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County gives go-ahead to Grandview proposal
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Effingham County will go ahead with a unique agreement with the developers of Grandview for water and sewer service.

Commissioners voted 4-1 Tuesday, with Chairwoman Verna Phillips dissenting, to proceed with the Old Augusta Development Group’s proposal. Phillips asked the developers meet once more with Rincon about that city possibly providing Grandview with water and sewer service.

“I’m disappointed you chose not to meet with Rincon again,” Phillips said, “because of the closeness of their facility.”

But Mickey Kicklighter of Old Augusta said that wasn’t something the group was willing to do.

“They felt we had met with Rincon twice,” he said. “We would like to move forward with the county. It has nothing to do with personalities. It is solely a business decision. We just think we are better served by the county.”

County staff will review an amendment to the agreement with Grandview, with Grandview offering to complete infrastructure work if their crews get to the intersection of Old Augusta and Chimney roads before the county’s contractor does. Old Augusta Development Group, the Grandview builders, have offered to do the work at the same price or lower for the county, if they reach the juncture first.

The Grandview developers last met with the county and Rincon officials Nov. 29, Rincon Mayor Ken Lee said.
“We left that meeting with an intention to offer a proposed contract for services,” he said.

Rincon sent a proposal to the Old Augusta group a couple of weeks later, according to Lee, but never heard anything in return. They sent a letter to Old Augusta Development Group on March 15, asking them where they stood with the builders, but received no response, Lee said.

He said the question comes down to who is best equipped to serve this group and ultimately the county.

“We’re still available and able to participate,” Lee said. “If we are not careful, we are going to let other people make the decisions for the direction of the county, and I’m afraid those decisions may not be in the best interest of the county.”

Kicklighter said Rincon’s conditions were unpalatable to his group. Rincon required them to be annexed into the city in order to provide service, he said, and that would lead to having to go back through the zoning process.

Also, Rincon has not yet drawn up and approved a proposed planned development ordinance.

“There were some conditions with Rincon we didn’t think were feasible,” Kicklighter said. “Unfortunately, we don’t see eye to eye on those terms.

“We think it’s in our best interests, and the county’s best interests, to go with the county.”