State judge assigned to Bibb-Monroe County border dispute

A state judge was assigned Monday to scrutinize a long-standing Bibb-Monroe county border dispute.Deputy Chief Judge Michael Malihi will hear the case late this month in the Office of State Administrative Hearings. However, his intervention won’t settle the case. Malihi will review the facts and make a recommendation, which would be sent back to Secretary of State Karen Handel.The judge will review the plat, a land survey, Bibb County’s protest to the survey and Monroe County’s response to the protest. Handel had hoped the two counties could resolve the dispute on their own, but she asked the judge to intervene.The border has been disputed for nearly a century but became more critical after a Bass Pro Shops complex was proposed four years ago near the border. If the survey is held, about 400 Bibb County land parcels could be transferred to Monroe County.The surveyor, Terry Scarborough of Warner Robins, said Monday he might be asked to testify in the Sept. 28 hearing but had not been subpoenaed. In a separate dispute, Bibb County has refused to pay its $173,090 share of his bill until Scarborough gives a separate disposition.