I am writing to inform my fellow Guyton and Effingham County citizens that, after careful thought and prayer, I believe that not only will the placement of the waste water treatment plant on Riverside Drive be wrong, but it will also be built under wrong motives.
Please allow me to explain why I disagree with the Guyton City Council on the purchase and spending of $13.5 million for this WWTP. Also I will state why I feel that moral and ethical rules have been broken in the process, and perhaps even legal liberties have been taken, which I at this time cannot definitely determine.
I am against this WWTP first of all for the location of the proposed site. This site is prone to high flooding and has proven so several times since 1994 when I saw it at its worst. The citizens at the workshop in Guyton on June 9 brought up a lot of good information to support this.
Another concern I have is not the actual plant itself but the raw sewage that will travel nine miles past several residences that depend on deep wells. If one of those couplings fail or pipes break, we have a raw sewage leak that is too near someone’s deep well. This leak may not register with or alarm flow indicators but over time can contaminate the drinking water. I think even a drain field has to be 100 feet from any well.
The last physical concern is the chosen location is one of the few properties untouched by “urban sprawl,” if you can call it that. The WWTP will appeal to developers and thus more homes or subdivisions will spring up. The trouble here is that developer-owned land will sit idle for a long time due to the housing market, and in the meantime we have done nothing but destroy habitat. If it did boom right away, this would add to the huge problems we have now with the city of Guyton not keeping up with services that I personally feel the city cannot give its citizens now, at only 2,000 plus people.
I am against this WWTP also for the motives behind its proposal. I understand from the workshop and comments made at a recent Guyton council meeting that Guyton desires to annex not only that 400 plus acres, but also the nine miles between the current city limits and the Ogeechee River. There are people who, like my grandfather who owns land adjacent to the property purchased by the city, moved out there to get away from the city and its ordinances. These people also moved out there to get a little privacy. Appeal to developers and you get an influx of people from around Savannah who think an acre is a field, buy ATVs and crime goes up.
I may be a little paranoid, but no one likes intrusions of the wrong type. Again, I personally believe that the city of Guyton has to appeal to developers and annex to increase their tax base. Citizens of Guyton, we may one day become 10,000 strong, however here and now only the few of us has to cover $13.5 million.
I agree with Frank Arden — work with the existing county WWTP facilities and do not create a third WWTP in the county.
Lastly is the moral and ethical issue I have with the Guyton City Council on this WWTP. No one is perfect; however, your words betray you. As you may recall, at the workshop the council was caught up in false information. The statement was that the property owners near the site were contacted by city council members. Two stood up and said no, they had to contact the city first. And my grandfather was contacted only after I had a chance meeting with Mayor Garvin in a Guyton store and asked him to call my grandfather.
Another issue is the purchase of the land, which seems irreversible at this stage. It’s like putting the horse before the cart. Mayor Garvin stated it had to be done that way because land prices might have risen if the WWTP was proposed before the property was bought. This looks more like begging forgiveness instead of asking permission. Is it legal for cities to purchase land or annex land without a referendum?
Lastly, Councilman King told me that this WWTP “is going to happen,” after nearly all of the citizens who turned out voiced their opinions against the WWTP. I thought a democratic government listens to the masses. Thanks for your time.