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“We’re sandwiched between Ball Ground and Jasper,”Leister said, noting with hyperbole that Jasper has annexed a third of the county into its city limits.
“Economic Development is skipping over us. It’s going to one of these other two areas,”he lamented. Leister went on to say that Nelson and Talking Rock would be well served if they could tie into a sewage system.
“You would see a little more development in (our) areas and it would help sustain the rural area of Pickens.”Pope said joint ventures between the county and private interests could offer a way to remedy the situation. Later though, Jasper Mayor John Weaver, who arrived a half hour late, noted the conversation of needed infrastructure to accommodate growth and foster economic development countered the citizens’ prior philosophy of expansion, saying in years past citizens rejected the notion of economic development to the rural county. The mayor, though, also said that water was one of the priorities of the county’s first comp plan in 1992-93, adding that the county has accomplished most the water objectives from the first plan.
"When the (federal) government gets its fingers into this sort of thing,”Mattern said,
“they will come and help you formulate your long-range plan and they’ll offer funds with strings attached. Is any of that going on behind the scenes?”Comp plans have previously been implicated as part of Agenda 21, the George Soros’ plan for global socialism, granting the government rights over private property. Last February, citizens swarmed to a county planning and zoning meeting to show opposition to a part of the comp plan called character areas, where the government imposes certain aesthetic measures on private property owners. This part of the comp plan, though, was revised during last year’s legislative session, where character areas are now options. Pope denied any behind the scenes federal involvement. He also denied that the comp plan was part of Agenda 21.