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Rincon agrees to fee cut for Habitat project
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Rincon City Council members agreed last month to cut the fees by $100 for a home being built by Habitat for Humanity of Effingham County.

Jimmy Rutland, executive director of the Habitat Effingham chapter, asked the council members to help with the project. Habitat is about to embark on building its first home in the city. The home will be built on Talmadge Road, and Habitat is demolishing an uninhabitable double-wide trailer on the site.

“I don’t think there is a finer organization,” said Mayor Ken Lee. “I would like to see us help them if we can.”

Added council member Reese Browher: “They have already torn down a blighted structure.”

The value of the project is $85,000, according to Habitat, and the home will be 1,152 square feet.

Rutland explained to council members that the organization has little corporate support and cannot solicit for monetary help in Chatham County. He said the group would like to see a preferential rate structure from the city for its homes.

“This is something you can do to help us,” he said of waiving the fees. “There are other projects we want to do. If we have to pay full-boat fees, we have to look hard at doing those projects.”

Council members agreed to the $100 cut in fees, based on what Effingham County has done for Habitat on other projects. That was on a property in Shadowbrook, and while the county could not help on impact fees, Rutland said, it gave the group $100 in credit.

“We do not build on prime property,” he said. “Everything we build on has been a tax sale or has been donated.”

The building permit is $250, and the property already has water and sewer hookups, Rutland said.

“We have paid more in demolition on the property than we have paid in fees,” he added.

Rutland also noted that other cities have found unique ways to foster Habitat for Humanity. Perry donated two lots it acquired through its code enforcement, and Valdosta used a community development block grant for Habitat.

He also assured the city wouldn’t have any concerns about how well-built the home will be, and he added it probably will be appraised for more than $125,000.

“Our houses are way, way better,” he said. “They will be Georgia Earth Cents homes. The county tells us they don’t have to worry about the quality of our construction.”