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Service delivery strategy finally signed
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After nearly two years of struggle, the service delivery strategy fight has ended.

Rincon City Council approved the service delivery proposal Monday night, and Guyton’s city council did the same Tuesday night, putting into effect the plan that will determine which governments are responsible for such services as water, sewer, recreation and fire protection.

“This will bring this litigation to a close,” Guyton city attorney Ramona Bartos said. “And it will bring some revenue to the city.”
Effingham County commissioners approved the service delivery proposal late last month, and Springfield City Council also has adopted the service delivery strategy.

Bartos said Guyton can expect a rebate of $50,000 for roads and recreation from the county, and the county also will reimburse Guyton for $138,000 a year over three years from the county’s unearmarked reserve funds that the county has set aside since 1999.

The cities and the county have entered into separate agreements to cover roads, recreation and fire protection. The pacts for roads and recreation are 10 years long, and the fire protection agreement is five years long. The fire agreement is scheduled to go into effect July 1.

Under the service delivery agreement, the county provides such services as animal control, court services, 911, EMS, forestry, extension service, GIS, tax assessor, tax commissioner and courts for residents in the municipalities and in the unincorporated areas.

There are separate agreements to cover recreation, road construction and maintenance, the county jail and fire protection. Instead of charging each municipality a flat rate per inmate each day, jail costs will be covered with a surcharge on city-imposed fees and fines.

Recreation and road construction and maintenance will be handled on a formula. The county will reimburse the cities an amount equal to each individual city’s percentage of the digest, either as in kind service, in cash or as a joint project.

Each fire station also will have a primary response area and an automatic aid area, in addition to the mutual aid agreements between the departments.