The Union Recorder

Local News

May 14, 2014

City requests new service delivery strategy

Council wants county participation

MILLEDGEVILLE — Milledgeville City Council approved a resolution Tuesday requesting that the Baldwin County Commissioners participate in developing a new, comprehensive service delivery strategy that is efficient and responsive to city and county citizen need.

City Manager Barry Jarrett highlighted the “short notice” move in a work session before this week's regular meeting.

“We've been discussing service delivery in the form of the different services over the last few months,” Jarrett said. “I wanted you to pass that resolution that we proceed with service delivery discussions and ask that the county do the same. It's very to the point.”

Council passed the resolution unanimously Tuesday.

The current service delivery agreement between the City of Milledgeville and Baldwin County expires in April 2018.

According to the resolution, “the city deems it in the best interest of the citizens of Milledgeville and Baldwin County” to begin developing a new “more efficient and effective” delivery strategy.

Services include but aren't limited to recreation, animal control, 911, water and sewage, Central State Hospital redevelopment and public safety.

“With the multitude of services to address and the time required for meaningful and deliberate negotiations between the city and county, it is imperative that both local governments be proactive and begin the process of developing a new comprehensive service delivery strategy as soon as possible in order to have the necessary time to enact such plan before the expiration of the current service delivery agreement,” the resolution states.

Mayor Richard Bentley said the city “toyed with the idea” before the last agreement.

“This resolution is an invitation to discuss service delivery four years ahead of the expiration,” the mayor said. “You can do that.”

City Attorney Jimmy Jordan said both governments already talk about these issues.

“As typical with most communities, last time we did service delivery we got up against a deadline, and it requires a certain amount of rush,” Jordan said. “If we start now, we may surprise ourselves. We may have a complete package.”

Jordan cited struggling county recreation and city animal control issues with the county service as reason to organize.

Currently, the city solely finances the Central State Hospital redevelopment authority as well.

“Just based on the number of meetings we've had trying to wrestle with the individual issues, it may be best to come up a framework to address service delivery,” Jordan said.

City Councilwoman Denese Shinholster, District 3, said both entities were caught behind the Georgia Department of Community Affairs' deadline on the active agreement.

“We were granted an extension, but we don't want to go that far,” she said.

Bentley said final hour negotiations give the “impression that you cannot get along.”

“I don't think that is what we have right now,” the mayor said.

The Middle Georgia Regional Commission will facilitate talks if the county accepts the city's move.

“I think it will help to have the services of the regional commission involved in these negotiations to point out things that both entities may be holding out on for us to see things clearly and move on,” Shinholster said.

• City earns Bicycle Friendly designation

City Public Works Director Frank Baugh informed City Council that the application to the League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Friendly Community recognition program was successful.

Milledgeville earned Bronze status.

“It was quite unexpected. Apparently, it's unusual to acquire that in the first go-round,” Baugh said.

The national press release goes out Wednesday morning.

Milledgeville becomes one of only seven Georgia cities to reach this Bronze level.

Dr. Jim Lidstone, director of Georgia College's Center for Health & Social Issues, said previously the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee hoped for Bronze but anticipated an honorable mention the first time.

The city is now formally recognized for its quality bicycling infrastructure, programs and continuing efforts to improve them.

Successful applicants can achieve Honorable Mention, Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum status.

• Property special uses approved

City Council approved special use of properties located at 110 N. Columbia St. and 600 S. Wayne St. Tuesday evening.

Marian P. Jarrard requested the use to allow five residents to reside in the single family North Columbia Street home.

Dax Bolston will lease the South Wayne property currently owned by Tim Wright for use as a used car lot and detail shop.


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