Dear Editor: See if I get this correct on our Rockdale Water Resources recent press release. (RWR Director) Mr (Dwight) Wicks states that for the first time in 12 years his department is finally free at last from the Federal and Georgia consent orders that cost "Rockdale County" taxpayers - not City of Conyers - $500,000. Congratulations go to Mr. Wicks and members of the Water Authority but please explain the following question.
With all these many years trudging along with the feds and state dogs at our heels because we have infrastructure issues why does mayor Randy Mills (up for reelection) and his "build at any cost" triad go and approve the massive 4A project with 308 acres of new apartments in the highest density possible in the city?
Combine 4A's already 200 acres rezoned to that high concentration of apartments and that is 508 acres ready to bulldoze today! Remember we already have a ten year building supply of home lots now. But the 4A folks still have more land to ask for later and the city did not have to agree to this high density but could have helped this community by allowing a change from a mall to less dense residential zoning. In the city the ratio of homeowners to renters is already a whopping 67 percent. By any community standards we lose our local unique cultural heritage when more renters who just rent a bed here out number homeowners by that percentage.
The Atlanta Regional staff even stated this was a project of Regional Impact. Does that sound like it was a good idea for a community with 100 year old water pipes leaking like a sieve. No it will forever be remembered with weak officials wringing their hands saying "I just had to do it."
Add in the rezoning of adult community in Milstead from residential single family to Mixed use development. These developers raced to Conyers before the big bust and now they have talked the locals into a far worse deal by allowing these high density developments in the name of progress. They profit on our losses.
Now you see why Rockdale will continue to have to play the game "There goes another industry" to neighboring counties due to our infrastructure problems.
On top of the mounting heap of fresh barn yard waste the mayor wants to raise the salary of the new (Conyers Rockdale Economic Development Council) director to $80,000 per year. Why? Because no one has been able to land any new industry except Hill Phoenix who is already here! The silly notion of raising the salary is pure childishness. To be a real player in this arena pay a "landing bonus." That is keep the salary low and pay a sliding scale bonus to the director based on the industry that actually opens here.
Our chamber of commerce will not tell you the truth. That is until the home building stops and we give Rockdale Water Resources time to fix the problems or we as homeowners need to get ready to be taxed to the max. Homeowners pay $1 in taxes for every $3 they consume. Yet industry pays $3 and only gets $1 in returned services. City officials know this after all the expensive conferences you paid to send them to for decade after decade.
With strong leaders in place we could have been protected, but that time has come and gone.