Lowndes Co., Valdosta negotiate Service Delivery Strategy agreement

Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 5:11 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - An end is in sight after a very long negotiation process between Lowndes County and the cities within it.

Since 2016, a revised Service Delivery Strategy (SDS) agreement has not been passed.

Valdosta and the county approved the language on the document.

Attorneys are reviewing it.

State law requires all local governments, including the county and any cities in it, to establish an SDS.

The purpose is to make sure people aren’t double-taxed and that governments aren’t providing services that aren’t needed.

“We’re holding our breath right now. Two weeks from now, we’ll be celebrating,” said Valdosta Mayor Scott Matheson.

“It does feel good we’ve been able to get to this point, this has been a long process, as you all may know. It’s taken us quite a while to get here. I feel like personally one thing, one of the best things, we both equally wholeheartedly agree on is that once this agreement is crossed the finish line, this will be a 10-year agreement between cities and counties, so we don’t have to revisit these issues again for 10 years,” Bill Slaughter, Lowndes County Board of Commissioners chairman.

Matheson and Slaughter said the community may not notice the impacts of the SDS agreement but local government will.

No more money for attorneys will go into this issue.

In 1999, following the passage of House Bill 489, Lowndes County and the five cities negotiated and reached an agreement on the first SDS.

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