“This storm drain is completely clogged up,” he said, poking a stick into a mound of weeds, dirt and trash that block the opening. “It’s not just unsightly, it’s dangerous.”
Weaver, president of the Clifton Springs Community Council, says when it rains, water doesn’t drain properly in some spots along the 2400 and 2500 blocks of Clifton Springs, leading to big puddles in the street that cause cars to hydroplane. It also backs up into yards, causing unsightly soil erosion.
The Clifton Springs complaints are similar to those of residents throughout South DeKalb.
After months of complaining to the county, DeKalb Public Works finally responded. On Jan. 21, workers with heavy equipment cleared away thick dirt and weeds along curbs on the Clifton Springs/I-285 overpass and dug debris from a few nearby storm drains.
The retired postal worker was happy to see the activity but said results are inconsistent. He also doesn’t like that they have to badger the county to get basic service.
“We just want the Department of Public Works to do its job,” Weaver said.
He recalls Clifton Springs had no sidewalks when he moved there. When the county installed them 10 years ago, residents were grateful for the improvements.
“But that’s when our problems with the clogged storm drains started,” he said.
DeKalb spokesman Burke Brennan says the vast territory and limited resources hamper its ability to stay on top of drainage issues.
“We do have regular inspections, but there are 2,100 miles of roads in DeKalb,” he said. “All have drainage requirements and we just don’t have the staff.”
On Jan. 22, commissioners considered an increase in the storm water maintenance fee from $48 to $60 that would take effect when property tax bills go out in late July. The board referred the matter to its Public Works Committee, which meets Feb. 5. The committee will decide whether to recommend that the full board approve the increase at its March 12 meeting.
Brennan said the new revenue would help clear some of the backlog of storm drain repairs.
“But for the most part, we handle drainage problems case by case as people call us,” he said.
Call for help
Have drainage complaints?
-- Water and sewer problems: 770-270-6243 (24-hour number)
-- Roads and drainage: 404-297-3840 (7 a.m.-midnight weekdays); 678-794-3916 (holidays, weekends and midnight-to-7 a.m. weekdays); 770-414-6199 (8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays