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Utility extension paves way for 500-600 lot development
Hinesville City Hall
Hinesville City Hall is at the corner of Commerce and Martin Luther King Jr. streets. - photo by File photo

Hinesville City Council voted Thursday to allow a developer to extend water and sewer lines to a proposed subdivision, part of which will be in Flemington, another step in a process that could add up to 600 homes in that area in the coming decades.

The measure still has to be approved by both Flemington and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.

Hinesville’s vote occurred after a presentation from engineer Marcus Sack, representing Josh Wheeler. Sack said the extension is needed to serve the first phase of development in the next two to three years and will include lots for up to 120 single-family homes on a 34.5 acre tract as well as 20 acres for commercial use, all in Flemington.

Ultimately, the planned unit development, or PUD, apparently to be known as "Savannah Commons" is expected to be much bigger. And most of it will be In Hinesville, Sack told city council.

"We’re talking about 500 to 600 lots potentially," he said. "That’s more like a 10-15 year time frame. This first phase is in the next two to three years."

The extension will initially use an estimated 60,000 and 70,000 gallons of water and sewer a day, according to Sack.

Because the development is on both sides of the boundary between Flemington and Hinesville, with city limit lines running along some streets and, apparently, through lots, City Manager Billy Edwards noted there could be issues of jurisdiction regarding police and fire protection, among other things.

Council also approved a recommendation to move forward with the repair of crumbling sewer lines along East Mills Street. The poor condition of some lines in that area was discovered in January 2016 after a concrete sewer main collapsed, causing sinkholes that closed the intersection of North Main and Edelie Osgood, according to city engineer Matthew Barrow.

Video cameras were used to inspect other lines in the area, and problems were found at a number of sewer mains on Shipman Avenue, Rebecca Street, Edelie Osgood Avenue as well. But Barrow said East Mills section was in the worst condition, with "several sections of pipe either completely missing, or missing large portions of the pipe, causing voids beneath the roadway."

Barrow broke the project down into three phases at a total cost in excess of $700,000, but said the city has some additional money from a $6.2 million Georgia Environmental Finance Authority loan it could use to fund some or all of the repairs, which would include the replacement of concrete mains with PVC and the repaving of streets where necessary.

Using those funds will require GEFA approval, Barrow said.

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