Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Joint Water, Sewer Vote Uncertain; One Brunswick Commissioner Says the Panel Needs Time to Make a Decision

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Joint Water, Sewer Vote Uncertain; One Brunswick Commissioner Says the Panel Needs Time to Make a Decision

Article excerpt

Byline: TERRY DICKSON

BRUNSWICK - As promised by Brunswick Mayor Bryan Thompson, a vote on a joint City and County Water and Sewer Commission will be near the top of the agenda for Wednesday night's City Commission meeting.

But after a four-hour work session Friday on the service merger, Thompson said he couldn't guarantee there would be a vote on the issue.

City Commissioner Cornell Harvey, previously an opponent of the merger, said Friday he is in no hurry to vote.

Harvey said his personal deadline is June 30, a few weeks ahead of the expiration date of the enabling state legislation.

"This commission needs to have time to make an informed decision," he said.

Not everyone needs that much time. After sitting through about three hours of debate, City Commissioner James Brooks remained firmly against the merger as he left the meeting early.

Asked what he would do Wednesday, Brooks responded, "Vote 'Hell no.' They're still talking in riddles."

City Commissioners Mark Spaulding and Jonathan Williams remain committed to the merger. They represent the city on the five-member committee that drew up the operating agreement on the would-be joint commission. Thompson refused to tip his hand.

At least one of Harvey's qualms over the agreement was eased. The committee members said they would state flatly that the new agency would hire all the city's water and sewer workers. Protection of city jobs has been a sticking point for Harvey.

In the long discussion with citizen appointee and Chairman Tony Sammons, Director Keith Morgan and other members of the formation committee, the city commissioners heard details of why joint operation of all water and sewer services is best for the community and especially for the city. Glynn County needs the city's wastewater treatment capabilities to serve burgeoning residential growth

For the city, it must go into the rural areas for new supplies of fresh water. …

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