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The Local Agenda: Gainesville prepares for upcoming budget adoption
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The Gainesville City Council will meet for a work session Thursday to discuss setting the property tax rate for the 2016 fiscal year, which begins July 1, as well as adopting the proposed budget.

City Manager Kip Padgett unveiled a $30.7 million general fund spending plan earlier this month.

The proposed budget includes no property tax increases and no major service cuts.

The council will also consider a quarterly update to the current fiscal year’s budget.

The council meets at 9 a.m. Thursday in room 301 of the administration building, 300 Henry Ward Way.

County files suit to collect bond payments on subdivision sidewalk construction

Hall County has filed a lawsuit against Selective Insurance Company of America, Inc., seeking uncollected bond payments on sidewalk construction in three subdivisions – Grandview Estates, Ellison Farm Estates and Flat Stone Overlook.

Ruby Forrest, Inc., the owner and developer of the three subdivisions, failed to complete sidewalk construction in the allotted time and failed to secure a new bond by deadline, according to the lawsuit.

County Attorney Bill Blalock said previous bonds do not adequately cover costs, and that the defendants have denied liability and refused to pay.

Costs on the construction of the Grandview Estates sidewalk network had risen to nearly $185,000 last July, according to the lawsuit. The bond had received continuation certificates from Selective Insurance since it originated in 2007.

Blalock said the defendant has moved the case to federal court, though this is routine for businesses based out of state.

Blalock said it could take at least four to six months, or more, for the case to resolve, though this too is not out of the normal.

Joshua Silavent covers government issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him: