The Waycross City Commission met behind closed doors for just over an hour Thursday afternoon to discuss House Bill 523, emerging to take no action with regard to the issue.
“There has been no agreement,” said Mayor Clarence Billups, “so there will be a court hearing Friday in Pierce County.”
Waycross is seeking an injunction to void — or at least delay — the July 1 implementation that de-annexes property on Bonneyman Road in Pierce County from the city’s jurisdiction as dictated by HB 523.
The hearing was set for 10 a.m. today in the main courtroom of the Pierce County Courthouse.
Waycross maintains that it is caught in the middle of a Catch 22, whether to continue its federal obligation to operate the wastewater treatment plant in Pierce County or to obey Georgia law as it pertains to HB 523.
Pastor Andy Peacock of the New Life Assembly of God was present at Thursday’s city commission meeting at City Hall. His congregation stands to lose city water and sewerage service on July 1.
City Attorney Rick Currie, commenting after the closed-door meeting, said Peacock and his church have invested big plans to open a daycare center at the church. That goal, he said, is in jeopardy due to the circumstances.
“We took steps with respect to rezoning so as to accommodate the plans to operate a daycare center at the church,” Currie said. “I am sure the church would like to see that happen.”
The 700-member church is one of several clients on Bonneyman Road that now enjoy Waycross water, sewer, fire and police services. The church’s neighbors include a residence and a handful of businesses and light industrial operations, all of which are connected to city water and sewer.
Turning to other matters, the city approved a bid for fireworks for the upcoming Fourth of July celebration. The city will pony up $10,070 for the community affair.
“The Fourth of July being on a Saturday, we want to make sure the fireworks are the best ever,” said Raphel Maddox, city manager.