DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - County leaders voiced their concerns over a new construction staging site for the controversial Sabal Trail gas pipeline.
The company's construction preparations apparently violate Dougherty County zoning rules, but there's probably nothing the county can do about that.
With 18-wheelers carrying heavy duty construction equipment, residents said the site is now a constant annoyance.
And it has interrupted the normal peace and quiet on Flowing Well Road.
The area is home to farm fields and cattle.
"It kind of hit everybody all of sudden, nobody knew it was coming," said Dougherty County resident Michael Smith.
Smith has lived in his home for 14 years and he can't imagine the damage that could be done in the next few months.
"I'm just concerned about the infrastructure of the roads and the integrity of the roads and who's going to pay for it when they tear it up," said Smith.
But that's not the only question.
This land is zoned for agriculture, meaning this kind of construction equipment isn't allowed.
Smith said he had to go through a long permit process to have a building put on his property.
But Smith's building is nothing compared to the construction site.
"We just found out this week that it's being used which is a non-compliant with our zoning regulations," said Dougherty County Commissioner Lamar Hudgens.
Hudgens is concerned about the ruckus in his district.
"With all of that equipment you're going to have fuel leakage, lubricant leakage and in Dougherty County you can stomp your toe and hit ground water," said Hudgens.
Hudgens said the county will do what they can to stand up for county residents.
"Just the fact that they didn't really care what we thought here in Dougherty County on how to use the property," said Hudgens.
But the project has federal approval which likely will pre-empt any county regulations.
County Attorney Spencer Lee is researching the law and working with Sabal Trail.
He'll make presentation to county commissioners Monday at 10 a.m.
Commissioner Hudgens encourages residents to attend the meeting.