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State seeks changes to service delivery agreement between Hall County, cities
Document requires 'minor revisions' for approval
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An agreement between Hall County and its cities that delineates the delivery of services to its residents to avoid duplication of services and waste public funds — as required by Georgia law — has been returned to the parties for revision.

The state Department of Community Affairs told The Times this week that the Service Delivery Strategy document submitted by Hall County on June 29 has been returned to the county.

“We rejected the Hall County SDS on Friday,” said MaryBrown Sandys, a spokeswoman for the Department of Community Affairs.

Hall County spokeswoman Katie Crumley said the county is working with the cities to make the requested revisions and submit an updated SDS to the state.

“It is not unusual for the county to receive feedback on the SDS document from (the Department of Community Affairs) as a part of the process, and we are still confident it will be approved,” Crumley said.

Crumley called the changes required “minor revisions” that deal with the “semantics of the SDS forms.”

Counties revise their SDS every 10 years, or when they update their comprehensive plan, as Hall County is doing this year. Failure to maintain an updated SDS results in sanctions, including loss of state grants, loans and permits.

Every local government in Hall County signed the SDS agreement except the city of Lula. Officials in Lula publicly blasted the county in a paid newspaper ad claiming that the county is undermining it wastewater treatment facility by building additional sewer infrastructure around the Lula plant.

Lula also is at odds with the county over a 2006 sewer agreement that the city claims Hall has violated.

Lula City Manager Dennis Bergin said Tuesday that city council continues “to work towards a resolution that benefits all parties.”

In a statement, Crumley said a DCA official told the county that a new round of signatures on the Service Delivery agreement may not be necessary.