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Hogansville ready to sign SDS proposal, pending West Point

The City of Hogansville announced during its city council meeting Monday that Troup County has given the city a second final offer on its Service Delivery Strategy proposal. 

Instead of the current $237,618 annual payment for fire services to Troup County, the county offered to bring that total down to $195,000 for the next two years. After that, the parties would revisit the amount to determine if development causes a need for increased fees. 

Additionally, City Manager Jonathan Lynn said Troup County is providing Hogansville an another $40,000 for parks and recreation, which would help offset matching grant funds for the Lake Jimmy Jackson Project or other parks related services. 

Lynn asked the council not to authorize the mayor to sign the agreement until Troup County, West Point, Hogansville and LaGrange are all in agreement. 

“As a negotiation strategy, the cities of West Point and Hogansville decided that we would band together,” Mayor Bill Stankiewicz said. “We informed the county we were not going to agree unless both cities agreed. I believe that the strategy worked, and we got more out of the county than we would have if we didn’t do that.” 

The SDS is required by the state of Georgia for all 159 counties and outlines the delivery of government services in a cost-effective manner to citizens. The plan covers topics such as utilities, emergency management services, fire protection and law enforcement, among many others.

The deadline to submit agreements between Troup County and its cities — already extended due to COVID-19 — is Feb. 28. Penalties for missing the deadline can include loss of state permits and the freezing of state funding. 

“I fully expect everyone to be in agreement before we go over the cliff, so to speak,” Stankiewicz said. 

The council commended the mayor, city manager and city attorney for their efforts in negotiations. 

Last week, the county offered a revised proposal of $100,000 to support recreation in West Point. 

The county also offered about $138,000 to do a crack seal on Kia Parkway, plus $1.5 million to help completely resurface Kia Parkway in the future.  

As part of the agreement, the city of LaGrange has agreed to take over management of more than a dozen parks within the city limits after sustained complaints from residents that the county was not doing a good job maintaining them. Approximately $700,000 in county money will be rerouted to LaGrange for park maintenance. 

The city will also be in control of The Thread and Sweetland Amphitheatre. 

The West Point City Council has a work session on Feb. 23. 

West Point Mayor Steve Tramell said in a recent interview that the discussions are in “unchartered territory” as discussions continue on the SDS agreement.