Grovetown officials approved land annexation for development and the possibility of free health care for some residents, but refused to swap land with a local church during a Monday city council meeting.
Julie Miller, the executive director of Columbia County Family Connection, spoke to council members about Project Access, a group of more than 300 local doctors who volunteer to provide health care to certain people age 18 to 64 without health insurance.
The group has been providing health care to Richmond County residents for two years, and Miller said it wants to expand to Columbia County.
Miller asked Grovetown officials to meet with Harlem officials and representatives from Project Access.
City council members turned down a proposal from Grove Baptist Church about swapping a piece of property with the city.
The church on Robinson Avenue backs up to city hall, and desperately needs more parking, Mayor Dennis Trudeau said.
Church officials offered the city more than two acres behind the church cemetery across Robinson Avenue in exchange for 1.55 acres just behind city hall.
Councilman David Daughtry said he does not support the swap because the city property will be needed in the future if city hall is expanded into a complex, as it was designed to be.
"I definitely think the city ought to hold on to that property for expansion. We definitely have a need for parking there already," Daughtry said.
Daughtry suggested some parking alternatives for churchgoers.
"I feel for them, and I understand the situation they are in."
Council members agreed not to swap the property, but did offer the parking lot at city hall and the Senior Center to churchgoers on the weekends.
The council also voted at the meeting to annex 182.78 acres on the south side of Harlem-Grovetown Road, near Grovetown Middle School, into the city.
The land, owned by Larry Prather, will be developed into a residential subdivision, Trudeau said.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.