FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — The committee exploring the possibility of incorporating the community of Sharon Springs has decided the county should move forward.
In March, House Bill 626, which sought to incorporate the city of Sharon Springs, was introduced in the Georgia House by District 25 State Rep. Todd Jones, who represents South Forsyth.
The bill provides a charter, a referendum, prior ordinances and rules and sets effective dates. If approved, Sharon Springs would continue to receive the vast majority of governmental services from the county, including fire, parks and sheriff services.
Sharon Springs would cover 44 square miles, encompassing much of South Forsyth County south of Cumming to the Fulton County line.
A 12-member Sharon Springs Feasibility Committee was formed in May and tasked with learning about the proposed city, the bill and providing a recommendation.
Last week, the committee released its report and recommended the bill continue in the legislative process because the citizens should have “the right to self-determination.” The committee also said the voters within the city limits of the proposed city should be able to cast a ballot on the topic.
This is not a simple issue, Jones said, because there were solid arguments articulated by both sides of the debate.
“At the end of this process, I truly hope everyone realizes that all sides have viable issues and need to be addressed as we proceed,” Jones said. “This is not political rhetoric, but rather a true call to the entire community. This movement could be a force of good, but if mishandled, could potentially rip us apart.”
Between November and May 2018, assuming the bill makes its way through the House, Senate and governor, the committee said it will work diligently to educate the community in a non-biased manner.
“This committee recognizes that there are advocacy groups on both sides of the issue,” the report said. “They each have their collective agenda – this committee respects their right to advocate as they see fit. However, the committee hopes that it can be a resource that leans neither go or no-go, but rather, provides fact-based information to the community, free from advocacy groups’ spin.”
The entire report can be read at visit sharonspringscommittee.com, including common questions answered.
Forsyth County will conduct its own financial impact study on the proposed incorporation. Results of that study are expected in early 2018.