Lowndes Co. moves forward with Service Delivery Strategy
LOWNDES CO., GA (WALB) - Lowndes County commissioners and city council members of the cities within the county are planning to move forward after two and a half years of litigation over their Service Delivery Strategy (SDS).
The SDS is an agreement by the county and the city on who is going to provide services and how citizens taxes will be collected and distributed.
After hours of deliberation, officials say they’re ready to move forward.
“I think everybody enjoyed the process and I think it worked like it was supposed to," said Lowndes County Commissioner, Clay Griner.
After their meeting last night and being at a standstill for more than two years, the group made a couple of decisions that they believe could move the county forward.
“From what I gather from talking to others afterwards, they all said that they really enjoyed it. How often should we do this? I don’t really know. I’ll say that this needs to be done again because we have not resolved everything on SDS," said Valdosta City Councilman Andy Gibbs.
One of those decisions is having meetings of the mind like this more often moving forward.
“I think it’s good for everybody to sit down and hear everybody else’s opinions. It’s hard when you’re going, it’s hard to understand sometimes when you’re going through other people," said Griner.
They also came to an understanding after a long-standing disagreement about the timeline for responding to future water and sewer inquiries from possible businesses.
“Bring all the cities together. Bring the county together, so we can talk about water and sewer and then talk about the double taxation and then discuss how we can implement this so therefore, we can get things rolling and get things going," said Gibbs.
They agreed on a shorter time frame for responding to water and sewage requests.
I asked officials how they were able to solve two and half years of litigation disagreement in one night.
“New people, new council members, new mayors, new commissioners — people that are saying, ‘let’s resolve this. Let’s get this done so we all can grow,'" said Gibbs.
County officials say they intend to have the updated SDS agreement drafted and sent to the cities by the end of the week, that they hope will move everything forward.
“I hope so. I think the county is going, like I said, the county is going to take those two points and add to our current extra territorial agreement, send it back to the cities for their approval and I think if they can approve that then we can have a service delivery strategy put in place," said Griner.
The city council members and the county commissioners still have to put these items to a vote before we can move forward.
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