Valdosta business owners unhappy with new restaurant ordinance

Video from WALB
Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 5:59 PM EDT
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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 could cost thousands of dollars. Something business owners are not happy about.

Roger Budd Company Superintendent Freddy Temples said this cost them two months of business and over $20,000 for the new traps. And they still had to pay over $10,000 in rent while being closed.

“That’ll be $14,000, plus labor,” Temples said. “And labor will probably be anywhere from 5,000-8,000 in labor.”

If you don’t have adequate grease removal it can get into sewer lines and can cause problems in wastewater plants.

“We have a tank that’s working. Been working for 20 years, 30 years and we never had a complaint on it,” said Temples. “It’s in fine working order now, and this is holding the tenant up from opening up and it’s costing us 20-25,000.″

Roger Budd Company Superintendent Freddy Temples said this cost them two months of business and...
Roger Budd Company Superintendent Freddy Temples said this cost them two months of business and over $20,000 for the new traps. And they still had to pay over $10,000 in rent while being closed.(Source: WALB)

Although business owners are upset, the city wants them to know that they are just updating outdated systems because the system does not meet protocols.

“The fog ordinance has always been in place, or has been in place since 2009 and there’s been some variance to it in the past depending on the situation,” said Scott Fowler, environmental manager for the city. “But now everybody, every establishment...has been brought up to code.”

City officials said Valdosta is not the only city taking this seriously. If sewers overflow, it can cause major health concerns and expensive cleanups.