At two separate meetings on Thursday night, elected officials from both the City of Bainbridge and Decatur County governments approved a service delivery strategy document.
The agreement comes after leaders from both local governments participated in court-ordered mediation for two days at the Decatur County Courthouse.
Perhaps the biggest change outlined in the Service Delivery Strategy (SDS) is the creation of a Recreation Authority which would come into effect on Jan. 1, 2017.
The authority, considered to be a service benefiting all residents of Decatur County, would be led by a board comprised of three members appointed by the Bainbridge City Council and three members appointed by the Decatur County Commission.
The authority would be funded by user fees as well as an allocation of 1.25 mills of property tax for all property owners in Decatur County. It is not yet clear if the 1.25 mills would increase the overall county millage rate, or be set aside from within the current rate.
We will break down how the agreement was reached and what it will mean for citizens in an upcoming article. For now, we are posting a copy of the SDS document approved on Thursday night.
County Commissioner George Anderson, who represents an area including the town of Attapulgus, was the only elected official to vote against the resolution. Sowegalive attended the meeting at Baimbridge City Hall, and Anderson was at a meeting going on at the same time at the County Administration Building, so we don’t know yet what his objection was.
The city and county leaders were originally supposed to have held a joint meeting at the courthouse, for all of them to vote on and sign the agreement at the same time and place. Bainbridge Mayor Edward Reynolds said the City Council chose to move the venue of its meeting to City Hall after finding out that county leaders would not be taking part in a joint meeting.
View updated Bainbridge-Decatur County Service Delivery Strategy