Officials from Rincon, Springfield and Guyton came to an agreement Thursday on where they would like their water and sewer service delivery areas to be.
Rincon Mayor Ken Lee said he didn’t know where the other cities were in the process of dealing with the county in negotiating delivery areas, but Rincon has made several proposals and has not been able to reach an agreement.
“The last one we gave them was at least three months ago,” he said. “Hopefully, y’all have had better luck than we have.”
Lee showed the officials a map from the county and asked Guyton Mayor Michael Garvin to begin by looking at the map of proposed service areas.
Guyton Alderman Les Pevey said Guyton has been in negotiations for approximately a year and a half to work out the service delivery area.
“(The county commissioners) met (Wednesday) on ours, and turned us down,” Pevey said. “This is what they proposed to us. We didn’t propose it to the county.”
Pevey said Guyton took a proposal to the county, and then the county added to the proposed delivery area. Guyton then approved the county’s proposal, and the county denied the plan.
Garvin said Guyton received a call that the county turned down the proposal, and they wanted to talk.
Garvin showed the other officials what Guyton had agreed to. It would have Guyton serving to the river, and as far north as Guyton wants to serve.
“What they gave us is what they turned down,” Garvin said.
Lee said Rincon is not trying to bring the other cities into its problems, but Rincon is at a standstill with the county. He said the city has made multiple proposals, but has gotten no response.
“There is a way that we can go about this if all three of us can agree,” Lee said.
Lee said he didn’t know where Springfield was in the process.
Springfield Mayor Barton Alderman said his city has not had any kind of negotiations with the county. He said the last negotiations the city had was when an intergovernmental agreement was signed four years ago.
Rincon City Manager Donald Toms asked if Springfield and Guyton were both happy with how the map showed proposed service areas. Officials from both cities said they are fine with the areas their delivery areas would meet on the map.
Toms said Rincon would like to serve east of the city to the Savannah River. Rincon would like to serve from the railroad track to McCall Road to Chimney Road to the river.
“That way the county can start concentrating on the high growth down at I-16,” Toms said.
Alderman said he did not see a problem with Springfield in regards to where Rincon is proposing its service delivery area. Springfield Council member Charles Hinely said he did not think Rincon was asking for too much by proposing to serve the area between the railroad and the river.
Rincon Council member Paul Wendelken said the cities sticking together would be important.
“In the past, they never needed Rincon,” he said. “They could get Springfield off to the side and cut a side deal, and they could get Guyton off to the side and cut a side deal. What’s going to be important, well for Rincon, what’s going to be important is that Springfield and Guyton stand right there with us. That’s what’s going to get anything done.”
Lee said it was important for the cities to stand together for the residents of the county.
“If we don’t do this, the county is going to make some foolish decisions,” Lee said. “They are going to do some things that are going to be very, very costly for this county, and every one of us is going to pay for it.”
Toms spoke with Alderman about a small area where the Springfield and Rincon service areas did not meet on the map, but could to work out which municipality would propose covering that area.
Rincon City Council member Ann Daniel said she thought it was great that the municipalities came together and came to an agreement on service delivery areas.
“I would like to see one more step in the process,” she said. “If this is something we are going to take forward, I think it would send a strong message if all the mayors right here tonight, in agreeance as you are, now sign off on your section with your name to show that unity going forward.”
All three mayors signed the map of the agreed proposed service delivery areas.