Dougherty County discusses service delivery agreement rates

County officials set prices for agreements with city of Albany

County Tax Director Shonna Colley, standing, updates the Dougherty County Commission Monday on the county’s tax digest. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)

County Tax Director Shonna Colley, standing, updates the Dougherty County Commission Monday on the county’s tax digest. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)


New District 5 Dougherty County Commissioner Harry James listens to discussion at Monday’s commission work session at the downtown Government Center. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)

ALBANY — Dougherty County Commissioners were given a report on proposals to approve four service delivery agreements with the city of Albany that would set the costs to the county for services provided by the city.

County Administrator Richard Crowdis told the commission the agreements, which are among 31 between the two government entities, came from cooperative discussions between county and city staff.

“With these four and the other service delivery agreements we have with the city, we’ve always had excellent cooperation,” Crowdis said. “All of the various city departments, when they’re called on by us, work as if they are working for us.”

The agreements Crowdis brought to the commission Monday include:

— Procurement, $55,000 a year for three years.

— Code Enforcement, $68,980 a year for five years.

— Recreation, $180,700 annually until both sides determine renegotiations are needed.

— Fire protection, $3,862,500 for five years.

Costs for the latter two agreements resulted from studies by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government that was jointly paid for by the city and county.

Also at Monday’s work session, the commission discussed a recommendation by the Finance Committee not to allocate $125,000 from the county budget to re-open the Southside Branch library during Fiscal Year 2015. The committee did, however, recommend that the county keep the library vacant for the next three years in hopes that during that time funds will become available to open the library branch.

“As the (Finance Committee) chairman (Lamar Hudgins) noted, this was a unanimous decision by the committee to recommend denying these funds,” committee member John Hayes said. “But I’d like to frame this recommendation as a delay, not flat-out denial. We have to find a cost-effective way to get that facility open.”

County Tax Director Shonna Colley updated the board on the countywide and special services district tax digests as Fiscal Year 2014 winds down. Using millage rates from FY 2014, Colley said taxes from the county’s special services district (9.272 mills), including payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs), would total $4,845,723 on $522,618,989 in adjusted net property value. Countywide taxes are projected to total $25,724,951 on $2,030,016,962 in net property (at a millage rate of 11.894)

Both totals are down, the special services district by 1.39 percent and the countywide rate by 1.31 percent.

“That’s further reason it’s so difficult to balance the county’s budget,” Hudgins said.

The commission also heard rezoning requests for parcels of land at 2207 County Line Road and 3907 Gillionville Road. The former seeks location of a mobile home on 3 acres of land currently zoned for agriculture, and the latter is requested so that a General Dollar store may be located on 5 acres of land at the corner of Gillionville Road and Weymouth Drive.

In his ongoing discussion of the county’s proposed FY 2015 budget, Crowdis told the board close scrutiny of the special services district fund should help increase its net position from $277,859 to $554,854.