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City/ County finally come to terms on SDS

Tia Lynn Ivey News

After years of negotiations between the City of Madison and Morgan County government, an agreement on the Service Delivery Strategy (SDS) has been reached.

The City of Madison took the first step Monday evening, unanimously passing the new SDS agreement, which will next go before the county commissioners for approval.

SDS sets forth the services provided to the city from the county.

Since 2016, the City of Madison has been petitioning the county to renegotiate the SDS Agreement, alleging over taxation for county services. After more than two years of negotiations, the city and county have agreed to tweak certain services and make up the difference through Special Project Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds. The City of Madison will receive an increase percentage for the next SPLOST as part of the SDS agreement. The City’s percentage will be increased to 11.991 percent of all SPLOST VII revenues collected, beginning on April 1, 2019 through June 30, 2022. On July 1, 2022, the City’s SPLOST percentage will jump up to 21.899 percent of all SPLOST revenue through March 31, 2025.  The City believes under current SPLOST collection projections, the City will take in enough to complete $4 million worth of capital projects during the next SPLOST.

“City and County disagree about whether, and to what extent, certain services may primarily benefit the unincorporated area of the County, as opposed to the entire County, including that part within the City. Nevertheless, for the purposes of this Agreement and to resolve all differences between the City and County regarding the funding of six specific service delivery strategies—Animal Control; Building Inspections;  Fire Protection; Land Use Planning;  Zoning Administration; (f) and Zoning Enforcement–the Parties agree that City shall receive SPLOST revenues from SPLOST VII, beginning in Year Four of that SPLOST to resolve all disputes regarding funding for service delivery for these six, specific areas, between City and County through the end of the term of this Agreement.

  “I commend the county for working with the city to do this. Believe it or not, we have a great working relationship with the county,”said Mayor Fred Perriman

According to the new agreement, “Madison and Morgan County strive for a good working partnership that will benefit all citizens of the County, not just citizens of Madison, and not just the unincorporated areas; working together for the benefit of all the citizens. That means servicing these areas in the most economical, beneficial way that will benefit citizens financially…”

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