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City questions county-wide water advisor
Mayor Jim Thomas
The future of several projects throughout Hinesville was the order of the day at Thursday’s city council meeting as members approved and denied items on housing, public transportation and water and sewer usage.
However, a request for the mayor to sign off on — and participate in — a countywide water and sewer organization was tabled until October.
The Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission requested the mayor’s signature on an intergovernmental agreement for a Liberty Regional Water and Sewer Council, but councilman Keith Jenkins moved that the item be tabled until he could learn more about the proposed organization, expressing concerns that the mayor’s required presence on the council might “spread him too thin.”
Councilman Bobby Ryon seconded the motion, and the item will be revisited during the first council meeting next month.
According to LCPC, the utility council would be staffed by representatives of Liberty County, Allenhurst, Flemington, Gum Branch, Hinesville, Midway, Riceboro, Walthourville and the Liberty County Development Authority.
The agreement itself is in the final draft stages, but commission representatives at the meeting explained that the newly formed council would be an advising authority, rather than a governing one, providing input on development as it pertains to water and sewer use.
In other council action, Oak Forest Properties, LLC, received approval to expand its Oak Forest Apartments property with an additional 30 units on the west side of Sandy Run Drive. Oak Forest currently has 32 units there.
The planning commission also received approval for the city to enter into a contract with Anderson Marketing of Hilton Head to promote Hinesville’s nascent public transportation system. The next challenge, officials say, is to get funds from the Georgia Department of Transportation to buy buses.
Delivery of the buses  is expected 150 days after purchase orders are submitted. Mayor pro tem Charles Frasier estimated the new buses will arrive sometime in 2010.
Plans for a proposed subdivision between Hinesville and Flemington were presented to the council, with a request to extend water and sewer lines from Hinesville to its neighbor city to serve the incoming community.
The development, Flemington Forest, would require up to 345,000 gallons per day, but city officials expressed concerns about adequate supply. City Manager Bill Edwards said Hinesville’s limit rests at around 4 million gallons per day, and currently the city is seeing a little more than 3 million gallons used per day.
Engineer Trent Long said he would accept a refusal at the meeting, explaining that it would allow the project to pursue other options for water and sewer service. The council accommodated Long, voting to deny the request.
The council expressed mild surprise at Long’s acceptance of the denial.
“It’s like getting a ticket and saying ‘thank you’,” Edwards said.

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