By: Savannah Smith | 02-06-2018 | News
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Georgia Lawmakers Push for Talks to Negotiate Georgia-Tennessee Border

Lawmakers from Georgia think that the border between their state and Tennessee is misplaced and want to have it corrected. A new House resolution seeks to change Georgia’s border with Tennessee and are pushing for open discussions about the border issue.

Georgia officials are arguing that the error in the border was the result of the sloppy work of a surveyor dating back to 200 years ago. The officials said that the surveyor mistakenly put the border a mile south of where it actually should be.

State Rep. Marc Morris (R-Cumming) invokes the constitutions as being very clear on what the line is in each state. He states it is the 35th parallel. The lawmaker added: “And it’s time for us all to get honest about what the line really is.”

The present border now is located just south of the 35th parallel and is achingly close to the Tennessee River. Georgia officials would like the new border to be located north instead - placing it in the middle of the Tennessee River’s Nickajack Lake.

Rep. Morris, the sponsor of the resolution, wants to start border talks with Tennessee officials soon. The river in contention is currently within eyeshot of the state line with Georgia but remains inaccessible as a water supply for Georgia.

Morris said: “And I think we certainly need to have access to (the river) and recapture the water that we put into the Tennessee River.”

The challenge for Georgia officials is that their Tennessee counterparts may not be too receptive to border talks at this point. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam told the local media in an interview that it’s not an issue that he wants to spend time focusing on.

Georgia lawmakers wanted to take the issue to court years ago as they asked the state to sue Tennessee over the border contention. Essentially, what Georgia lawmakers want is not strictly a new border- just a pipe that can draw drinking water from Tennessee River just over the current state line.

Morris appears confident and determined that he could persuade Tennessee officials to consider Georgia's complaint and that he’d keep trying until they “wear each other down.”


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