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Cities, county to meet on service delivery map
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Officials from Effingham County and the county’s three municipalities will meet this morning to discuss service delivery area lines.

Representatives from the three cities met last week to go over the service delivery map, which designates which government will provide such things as water and sewer. Rincon and the county have not been able to agree upon proposed service delivery lines.

“The intent behind the service delivery law is to avoid duplication of governmentally intended services,” county engineer Steve Liotta said. “It is not intended to address private developers. The state wants to ensure there are not water and sewer lines from multiple governments running through a subdivision. It’s just lines on a map to preclude us from serving the same area.”

The lines also allow developers to know who will be providing their water and sewer lines.

Rincon and the county are at loggerheads over service delivery lines for areas just east of the city and for areas west of Rincon. The county has a 16-inch water line and a pump station off Blandford Road and serves Blandford Elementary.

“We see no need for them to come across our lines,” interim County Administrator David Crawley said.

Guyton and the county also have discussed service delivery areas for that part of the county. Guyton is in the process of securing land and financing for a wastewater treatment plant.

“If Guyton is not able to get a (Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority) loan for a $14 million wastewater treatment plant, we need to renegotiate the service delivery area,” Crawley said.

But commissioners balked at some of the service delivery area proposals.

“Personally, I don’t agree with any of them,” Commissioner Reggie Loper said. “Springfield’s got all the way to Stillwell (Road) and the Savannah River. Rincon’s got a huge area. Guyton’s got a huge area. I know we have to give them a service area. I didn’t know we had to give them the whole county.”

Under state statute, cities have a floating half-mile around their limits for their service delivery area.

Crawley said county staff wants to create language in the agreement to allow flexibility to change the service delivery areas. For a service delivery map to go forward to the state Department of Community Affairs for approval, the county, the county seat (Springfield) and one of the other two cities must agree to the map.

“No matter if all three cities concur, it cannot move forward without the county’s approval,” he said.