Concerned Citizen writes:
On Dec. 2, I called the Greenville Water Plant to report that raw sewage was backing up into my downstairs bathroom. City workers came by that afternoon and checked the sewer line at the south end of the street, but they did not let me know anything.
A few days later I reported to the water plant again that raw sewage was still coming into my downstairs bathroom. Workers came out again and told me to call a plumber. Plumbers came by, opened the manhole by the street at the end of my driveway, and showed me that the city sewer line is clogged or has collapsed north of my property, causing the raw sewage to overflow and back up into my house.
To make a long story short, city workers have been here; representatives from the Health Department have been here; Brad Jones has been here; plumbers have been here; Lee Owen has tried several times to help - and still nothing has been repaired. The plumbers did dig a trench in my front yard and left my clean-out valve open so that raw sewage will no longer come into my house.
The city workers and Brad Jones all admit that this is a city problem, but they have no idea when the sewer line will be repaired. In the meantime I have paid my plumber $433.35 for digging an unsightly (but necessary) trench in my front yard. The city should reimburse me for this expense since the obstruction is in the city sewer line north of my house, but Brad Jones tells me that the city probably will not reimburse me.
In mid-January I asked Brad again when the repairs will be made to the sewer line on my street. He admitted that he has no idea. He went on to say that there are many jobs on the list before this one.
Something tells me that this job will be like so many other projects in Greenville - the downtown improvements, the Bass renovation, the city street repairs, etc., etc., etc.
Something tells me, you're right! The really sad fact is that while residential streets and sewers are in total disrepair, we can still find money for the downtown "road to nowhere." The residential sections of Washington avenue (from DRMC to Hwy 82) are horrendous. This section is designated as our "historical" district for which tax payers pay dearly and yet the avenue is almost impassable.
Look at Bowman Boulevard. For the total costs of "patching" that street over the past ten years, it should be paved in gold. Instead, it is a roller coaster of bumps and ruts. The city has been working on Main Extended for 3 years and every time they patch a section, water starts oozing from from another and there are still several open "craters" that will jar your teeth.
If the past election has taught us a new buzz-word, it is "transparency". We should demand to know how our road and property taxes are being spent. Go down to City Hall and ask for a copy of a line-item budgetary expenditure report for 2008. Keep track of how many people you have to ask for this report as well as the number of excuses you get of why that information is "not currently available".
Actually, it would be a very good question for the Mayor herself during her weekly open forum visits with the residents. "Transparency" in our city and county governments is not something we will see in our lifetime.