ATLANTA — The Bibb-Monroe County line will not be changing, Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced Tuesday.
The announcement follows a six-year-long state review of the border, which dates to 1822.
The two counties have squabbled for decades about the location of the border. Had there been a change, Monroe County could have seen millions more in tax revenue, according to published reports.
“This decision is the product of careful and lengthy deliberation and review of the evidence based on the criteria set forth in this process,” Kemp said in a news release.
“As I have stated previously, I believe that the best situation would have been for leaders from Bibb County and Monroe County to have obtained a mutual agreement that considers all the potential effects on their citizens while preserving both their shared heritage and future opportunities,” Kemp said. “Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of good people on both sides who I highly respect, representatives from Bibb County and Monroe County were unable to reach an agreement.
Kemp’s office provided the following background information:
On August 9, 2005, former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue appointed Terry Scarborough to survey the boundary line between Bibb County and Monroe County. Mr. Scarborough submitted his Survey and Plat to the Georgia Secretary of State on March 27, 2009.
On August 27, 2009, the Secretary of State’s Office referred the boundary line dispute to the Georgia Office of State Administrative Hearings for a recommendation on findings of fact. On October 9, 2009, the Secretary of State’s Office formally requested that the case be reassigned to a Special Assistant Administrative Law Judge (SAALJ).
On April 29, 2011, the SAALJ issued his Findings of Fact and Recommendation. On May 31, 2011, Secretary Kemp held a hearing at the Georgia Capitol so representatives from Bibb County and Monroe County could present oral arguments, exhibits, and respond to his questions. The counties were then allowed to submit post-hearing briefs by June 30, 2011.
On July 15, 2011 Secretary Kemp visited the disputed beginning point of the Bibb-Monroe county line identified as “Waller’s or Torrentine’s ferry” in the 1822 legislation creating Bibb County.
“I greatly appreciate the many years that two Georgia governors, my two immediate predecessors in the Secretary of State’s Office, numerous state, county and municipal elected officials, surveyor Terry Scarborough and many Bibb County and Monroe County citizens have devoted to resolving this issue,” Kemp added.