a Stantec representative attend the meeting to help them with asset management. 

The Stormwater Advisory Committee is concerned that because of the competition for funding under TSPLOST and SPLOST that they will not be able to cover the expense of the replacement of the pipes across Athens. 

Stevenson said, “There’s just a huge amount of competition for those funds.”

The lack of funding will cause the Stormwater Advisory Committee to increase the amount in the Stormwater fee, which is currently around $50 per year for most homeowners in Athens-Clarke County. Stevenson said he hopes to keep the price increase to a minimum if they are unable to receive the funding needed. 

Stevenson said that the other main topic for the meeting will be the Stormwater Advisory Committee’s commitment to prioritizing their public responsibilities. He emphasized that such responsibilities are the replacement of pipes across Athens, the growing numbers of homes experiencing erosion, and as well as the general service that they provide. 

“We want to make sure that we are prioritizing our public responsibilities because that’s what everyone benefits from,” said Stevenson.

Why I Wrote the Story…

I wrote this event preview since it was something I personally found interest in and that may provide some insight to what the meeting would cover that is newsworthy. I also had previously run through 3 budget lines that failed either do to cancelled meetings, not speaking to media of any form, and simply not enough for 2 members of the government beat to cover. Nonetheless, it helped me understand how to interview a source better by gathering a lengthy list of questions and researching beforehand.