Pooler prioritizes drainage issues in 2018 budget

POOLER, GA (WTOC) - A brand new budget was passed in the City of Pooler on Monday and a new focus for funding floated to the surface.

Flooding has been an issue for years in some of Pooler's most established neighborhoods. The city isn't asking taxpayers for more money to now address the problems, it's just rearranging how it spends what it has.

"Drainage is number one. We have been looking at this for quite some time, it's just we're putting our money where our mouth is," said the Mayor of Pooler, Mike Lamb.

However, the plan for a drainage solution hasn't been made quite yet. They only know which areas need help. Over half a million dollars is set aside for the Quacco Canal and three-fourths of a million for drainage improvements around U.S. 80.

"We don't have specific numbers on projects yet. They haven't been bid out. They're still being studied right now," said Pooler's Financial Director, Michelle Warner.

The budget for the 2018 year is identical to the 2017 year, with a $20.9 million cap. Lamb says a big reason they are able to fund addition projects is through businesses that open in the area, who contribute greatly to the city's financial success.

"When you come to Pooler, you're not just coming here as a business, but you become a partner with us also," Lamb said.

The city also says last year's budget included a new police department. However, they put the police department inside City Hall, cutting a ton of spending and leaving them leftover money to use for drainage projects this year. The mayor says fixing the drainage completely is a huge task, and will take surrounding municipalities.

"We're trying to move water from here to the river, and that takes something to get it done because we then have to pass through other cities and the county to get places," Lamb said.

The City of Pooler is waiting on results from a survey for an exact plan to fix these drainage issues but assures the money is set aside when those survey results are in.

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