AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – A group of Augustans want to combine their neighborhoods into an entirely new city.
Once again Summerville could operate as its own entity, just like it did more than a century ago. This time with several other communities. It’s a measure being seriously discussed for the future.
“This idea is the result of some frustration in our current form of city government,” said Local attorney Wright McLeod.
Pump the breaks. You could be driving through a new city in a few years. McLeod told NewsChannel 6 that his coworkers, friends, and neighbors want their local government to be more efficient, with reduced costs and better use of money for infrastructure.
“The public spaces, whether it be the parks or the ball fields, the roads, the inability to adequately fund the police force, the controversy with the fire department, the controversy with the ambulance system,” he explained.
So, how do you create a new city, within a city? McLeod said he’s already done the research and you can see it in full effect in other Georgia places such as Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, and Buckhead, where they are still in the process. It takes, at best, two years and McLeod wants to move forward with a meeting garnering support for reincorporating the Village of Summerville.
He added, “Law requires them to go get a feasibility study at the cost of somewhere around $40,000.”
That study also names the new city’s boundaries, which McLeod stressed is needed since Summerville proper is just about a mile, too small to operate on its own. Instead, West Augusta, Forest Hills, and even National Hills could be called something else.
If it sounds far-fetched, think again. It’s certainly been done before.
“In 1861, the Village of Summerville, which had not had any kind of separate form of municipal government before then was incorporated.”
Historic Augusta Incorporated Executive Director Erick Montgomery told us former Georgia governor George Walton divided his land into large lots with the idea to build summer homes, escaping downtown’s mosquitoes and warmer temps.
“They did eventually have their own fire department and their own water department and their own police department,” he stated.
By 1912, Augusta grew, and a referendum was passed to annex Summerville into the Garden City. And by 1996, that changed.
McLeod added, “I don’t think there’s anybody that believes the consolidation of Augusta-Richmond County has worked out the way they had hoped.”
Anyone wanting to talk about the Village of Summerville as a new city can attend a meeting this Sunday at 6 p.m. in the Social Building on Elkdom Court.