Dacula signs off on SDS litigation bill

DACULA - City Council members voted to approve payment of a $9,272 invoice for Dacula's part of a $307,124 bill for litigation fees regarding the Service Delivery Strategy dispute between Gwinnett cities and Gwinnett County. Each city's portion of the nearly $310,000 bill is based on the city's population - $2 per capita.

The assessments range from a low of $216 in Rest Haven to a high of $57,938 in Lawrenceville.

"I doubt that this is the end of it," said Mayor Jimmy Wilbanks, who predicted that the matter will likely be heard in state Supreme Court before all is said and done.

According to councilman Tim Montgomery, the recent decisions to close the city pool and make the Dacula library a computer lab are political payback related to the SDS dispute. When the Gwinnett Municipal Association filed suit against the county for, in effect, overtaxing city residents, Wilbanks was president of the GMA.

Costly legal maneuvers and fruitless mediation regarding the county's delivery of services to its 15 municipalities have frustrated city representatives. Precious resources are being spent to attempt to mediate a dispute in which county representatives will not budge, according to comments made by several city mayors.

The SDS dispute centers primarily around funding for police services and whether the county will levy taxes uniformly.

Rutherford Drive to be resurfaced

An 875-foot portion of Rutherford Drive in Dacula will be replaced, thanks in part to Georgia DOT's assistance through the Local Assistance Road Program. According to City Administrator Jim Osborne, "the asphalt is in pretty bad condition," so a new eight-inch base, three inches of asphalt and one and a half inches of topping are called for. LARP funds will cover the cost of the topping.