Duluth Calls Meeting to Accept SDS Agreement
Other cities in Gwinnett scheduled to meet Tuesday to resolve service delivery strategy dispute. Signing ceremony tonight at Historic Gwinnett Courthouse.
The Duluth City Council has called a special meeting for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7, at City Hall regarding a potential settlement with Gwinnett County on the multi-year, multi-million dollar Service Delivery Strategy (SDS) dispute.
The agenda for the called meeting includes the following item: "Consider a Resolution to elect not to join Police Services District and to approve Consent Order, Intergovernmental Agreements and Joint Resolutions and to authorize execution, attestation, and sealing of all documents."
Suwanee, Snellville, Norcross, Lilburn, Loganville and other cities also are expected to meet Tuesday to accept the agreement. City officials are then planning to head over to the Historic Gwinnett County Courthouse for a signing with county officials at 8:30 p.m.
The Gwinnett County Commission had a regular meeting scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, and added adoption of the agreement to the agenda and approved it.
Earlier Tuesday, BOC Chairman Charlotte Nash had said that county officials were "hopeful" of being able to announce a settlement of the dispute with several Gwinnett cities.
Nash, speaking after the commissioners' regular work session in the morning, said some details remained to be worked out.
The SDS matter dates to 2009 when the county sued cities in the Gwinnett Municipal Association (GwMA). At issue is whether the cities should pay the county for services they do not use, such as police. The disputed amount is in excess of $10 million. Duluth operates its own city police department.
The "police service district" is a reference to the court ruling that was handed down in September by Enotah Judicial Circuit Court Judge David Barrett. That ruling strongly favored the cities in the dispute and ordered Gwinnett County officlals to set up a special district to administer such functions as police.
Negotiations clearly had been progressing. GwMA and city officials have held conference calls, one as recently as last month, on the matter.
Also, notable fallout from the dispute is that police agencies in several Gwinnett cities and the Gwinnett Police can't use radar or laser to track speeders. Duluth officials have estimated a lost of $1 million in revenue from the inability to use radar or laser to apprehend speeders.
(Editor's note: Patch Editors Faye Edmundson, Steve Burns, Sharon Swanepoel and Joy L. Woodson contributed to this report.)