Dawsonville City Council members approved a potential intergovernmental agreement with Dawson County this week, agreeing to drop a lawsuit over the county’s Special-Purpose Local-Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) VII in exchange for concessions on several city-related issues.
At the Dawsonville City Council Meeting held on Monday, May 17, 2021, council members unanimously approved the proposed IGA, which would grant the city 12% of SPLOST VII collections, 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.
After the vote, Dawsonville Mayor Mike Eason said that the IGA came as a result of working with the county to try to find a compromise about the use of SPLOST VII funding.
“We have worked with the county and worked with an IGA and want to propose an IGA to the county to try to settle this so we can collect funds for 6 years,” Eason said.
Efforts to find a suitable IGA come on the heels of a civil lawsuit filed by Dawsonville against Dowson County, alleging that the $60 million SPLOST VII, which was approved by voters in March, was illegal because the city and the county didn’t agree on an IGA before the tax was approved.
Eason said that he and other city leaders believe that the IGA will be a good compromise between the two entities.
“I’m encouraged; I think that maybe we’ve gotten one that they will support,” he said. “The whole thing about this is to work together to try to resolve concerns we had. I want this to work, and we all support SPLOST, we just wanna make sure we’re all on the same wavelength and that’s where I think we’ll be.”
With its approval by Dawsonville officials, the IGA will now be sent to the Dawson County Board of Commissioners for their May 20 work session.