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Hogansville approves SDS mediator

The Hogansville City Council voted Monday night to approve a mediator for the Service Delivery Strategy discussion between Troup County and the cities of Hogansville, West Point and LaGrange. 

Hogansville voted to utilize David Mecklin, an attorney out of Carrolton for mediation. 

“He’s not formally approved by the LaGrange, West Point or Troup County but everybody has agreed to utilize him and they will be doing their formal approval for him at their upcoming meeting,” said City Manager Jonathan Lynn. “I do want to point out and clarify for the public that the share of mediation [cost] by state law is shared among all parties entered into mediation based upon population.” 

The SDS is required every 10 years in all 159 counties and is meant to ensure delivery of services to citizens in a cost-efficient and effective manner.

The deadline for a SDS agreement is June 30, but it has to be submitted to the Department of Community Affairs, which requires a 30-day review process. An original deadline was set for the fall, but that was moved due to COVID-19. A second deadline was the end of February, but right at the last minute all four entities agreed to an extension of the previous SDS agreement through June.

The extension allowed local governments to avoid sanctions, which would impact state-funded grants, and allowed for more time to negotiate.

Also on Monday, the Hogansville City Council voted to amend the Intergovernmental Agreement with Meriwether County Water and Sewerage Authority. 

Lynn said that the city currently provides services to the Meriwether County Water and Sewerage Authority for service provided to those industries located in the Meriwether Industrial Park. 

This will be the fourth amendment to the original intergovernmental agreement from Aug. 15, 2011, which establishes a set formula for surcharges that the city is to collect from MCWASA for any accepted waste that is beyond allowable limits of the city sewer ordinance.

Lynn noted that there have been ongoing conversations for the remediation of existing violations and those discussions will continue. However, the approval of this amendment provides a framework for moving forward with acceptance of waste water and formula for any future violations that may occur.

“Once it is signed by the city and you all and approve, we will be able to immediately start assessing any sort of fines or surcharges as they’re referred to in this agreement to Meriwether County,” Lynn said. “You can begin testing right away as soon as this agreement is in place.” 

Additionally, on Monday night, the city declared several items as surplus for sale in a public auction. The auction is tentatively scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 15 at 10 a.m. in front of the Hogansville Public Works building.

Many of the items, equipment and vehicles are currently on display right now. 

Lynn said they will be accepting cards and cashier’s checks and payment will be due immediately upon bidding.