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Clermont withdraws appeal of library ruling
Decision based largely on financial reasons
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The town of Clermont has decided to withdraw its appeal of the ruling in the North Hall library lawsuit.

"In light of the commitment of Hall County Commissioner Ashley Bell, and Commissioners-elect Scott Gibbs and Craig Lutz, to move the North Hall library back to Clermont, and to prevent the further needless expenditure of taxpayer funds, the Town Council of the Town of Clermont has decided to withdraw its notice of appeal," the council wrote in a news release.

Clermont Attorney David Syfan said the town's decision was largely for financial reasons.

"Looking at the cost for both the town of Clermont and Hall County for doing an appeal, and the fact that just in standard operating procedure of the Georgia Supreme Court we wouldn't get an opinion back until June, July or August, it just seemed to make sense to rely upon that commitment of the commissioners and save all the taxpayers further needless expenditure of funds," Syfan said. "It was a combination of factors with most of it just being common sense."

Hall County Administrator Charley Nix said he is glad the county will not have to spend any more money debating this issue in court.

"It was very time consuming and it was pretty expensive defending this," Nix said. "I'm glad to have it behind us. I realize the new commissioners coming on have made their positions known, but that's part of the normal course of politics."

Clermont said the intentions of the new commissioners to build a library in Clermont will help restore trust in SPLOST (special purpose local option sales tax).

"All Hall County citizens need to feel the board of commissioners are going to live up to what they tell people they are going to do with SPLOST projects," Syfan said. "They're making a huge step in restoring trust in the board of commissioners and future SPLOST (referendums)."

Nix said there isn't a widespread distrust of SPLOST projects.

"I don't feel like most of the rest of the county had an issue with SPLOST," Nix said. "For whatever reason Clermont felt promises were made here and took a position with that, I really feel like it is isolated to Clermont."

In April, Clermont sued the county, claiming voters were misled to believe if they approved the SPLOST referendum a library would be built in the town.

Clermont lost the suit on Nov. 10 when Hall County Superior Court Judge Andrew Fuller ruled the Hall County Board of Commissioners' decision to build the library at Nopone Road was "perfectly compliant" with state laws concerning the use of sales tax money, which will pay for the new library.

The following day, Clermont appealed the ruling shortly before Bell, Lutz and Gibbs announced their plan to build a library in Clermont once they take office in January.