Grovetown city officials and county commissioners will decide soon what direction they want to take with the future of Grovetown's water and sewage systems.
Both sides are weighing the merits of the county taking over the city's system, which is expected to be overburdened by its growing population.
Nearly 480 new homes are expected to be built next year in Grovetown and another 200 are expected in 2005.
"We have plenty of activity just as you have in the county," Grovetown Mayor Dennis Trudeau recently told county commissioners during a meeting to discuss the proposal.
If the city wants to continue controlling the infrastructure, it will borrow $3 million and adjust rates, Trudeau said.
If the county takes over the system, it might assume Grovetown's outstanding $1.6 million on loan on the city's only wastewater treatment plant, handle future regulation issues with the Environmental Protection Division and collect payments from Grovetown's 2,560 customers.
Grovetown's City Council plans to meet Monday to vote on whether to hand over the systems and existing wastewater treatment plant or continue to manage the systems on its own.
"When I looked at the system in its totality and the improvements that have got to be made to bring it up to our system standards, I was looking at an even break," said Billy Clayton, the director of Columbia County's Water and Sewer Services. "We're not looking to make any money."
Without the benefit of a major river or stream nearby, Grovetown already is dependent on the county for water supply and sewage treatment. In 2002, the city bought 70 percent water from the county and 25 percent of its sewage service from the county.
Grovetown also is negotiating with Augusta and Fort Gordon about the possibility of running sewer lines out to them.
Regardless of whether the county decides to take over the systems, Grovetown already is moving ahead with building two new sewer lines.
However, a decision about the county's future role with the city's systems will have to come before March of next year, when the current sewer agreement between the two groups expires.
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