Sewer expansion on Highway 82 will proceed as planned - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sewer expansion on Highway 82 will proceed as planned

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December 11, 2007

Lee County -- Some South Georgia property owners could lose some of their land.

A year ago, Georgia voters approved a constitutional amendment making it harder for private property to be taken through eminent domain.

But it's still possible for governments to get property against the owner's will and that's what Lee County leaders voted to do Tuesday night.

The county is moving ahead with a major sewer line project along US Highway 82.

Leaders say it's necessary for industrial and commercial growth, but they couldn't come to purchase agreements for all the land they need for the project.

No owners will lose their homes or entire pieces of property, but the county commission voted to condemn 20-foot easements on four pieces of property.

"We voted to extend the sewage system for the commercial growth, which we desperately need for the tax revenues it will generate, and yes this is for the betterment of Lee County. Hopefully they will realize it is for the betterment of Lee County. And they are Lee County landowners and that it will benefit them down the road," said Lee County Commissioner, Dennis Roland.

Those property owners can appeal. Ultimately, a court likely will decide how much the county has to pay for the land.

The county is still negotiating with several other property owners and could end up pursuing those properties through eminent domain as well.

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