2018-03-06 / Front Page

Lack of signatures on SDS agreement leaves county, city in non-compliance

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners held a work ses­sion last week, during which no vote was taken, to discuss a number of perti­nent items, some of which will be taken to a vote at the regular meeting Thursday (tonight), March 8, begin­ning at 6 p.m. at the courthouse.

As regards the water and sewage issue, “There’s really nothing to update on this,” Chairman Walker Norman, said. “We’re waiting for the city to submit an answer to the injunction we filed. The city has 30 days to answer the injunction, and tomorrow will be two weeks since the judge signed the order. However, the city’s attorney, Barry Fleming, is currently in session at this point, which may put the issue off. We are waiting for the city’s response.”

Chairman Norman added the matter of the service delivery strat­egy (SDS) to the agenda. The SDS must be updated whenever there are changes, or if it has been 10 years since the most recent agreement was filed. Both the county and the city must be in agreement. The SDS expired February 28, 2018. The City of Lincolnton and Lincoln County are now in non-compliance with the state.

According to the Georgia Depart­ment of Community Affairs, SDS is required by Georgia law in order to give local governments and authori­ties the opportunity to reach agree­ment on the delivery of services in an effective and cost-efficient man­ner to Georgia’s citizens. The intent of the Act is to provide a flexible framework for those governments and authorities to agree on service delivery arrangements, to minimize any duplication or competition among them providing local services, and to provide a method of resolving disputes among service providers regarding service delivery, funding equity, and land use.

Further, without an SDS, a local government or respective authority will not be eligible to receive any state permits or financial assistance. In addition, any local projects that are not consistent with the strategy will not receive any state permits or financial assistance.

Norman informed the board that if both governments would sign an agreement, a request could be made to the state to allow an extension of the existing SDS to October 31, 2018, thereby allowing some time to come to some resolution with the city.

As of press time, there has been no agreement by the city.

In other business, Commissioner Virginia Williams expressed con­cern about the food pantry needing repairs. She indicated the building needs paint, a new roof, and some boards replaced. Norman expressed that there may be some monies from Georgia Power to help fund some projects in various communities and promised to check into it. The building has been county property for only a year or two. There was some discussion as well about repairs to be done and signs to be replaced at the Recreation Department.

There was some discussion about the Fort Gordon Alliance and the po­tential growth that should come from the expansion there. “We voted last year to pay dues to join the alliance, and I think it will be worthwhile to continue to be a member,” Norman said. The Development Authority has offered to pay half, as it did last year. He noted that, once the new gate at Fort Gordon is open, there will be only a 30-minute drive from the southern area of Lincoln County.

The board also addressed local road paving and Director of Public Works/Planning and Zoning Roby Seymour pointed out that bids for the paving of Rowland-York Road and Ashmore-Barden Road would be opened Tuesday, March 6. “I should have a summary of those bids Thursday in time for the meeting,” he added. However, there was further discussion on what parts of Rowland- York the county owned and what part is within the city.

The board analyzed the possible profit from thinning the woods be­hind the Recreation complex in an area of approximately 38 acres. This project will also be put out for bids.

Commissioner Larry Collins then spoke about the project to develop a database to store he project to de­velop a database to store all county records currently in storage. “We have applied for a 30,000 grant to help with this project,” he stated.

The board is in receipt of a letter requesting that the county not sell supplies (wood, pipe, etc.) to the pub­lic. After further discussion, it was determined that the county should eliminate sales of this type to the public. It was noted by Norman that the county should not be competing with private business.

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