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Questions to ask the commissioners
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Dear Editor:

Here are 10 questions every resident of Effingham should ask their county commissioners.

1. Would the $32 million debt for water and sewer be the reason my taxes are so high?

2. Were the water and sewer lines run for the benefit of the schools or was the water line run for the benefit of builders and developers?

3. If the water and sewer lines were run for the schools, why did they put us in such debt when there were more economical methods available?

4. If the water and sewer lines were run for the benefit of builders and developers, why are there only slightly more than 300 users today, when there have been approximately 2,000 homes built in the county since the water and sewer line installation. If the water and sewer was run for the benefit of builders and developers, why weren’t they run where they would be used?

Statement:  It appears that regardless why the debt was incurred, there would be little or no argument that we need more water and sewer users in order to pay for the system.

In 2009, The Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development, College of Business Administration, Georgia Southern University, prepared “The Economic Impact of Development in Effingham County for Grand View Industrial Park,” on Old Augusta Road.

The report was greeted with great enthusiasm and projected a potential positive impact of $1 billion dollars for the county over a 10-year period.  The only thing needed to make Grandview a shovel ready site for industrial growth was providing water and sewer at an estimated cost of $4 million to $8 million, which was a part of the original loan secured for the counties $39 million water and sewer project.

5. Considering the above statement, why did the county spend $32 million on a water and sewer project and refuse to run water and sewer to the only place capable of paying for it, and why did they return the balance of the money borrowed for this system while refusing to honor the commitments to supply water to a project which offered so much hope, and generated so much enthusiasm for positive economic growth of almost $1 billion over a 10-year period?”

6. For what reason would the commissioners deny the request from the investors for the water and sewer lines, and for what reason do they continue to refuse to honor their commitment which has resulted in legal action (lawsuits), against the county?

7. On what grounds do the commissioners justify their decision to defend a lawsuit, which if lost, will increase taxes for everyone?

8. Why have the commissioners continued to pursue a course defending a lawsuit, which if won will ultimately cost the county the economic growth needed to retire this $32 million debt?

9. Is the intent of the commissioners to bankrupt the investors of Grandview along with a list of other developers, all suing for the same reasons?  Why won’t the commissioners do right by all the developers, thereby bringing economic growth to the county and benefitting all the taxpayers?

10. Do you think the actions of our county government instill confidence and trust in those considering moving here, or doing business in Effingham County?

We demand better from our elected officials. You should, also.

Ask the questions and demand  answers.

Charlie Kea
Community Progress Council of Effingham