Hephzibah wants $10 million of SPLOST money

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News12 / Friday Feb. 7, 2014

Three mayors and two officials meet up to talk about Richmond County. (WRDW-TV)

HEPHZIBAH, Ga (WRDW) -- Three mayors working together to figure out how to spread the wealth for the whole county.

"If you get two or three families in that like the city of Hephzibah, they are going to tell two or three more, and they are going to tell even more," Les Morton said.

Morton lives in Hephzibah and wants to see it become a place where folks who will work at the new Cyber Command or Starbucks plant will call home.

"You're looking at growth. Your going to have a lot of people to come in but if you have not planned for those particular types of facilities then it's going to make things a lot worse," he said.

Morton doesn't want Richmond County and more importantly Hephzibah to lose out on folks moving in and potentially going to neighboring cities or counties. One way to do that is money.

"There's much bigger numbers out there. That $10 million is not so much of a big number," said Hephzibah Mayor Robert Buchwitz.

Buchwitz says that money will benefit the whole county because traffic will decrease if Windsor Spring Road widens to four lanes and a field of Hwy 88 would get a whole new look.

"With the agricultural center and the recreational facility to partner with the YMCA is something that would benefit the whole South Richmond County, the whole region, not just the city of Hephzibah," he told News 12.

The mayors says no property taxes and a 10 dollar water rate proves they aren't greedy and only looking not to play catch up with the county's growth.

"We want those people to want to move here. We want you to want to raise your children here and your children to raise their children here. That is what we're looking for," he said.

Morton hopes county leaders don't lose site of the big picture when it comes to spreading the wealth.

"The thing that I'm concerned about is anticipated growth, but planning for that anticipated growth," Morton said.

Hephzibah is also hoping to update fire and EMS vehicles along with their water meter system. There's even talk about adding bike and golf cart lanes -- much like Peachtree City outside Atlanta.

Blythe is asking for $1.5 million, but they are also smaller than Hephzibah.

However, they are wanting similar projects just at a smaller scale.

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