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Newly-elected commissioner vows to fight ordinance in Superior Court

Paul McCorkle is vowing to fight a county ordinance demanding that he tap on to a new city/county sewer system in McDuffie County.

Mr. McCorkle, who earlier this year was elected to the District 2, Seat A post on the McDuffie County Board of Commissioners, appeared in McDuffie County Magistrate Court on Dec. 12 after being cited for failure to comply with the ordinance, according to court records.

"I demand a jury trial," declared Mr. McCorkle after appearing that day before McDuffie County Magistrate Court Chief Judge William Bryant Swan, Jr.

Mr. McCorkle informed the court that he plans to represent himself during the trial, which has yet to be scheduled in civil proceedings in McDuffie County Superior Court.

Mr. McCorkle, who lives on the 3200 block of Surrey Road, recently was cited by Gail Newsome for violation of the ordinance.

"If they will put a hook on point in front of my house, I'll be glad to hook onto it," Mr. McCorkle said during a telephone interview Monday.

At this time, Mr. McCorkle said he has a problem with some of the wording of the ordinance and plans to take issue with it after taking office next week.

"As soon as I get in office, we're going to address it," Mr. McCorkle said.

He pointed out that it would cost him an estimated $6,000 to tap onto the county sewer system.

The ordinance specifies that once the public sewer service became available to a property served by a private sewage disposal system which is within 200 feet of the property line, that a direct connection "shall be made to the public sewer."

Seven other residents in the Belle Meade subdivision also were cited for the same violation by Ms. Newsome, who works as a county code enforcement officer. Some of those residents agreed to connect to the system instead of taking the matter to magistrate court.

However, one Stagecoach Road couple, Brooks Johnson and her husband, Barney Johnson, III, were fined and ordered to "comply with ordinance within 30 days" by Judge Swan on Dec. 18. He suspended $500 of the total $750 fine if the couple connects to the sewer line in a timely manner.

McDuffie County Manager Don Norton said those cited had been given more than a year to comply with the county ordinance.

"We had been very lenient with those people," Mr. Norton said, noting the county even went as far as to send letters to those in non-compliance on two different occasions regarding the matter.

Web posted on Thursday, January 01, 2009

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