Georgia Supreme Court Hears Bibb/Monroe Co. Boarder Dispute

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Updated: Wed, 11 Sep 2013 12:03:23 EST

Representatives from Bibb and Monroe counties were given 20 minutes to plead their case in the latest court hearing over the counties' border, this time before the State Supreme Court in Atlanta.

Bibb County is appealing an approved county line drawn up by former Governor Sonny Perdue appointed land surveyor Terry Scarborough in 2009 at the request of Monroe County.

"Terry Scarborough was not supposed to create a new line, the statue requires that you go and mark out the true boundary," said Bibb County Attorney Virgil Adams. "The one that's already there."

Adams says Scarborough's survey is wrong due to a poor starting points and a lack of use of the historical facts.

"If the foundations of the survey is incorrect, then the survey is incorrect," said Adams.

The Secretary of State is siding with Bibb County in the appeals process. Adams says millions of dollars are at stake. The line Monroe County claims is the correct one runs right through the Bibb County funded Bass Pro Shop.

"In no way, shape, or form is the commission interested in taking things that Bibb County has bonded money for," said Monroe County Commission Chairman Mike Bilderback.

Bilderback says Monroe County is interested in the land that rightfully belongs to his county. The parcels of land would bring in an estimated $1.5 million dollars annually in tax revenues. Bilderback adds it's in the interest of citizens in both counties to set the border right.

"It's to make sure that our citizens and Bibb County citizens know where they can go for permitting," he said. "Who's protected by what planning and zoning board, whether it would be ours or theirs."

If the "Scarborough" survey is finalized, parts of Bibb would become an island inside of Monroe County.

"We can have an island and I don't think it will change taxation," said Bilderback.

Adams says the island and the change of addresses for residents along the border would cause more problems and confusion for residents and government.

"Not only for Bibb but also for Monroe because even if this was to stand, Monroe County would have to pay Bibb County for all those services and I suspect Monroe could not write a check for $30 million dollars," said Adams.

Bilderback says Bibb County would have opportunities to contract with Monroe County for county services for the Bibb Island.

By law, the supreme court has six months to come to a decision. Monroe County says they have spent over $2 million over the last eight years on the case and if this decision does not come down in their favor they're going to start the process from the beginning but will request for governor intervention to pay for new survey.

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