Local Governments Explore Urban Services

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Thomasville City Manager Steve Sykes is showing off the plan. It's called an urban services area.

"The urban services area goes well out into unincorporated Thomas County."

Forming a halo around the Rose City, the area would remain county property, but the city would run services such as water, electric and sewer to the area.

Steve Sykes says, "One, it allows for the utility providers, which is the City of Thomasville, to master plan for future growth, for utility service only. For the county perspective, it can be used as a planning tool for how they plan to grow the county."

Currently the plan is just a proposal. To become reality, both governments must find a common ground.

Mike Stephenson, Thomas County Manager, says, "We think the single most important thing for the county, especially in the two to three mile area immediately outside the city limit, is to know where the city plans to extend sewer service. That is the number one critical component for us."

And county officials should get some answers from the city soon. A study by Thomasville to pinpoint just where they would place their services is currently underway.

The boundary for urban services area would reach about 50 square miles past the Thomasville city limit.