VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) – Some Valdosta restaurant owners are upset about a city ordinance they say is unfair and extremely costly.
The city is requiring restaurants, new and old, to install new grease traps that can cost thousands of dollars. Something that business owners are not happy about.
Roger Budd Company supervisor Fredi Temples said it cost them two months of business and over $20,000 in new traps. And they still had to pay over $10,000 in rent while they were locked up.
“That will be $14,000, plus labor,” Temples said. “And the workforce will probably be somewhere between 5,000-8,000 at work.”
If you don’t have proper grease removal, it can get into sewer lines and cause problems in sewage plants.
“We have a working tank. We’ve been working for 20 years, 30 years, and we’ve never had a complaint about it,” Temples said. “It’s in good working order now, and it’s preventing the tenant from opening and it’s costing us 20-25,000.”
Although business owners are upset, the city wants them to know that they are simply updating outdated systems because the system does not meet protocols.
“The haze ordinance has always been in place, or has been in place since 2009, and there have been some changes to it in the past depending on the situation,” said Scott Fowler, environmental manager for the city. “But now everyone, every institution … has been brought up to code.”
City officials said Valdosta isn’t the only city taking this seriously. If sewers overflow, they can cause major health concerns and expensive cleanups.
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