Grovetown and Harlem officials have drawn a line in the sand between themselves.
The rapidly growing cities, with less than 10 miles separating them, expect more growth in the next few years.
"We are in the expansion business, the annexation business,'' Grovetown Mayor Dennis Trudeau said at a Sept. 2 meeting that was scheduled to discuss the two cities' growth.
The problem is, Harlem and Grovetown are expanding toward each other.
Growth in both cities is aimed north toward Interstate 20. Grovetown's many new subdivision developments are creeping west along Harlem-Grovetown Road, while Harlem's annexation plans extend east along the same road toward Grovetown.
Trudeau and Harlem Mayor Scott Dean met with council members of the two cities Thursday to plan for that growth by deciding on an impassable line that might one day be the only thing separating the cities.
"Eventually ...'' Trudeau said, "It will be many years before that comes to fruition. We just want to be sure not to duplicate any services or infrastructure costs.''
Trudeau suggested Old Louisville Road, which runs north to south roughly halfway between Harlem and Grovetown, as the ideal divider.
"I don't see a problem with that at all,'' Dean said, with two of the four city council members present nodding approval.
As a result, Old Louisville Road residents might one day be able to look at neighbors across the street who live in a different city.
Harlem already has water lines that extend to the road and serve a few county residents with city water. So, officials said, the city might lose a few water customers.
But Grovetown Public Works Director Wayne Newman asked about the possibility of purchasing water from Harlem for residents on the road, since Harlem already has functioning water lines in place.
City officials have already agreed to work together on a joint-water tank in a few years to keep water pressure up in the Old Louisville Road area.
"When the time comes, we are definitely together in that to provide a level of service to the customers,'' Dean said. "There is no argument there.''
Until the boundaries of Harlem and Grovetown touch, city leaders say they will continue planning as a team to avoid duplications and provide the best services in the outer edges of both cities.
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