Posts Tagged ‘Gov. Perdue’

Lowest Chattahoochee River Flow on Record this Summer

August 6, 2009

LOW RIVER FLOW ENDANGERS DOWNSTREAM ECOLOGY, SAYS BILLY TURNER 

It’s hard to believe, but, even though we are not in a drought and have had a lot of rainfall,  the flow of the Chattahoochee River downstream from the Atlanta area has been the lowest on record this summer.   That’s what former Columbus Water Works Director, and defender of downstream Chattahoochee River interests Billy Turner tells me. 

Billy Turner, former Columbus Water Works Director, Columbus, GA

Billy Turner, former Columbus Water Works Director, Columbus, GA

It has happened because the Corps of Engineers is holding back water at Lake Lanier and West Point in order to store more water in anticipation of a future drought, he says.

But, since the Corps is under court order to keep flows strong enough to satisfy Florida’s need for fresh water to flow into oyster beds in Apalachicola,  how can the Corps hold the water back?

“Because,” says Turner, “the Flint River is supplying enough flow for Appalachicola right now.”

What does this low flow mean for downstream communities?

“The main problem with the Corps reducing flows is that a certain amount of flowing water is needed to assimilate the waste-water discharges at each of these cities and plants,” he says, adding, “These flows were designated in wastewater discharge permits by the respective states and if the appropriate levels of flow are not provided the potential for poor water quality in the streams exist which could impact the ecology. The option to having the appropriate flow is higher levels of wastewater treatment which is very expensive.”

In a meeting in Columbus yesterday, Govenor Perdue, who is trying to unify all sections of the state in face of a federal court ruling that, in three years,  Atlanta can’t take any more water from Lake Lanier,  assured Turner and other business and political leaders that the state is not just concerned with Atlanta’s needs.  According to a Ledger-Enquirer story,  neither Represntative Debbie Buckner nor Turner were convinced.  “I don’t think we came together today,” Turner said. “There has got to be more discussion. What is the deal Georgia has in mind?” 

He had told me erlier, “Georgia will continue to fight for Atlanta’s water needs requardless of the concerns of Columbus and our neighbors. It would be a great step if Georgia would provided a balanced support for all Georgians which could keep us on the same side in the Court actions. To date State government has only shown concern for Atlanta.” 

Turner is a prime leader in a suit filed against the Corps of Engineers demanding that an adequate downstream flow be maintained.

 

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Georgia Democrats Call for Special Session of the Legislature to Deal with Financial Crisis

September 20, 2008

Rep. DuBose Porter and Sen. Robert Brown complain that Governor Perdue values an Agri-Center and Go-Fish program in his home county more than a veteran’s home in another county.  

  Finally, Georgia Democratic legislative leaders are going into action over the way Governor Sonny Perdue is going about reducing state expenditures. They think he needs legislative input in what shall be cut and are calling for a special session of the legislature to deal with the state’s financial crisis.  They believe Governor Perdue’s actions are leading to a financial disaster for the state.

  For instance, they think it is very wrong close down a home for veterans while pumping millions into a horse park expansion at the Agri-Center in Perry and a Go-Fish program, both in the Perdue’s home county.

  “It is necessary for the state to make budget changes due to the weakening general economy. However, closing the domiciliary at the War Veterans Home is shameful and rolling back tax money due to local governments will impose an unnecessary tax increase on working families,” according to Senate Democratic Leader Robert Brown (D-Macon). ”]State Sen. Robert Brown [Democrat, Macon]
  “The longer we wait the bigger the budget deficit will be and this will hurt education, economic development, health care and anywhere else that government has a role. Under this current process, the Governor has forced agency heads to make decisions such as closing the War Veterans Home, state parks and furloughing state employees with no input from the house or senate. Without a special session now, we will continue to move Georgia backwards and force an increase in local taxes,” adds House Democratic Leader Dubose Porter (D-Dublin).
Georgia State Rep. BuBose Porter (D)

Georgia State Rep. BuBose Porter (D)

  “Perhaps most galling, when our country is fighting two wars, Governor Perdue believes it is acceptable to evict 81 veterans from the Georgia War Veterans Home in Milledgeville, for a savings of $2.7 million. Meanwhile, projects such as a $7.3 million horse park expansion at the Agri-Center in Perry and $19 million for the Go-Fish program, both in the Governor’s home county, continue to move forward.
 
  “These people volunteered to serve their country and put their lives on the line for our freedom, but instead we are going to let them go homeless while we make boat ramps and horse shows a priority during a budget crisis. Those are not the values of Georgia’s citizens or Georgia Democrats.” said Senator Brown.  “This is no longer just a fiscal issue.  This is a moral issue.”
 
  Senator Brown and Representative Porter noted that waiting for January to fix the problem is no solution at all. “With every day that goes by, the budget gets further out of balance, and we get deeper and deeper into a hole,” said Representative Porter.

Let’s Hope Gov. Perdue Doesn’t Mess with FDR State Park

September 8, 2008

  Since I have so many fond memories of Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park atop Pine Mountain, I am glad to know that maybe it won’t be affected – though it could – by the new round of state budget cuts. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, FDR State Park is not losing money.  Last year it was 2nd only to Vogel State Park in making money, ending up in the black by $220, 884.  

F.D. Roosevelt State Park

CCC built stone cabin, courtesy: F.D. Roosevelt State Park

  The top money loser was Amicalola Falls and Lodge, ending 2007 in the red by almost $700 thousand. Tallulah Gorge State Park was second to the top, losing almost $500 thousand.

    The Georgia Board of Natural Resources has agreed to cut hours or even close six state parks and seven historic sites. It’s part of Governor Perdue’s call to cut $1.6 billion from the state’s $21 billion budget. The natural resources department plans to make cuts that will add up to about $2 million. This means cutting down on hours and perhaps days that parks will be open, and reducing personnel that operate and police them. This has already happened to a number of sites. 

  Maybe the state government needs to consider why FDR is such a charming park. It’s rustically beautiful stone welcome center and museum, which, for years was an inn with cabins and a restaurant, and impressive stone Liberty Bell-shaped swimming pool that is filled with cool spring water, were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC, in the 1930’s. It was constructed as part of the Roosevelt administration works program to provide jobs for Americans. The state is cutting jobs at a time of economic downturn.  Maybe they need to read a little history.