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Lula faces vote on county service agreement
Citys mayor urges council to remain firm against it.
Milton Turner 0708

The mayor of Lula this week called on city council members to “remain firm” and not approve a new service delivery agreement with Hall County.

Mayor Milton Turner urged on fellow council members during a Lula City Council work session earlier in the week.

“I hope you remain firm and don’t approve,” Turner said.

City Manager Dennis Bergin said Wednesday that the council has not had the opportunity to either approve or reject the Hall County document, which is required by the Georgia Service Delivery Act. The law strives to make sure that each county and its municipalities minimize duplication of services and insure tax equity in providing and funding services.

Bergin said the council will have the opportunity to take a vote on the Service Delivery Strategy agreement at its regular meeting Monday.

Lula’s vote likely won’t have any impact because the SDS already has the required number of signatures.

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs is still reviewing the Hall County SDS agreement filed with the state June 29, spokeswoman MaryBrown Sandys told The Times on Wednesday. Sandys said DCA has 30 days to complete the review.

“Once the review is complete, DCA will either verify that the document appears to comply with the Service Delivery Act or request revision of the document to bring it into compliance,” Sandys said.

Aside from Hall County, the SDS agreement has been signed by the cities of Braselton, Buford, Clermont, Flowery Branch, Gainesville, Gillsville and Oakwood. So far, Lula is the only holdout.

Turner previously told The Times that under the new SDS, Hall County would be taking sewer service into what was Lula’s sewer service area.

Lula has threatened legal action against Hall County over a 2006 sewer agreement that the city accuses the county of reneging.

Bergin said the sewer agreement is a separate issue independent of the county’s action with service delivery as it pertains to sewer.

Despite being a supporter of Lula’s contractual differences with Hall County, Buford Mayor Philip Beard said he too signed the SDS.

“It’s a lot better than what we’ve had in the past,” Beard said Wednesday of the SDS.

Nonetheless, Beard continues to support Lula.

“I just don’t believe the county is doing right, but it’s not over yet,” Beard said.