Decatur, Bainbridge disagreement may go to court

Decatur, Bainbridge disagreement may go to court
The one cent TSPLOST sales tax, which will fund road projects in Decatur County, was passed Tuesday night. (Source: WALB)
Decatur County Administrative Offices
Decatur County Administrative Offices
Mayor Edward Reynolds
Mayor Edward Reynolds

BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - Bainbridge and Decatur County leaders are in an ongoing dispute that could end up in court.

The city claims too much tax money paid by people who live in the city is funding services for people who live in the county.

Issues between Decatur County and the city of Bainbridge have piled up over the past year.

Mayor Edwards Reynolds said, “We feel like our local citizens are paying for services, through taxes, that they're not receiving.”

The mayor said Bainbridge taxpayers are paying for services in the county such as garbage collection, recreation, and fire protection.

County leaders said those services overlap in the city and county.

Decatur County Attorney Brown Moseley said, “Where we are right now is to sit down and discuss some of these matters with the city officials and come to some mutual agreements about services and funding of those services.”

Last week, the city council voted to seek a mediator to help the county and city finally reach an agreement.

Mayor Reynolds said, “I feel like we are going to need a mediator to work through some of these issues.”

Right now, the city claims that Bainbridge property owners pay $233 a year for undelivered services.

Mayor Reynolds added, “We need the county to recognize that our citizens are contributing to their budget for services they're not receiving.”

He said the council has agreed to pursue an active suit against the county if they do not see some results soon.

Moseley said, “I think that would be absolutely the wrong thing to do for all of the citizens in Decatur County and we certainly hope that it doesn't come to this going to court.”

Moseley said the county plans to meet with the city later this week in hopes of negotiating a deal.

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