County says no 2nd time to church sewer

Tue, 07/17/2007 - 4:38pm
By: John Thompson

For the second time in two years, the Fayette County Commission turned down Heritage Christian Church’s request to connect to the Peachtree City sewerage system.

The request was defeated by a 3-2 vote, with commissioners Jack Smith, Peter Pfeifer and Robert Horgan voting to deny the request.

Pfeifer said he had no problem with the church, but said allowing the church to connect would lead to a bad precedent.

“This is difficult for me. But if we approved this, we wouldn’t be able to turn down the next person in the county who wants sewer,” he said. The county has a county-wide water system but provides no sewer service.

But Commissioner Herb Frady, who supported the church’s request, said the county had made several exceptions, including the South Complex for the Fayette County School System and the old Chimneys subdivision on Ga. Highway 74.

Heritage Christian Church senior minister Greg Marksberry said the church, located on Redwine Road, was simply trying to expand its mission of serving people in the community.

“There is a need for more recreation in the area, and this would create very little disturbance,” he said.

Marksberry said the church wanted to build additional recreation fields for the community to use.

“Is there a critical need to connect? Are you having septic failures?” asked Chairman Smith.

Marksberry said the church had not suffered any failures, but a resident in a nearby subdivision had his septic tank fail. He also added that a new septic field for the church would eat up much of the expansion area for recreation fields.

Frady said he had no problems with letting the church connect, as long as the sewer lines were only big enough for the church, and the lines could not leave the church’s property.

But Frady’s motion failed, and after the meeting, former Chairman Greg Dunn said the commissioners had made a wise decision.

“That’s what keeps us different from the other counties in the Atlanta region. Sewer would lead to far denser development.”

However, the issue may not be dead. County Attorney Bill McNally, in one of his last legal opinions for the county, said in open session that Peachtree City’s water and sewer authority was within its right to extend the sewer line.

“I don’t understand why we’re voting, then,” said Smith.

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