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County may skip meeting
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The city of Rincon may be fighting for its right to future growth as it goes head to head with Effingham County on the service delivery strategy.  

Last week the city sent a letter to the county and to the other municipalities requesting one last meeting Wednesday to resolve differences as a last ditch effort to avoid mediation.

Currently, county service delivery lines are drawn much closer to Rincon’s city limits than the city would like, and Rincon officials believe that dramatically reduces Rincon’s potential area of future growth.

The Grandview tract, cited by Rincon Mayor Ken Lee, was a lost opportunity and by being serviced by the county rather than the city could block potential growth to the northeast.

According to sources close to the Grandview project, the county encouraged the project leaders to be served by Rincon for its water needs, but they insisted on remaining within the county’s service area. The primary reason cited was that since much of the tract would be for industrial use, being inside a city’s limits would force a company to work with two governmental bodies instead of just one, something that industrial companies are frequently hesitant to do.

The Research Forest Tract is another large landmass that blocks growth to the southwest, while Westwood Heights is served by Coastal Water and Sewer. Rincon is bounded to the north by Springfield’s service delivery area, and the county serves beyond the railroad on Blandford Road.

In his letter to the county and municipalities, Lee said, “Since the city of Rincon does not charge a property tax, our costs much be paid through impact fees and user fees for water and sewer services, and SPLOST funding, which is based on population, which is why the city of Rincon must fight this drawing of a line around our city limits.”

Lee stated that Rincon has the largest population in the county and has been a “driving force in development of Effingham County.” He also commented that the county’s placement of a wastewater treatment plant just outside the city limits was an “attempt to blockade the city of Rincon.”

Effingham County Commission Chairman Dusty Zeigler said last week that Rincon’s letter was not well-received by the county. Sources close to the city said on Friday that the county even suggested forgoing the Wednesday meeting and going straight into mediation since that’s where things appear to be headed.

The meeting will be conducted at Rincon City Hall instead of the city council chambers adjacent to the Rincon Police Department.