Effingham County Plans for Growth

Effingham County is trying to lure new businesses. As part of the plan to attract companies, they're building a wastewater treatment plant between Rincon and Springfield. The county, one of the fastest growing counties in the state, hopes the new treatment plant will show companies they're open for business.

Meantime, more and more people are moving in and more and more houses going up. You would think that would make county leaders happy, but they say it's not the kind of growth they need.

"Unfortunately we've been growing in residential growth," said County Commissioner Gregg Howze. "It's tough to have that pay for itself."

And that's why the county is transforming a tract of wilderness into the $12 million treatment plant. They hope by creating a sewage facility they'll bring more commercial businesses, bringing in more money to the county.

"You've never seen a McDonald's on a septic tank," said Howze. "So we want to promote sewage throughout the county and not just the municipalities."

The part officials are most excited about is that the treatment plant is not going to cost them much in the long run. They've taken out a $12 million loan that developers who move in will have to pay back. And two residential developers have already shown interest in moving in after the treatment plant is in place. County officials say they're pleased.

"We love people and are glad they're moving in," said Howze. "But we have to plan for growth and plan for the future and make sure the services are there."

The county bought 500 acres of land and it'll only be using about 200 acres for this project, leasing the other 300 to other businesses. Officials hope this turns out to be a win-win situation

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com