Meigs annexation plan under fire - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Meigs annexation plan under fire

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By LeiLani Golden - bio | email

MEIGS, GA (WALB) – The small town of Meigs in Thomas County is looking to expand its city limits. But the proposed annexation concerns some nearby county residents.

We spoke to one man who wants to make sure the expansion is fair for everyone.

Brent Layton lives just a mile outside Meigs city limits. He says Thomas County provides him with all the services he needs. Which is why he's against the proposed annexation.

"It would only be a benefit to them to get my tax money and no benefit to me because there's no services they'd provide that would help me," Layton explains. "It would only cost me money. I can see it only as the city is in bad shape and struggling doesn't have much money like most small towns and I can only see this as a way for the city to enlarge their tax base."

The plan is to expand the Meigs city limits to include 2800 acres of Thomas County and 600 acres of Mitchell County.

"These numbers are unbelievable. I know these numbers sound crazy," Layton exclaims.

But Meigs Mayor Andy Wurst says those numbers are necessary.

"We find it hard for a 3/4 mile circle city to function well in this day and time," Wurst explains. "Unless you're a community like Sandy Springs in Atlanta with a tremendous amount of wealth."

Some people are concerned about how big the proposed annex area will be. But city officials say it needs to be that big to plan for the future.

"We feel like if Meigs is to grow, we need to plan to grow together, so we're doing a fact-finding public meeting to come to a consensus," he promises.

He says planning today will give the people of Meigs, city and county, more opportunities tomorrow.

"If you suddenly want to quit farming and build a toxic waste dump, you couldn't do it there," he adds. "But you could possibly do it somewhere else because we planned for it."

But Layton disagrees, "I grew up in Meigs all my life, I'm 54 years old. And this town has not grown an inch."

But city leaders are hoping that will change very soon.

A public meeting about the annexation planned for July 17th has been postponed and rescheduled for July 31st at 10 A-M at the community center.

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