In 1995, citizens of the city of Augusta and Richmond County voted to merge governments. Citizens of Hephzibah, Georgia and Blythe, Georgia decided to remain separate. The consolidation took effect January 1, 1996 with the city of Augusta surrendering its city charter, and merging operations with Richmond County. Hephzibah ("hef-zi-b?", "hep-zi-b?"; Hebrew) is a city in south Richmond County, in the U.S. state of Georgia. It is part of the Augusta Ц Richmond County Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 4,011 at the 2010 census. Hephzibah was originally named Brothersville, after the three Anderson brothers who were among the earliest settlers. Around the town, a seminary of learning was established by the Hephzibah Baptist Association in October 1860 (from the Appling area group of believers) and soon the town became known as Hephzibah after the school and the Hephzibah Baptist Church were built (1862). In 1870, Brothersville was officially renamed Hephzibah by the state of Georgia, after the wife of Hezekiah in the Biblical book of Second Kings. Hephzibah is a Hebrew name meaning "my delight is in her." Due to the 1996 consolidation of Augusta and unincorporated Richmond County, Hephzibah is surrounded to the west, north, and east by consolidated Augusta (including many areas within the Hephzibah ZIP code). Blythe is a city in Burke and Richmond Counties in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 721. It is part of the Augusta, Georgia metropolitan area. In United States local government, a consolidated cityЦcounty is a city and county that have been merged into one unified jurisdiction. As such it is simultaneously a city, which is a municipal corporation, and a county, which is an administrative division of a state. It has the pow rs and responsibilities of both types of entities. A consolidated city-county is different from an independent city, although the latter may result from consolidation of a city and a county and may also have the same powers as a consolidated city-county. An independent city is a city not deemed by its state to be located within the boundary of any county, and recognized by its state as a legal territorial entity separate from surrounding or adjoining counties. Not considering Hawaii, which has no independent cities, the Midwest and Upper South have the highest concentration of large consolidated cityЦcounty governments in the United States, including Indianapolis, Indiana; Nashville, Tennessee; Jacksonville, Florida; Louisville, Kentucky; Kansas City, Kansas; and Lexington, Kentucky. Currently, the largest consolidated city-county in the United States is Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A city charter or town charter (generically, municipal charter) is a legal document (charter) establishing a municipality such as a city or town. The concept developed in Europe during the middle ages. Traditionally the granting of a charter gave a settlement and its inhabitants the right to town privileges under the feudal system. Townspeople who lived in chartered towns were burghers, as opposed to serfs who lived in villages. Towns were often "free", in the sense that they were directly protected by the king or emperor, and were not part of a feudal fief. Today the process for granting charters is determined by the type of government of the state in question. In monarchies, charters are still often a royal charter given by the Crown or the state authorities acting on behalf of the Crown. In federations, the granting of charters may be within the jurisdiction of the lower level of government such as a state or province.