In a unanimous vote on Thursday night, the Dawson County Board of Commissioners approved an intergovernmental agreement proposed by the city of Dawsonville to end a lawsuit over the county’s Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) VII.
The IGA, which grants the city and county a 12%-88% split of SPLOST VII collections, resolves a civil lawsuit alleging that the $60 million SPLOST was illegal because the city and the county didn’t agree on an IGA before the tax was approved by voters in March.
Following the vote, Dawson County Board of Commissioners Chairman Billy Thurmond said that county leaders were satisfied by the IGA’s terms and were glad that the matter could finally be resolved.
“We wanted to ensure that the vote of the people was upheld, and that’s what this IGA does,” Thurmond said. “It was necessary that both the city and county came together to answer the will of the people.”
In addition to defining the split of SPLOST VII collections, the IGA also provides funding for the repaving of two city roads, funding for two proposed city patrol deputy positions which are under consideration by the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office, and $125,000 in funding for projects which would benefit both the city and the county.
As part of the agreement, Dawsonville will also receive SPLOST VII proceeds of $1.5 million immediately after the first $8.5 million is collected for the county’s Level II SPLOST VII project, the new Dawson County E911 center.
The proposed IGA also includes a section on city parking, asking the county to make county-owned parking lots within the city available for city use after business hours and on weekends.
SPLOST VII includes funding a new emergency 911 center and public health building, money for facility renovations and upgrades, equipment purchases, road repair projects and park improvement projects.