Cordele Dispatch, Cordele, GA

Local news

November 19, 2012

LOST mediation costly for Lilly

Vienna — Without a dog in the fight for Local Option Sales Tax funds, one municipality has asked Dooly County commissioners to reconsider their portion of the cost for the mediation process.

For the past several months county commissioners have been in negotiations with city officials regarding the distribution of LOST funds. The inability to come to any agreement has led to the mediation which is costing over $4,000 to be divided among the county and municipalities.

Only Vienna and Unadilla are asking for an increase in their share. The other municipalities have said they are satisfied with what they already are getting.

Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Lilly, Chip Dunmon, addressed commissioners Thursday regarding the cost of mediation to Lilly.

“Lilly did not request any increase in our portion of the LOST funds,” said Dunmon. “As a small town we appreciate what we receive.” According to Dunmon, the portion Lilly was asked to pay toward mediation amounted to $585.71, an amount that he said his tiny town’s budget cannot afford.

“To a city the size of Lilly, that is a big chunk from our budget,” he said. “We do not have any property taxes and what we receive from citizens for water service is how we do our business.”

Dunmon requested that the commissioners allow Lilly to pay the same portion in mediation that it receives from LOST funds which he said was 1.2% to 1.3%. County Administrator Steve Sanders said the actual amount that city receives is 1.6%.

“We would really like you to reconsider our portion,” Dunmon said. “We will gladly pay our 1.6%, but we did not ask for any increase.

“Our council members gets $16 per month. We are not in this for money. We do what we do because we love our little town and such a high charge for mediation is going to hurt Lilly.”

Commission Chairman Terrell Hudson was the first to agree that he felt it was fair that Lilly pay less for the mediation and others agreed.

With no agreement reached yet, it looks as though the LOST mediation will be carried to the next level in which a Superior Court Judge reviews the case and makes the decision which will be binding.

In other business, Sanders informed commissioners that the Georgia Department of Transportation has released new guidlines for the Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) program as well as the FY 2013 LMIG funding amounts.

Dooly County’s LMIG formula amount will be for $411,190.64. He advised the board that the project list must be submitted to the GDOT (GA Department of Transportation) by the first of January.

“If we have not submitted the request by then, we need to request an extension,” said Sanders. “We need to make sure that the roads are public and not on private property.”

Sanders said the GDOT would come back and audit the records to see that funds were spent in on what the county said they would be spending them on.

The GDOT also approved changing the 3.95 miles of resurfacing on the Pinehurst-Hawkinsville Road from asphalt resurfacing to double-surface treatment. Sanders said he is awaiting the paperwork to proceed with that project which is supposed to be completed by August 31, 2013.

Also on the agenda:

• Jarrod McCarthy, mobility manager with the River Valley Regional Commission met with the board to discuss potential public transit improvements in the area. He presented a power point which detailed a variety of options open both individually as a county and as part of the region. The purpose of the presentation was to provide information only. Any decisions are left up to the commissioners.

• Stacey Askew asked commissioners to consider adding Veterans Day to the list of paid holidays for the county.

• Commissioners authorized Hudson to sign a resolution regarding the ACCG retirement plan in order to be in compliance with the Internal Revenue Service.


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