EDGEFIELD COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – Developers looking to build in Edgefield County are seeking city services through annexing into the city of North Augusta.
People who live in the city of North Augusta have access to anything from sewage to public safety.
Since the 1980’s North Augusta city leaders have approved four requests, made by developers, to have the Edgefield County land, that they plan to build on, annexed into the city of North Augusta.
Some developers chose to do this for the services North Augusta provides, which they can market to potential home buyers. In the end a new development benefits both Edgefield County and North Augusta.
An 84-acre property on Gregory Lake Road in Edgefield County has been on the market for nearly six years. Blackstone & Associates Realtor Matt Anderson says he went back and forth with Edgefield County to get them to provide needed infrastructure to develop the land, however, he was unsuccessful.
“Edgefield County, I think, would like to be able to service this area, but due to its location, it’s just not cost-effective for Edgefield County to bring their own sewer system and water systems out here,” Anderson said.
The property sits next to the Oak Creek Subdivision, which is part of the City of North Augusta. Homeowners of that neighborhood receive city-provided services.
“We are on the outskirts of Edgefield County. Therefore, it would take a longer time for fire and police to respond if there was a need,” said Oak Creek homeowner Sally Vines.
City Administrator Todd Glover says North Augusta is not actively pursuing unincorporated areas to annex into the city, but they do work with Edgefield County to meet the needs of residents.
“It’s really better that way, in that it’s economical for both entities,” Glover told WJBF NewsChannel 6. “They aren’t spending an inordinate amount of money to get somewhere and serve something and neither are we.”
As the City of North Augusta continues to grow Glover says there’s a big chance more areas will be annexed into the city.
Anderson says the new development is a win-win, because homeowners get their City of North Augusta services and Edgefield County collects more revenue in property taxes.
“So you are talking about going from $600 to over $200,000 in taxes every year, with a 150 houses there, and that’s not going to North Augusta. That’s going to stay in Edgefield County,” Anderson said.
Aiken County and Edgefield County do have a Special Purpose District agreement, established in 1967. A spokesperson for the Edgefield County Utilities says the legislation requires Edgefield County to provide water services to 2,900 Aiken County residents, mostly in North Augusta. The City of North Augusta does provide sewage services to some residents of Edgefield County.
Glover says it’s a trade-off that helps keep rates low for consumers.
The Blackstone & Associates Realtor says the new owner, of the land next to Oaks Creek, will pay 5 years of rollback taxes. Anderson says the rate will be adjusted as residential property and Edgefield County will make revenue from vehicles taxes of the new residents.
Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story.