Library services are among the points of contention between Cherokee County and its cities in the ongoing service delivery impasse. The county has called on the cities to return to mediation. AJC FILE

Cherokee County seeks return to mediation over service delivery

Cherokee County has declined a request by its cities to publicly negotiate a resolution to their impasse over “service delivery” – essentially, who delivers services, and how they’re paid for – and instead called for a return to mediation.

The county Board of Commissioners emerged from executive session Thursday evening to approve a resolution declining the proposal by Canton, Holly Springs, Mountain Park, Waleska and Woodstock to join them in three rounds of public negotiations. Commissioners called on the cities to resume mediation, on hold since one session last August.

Friday, the five cities issued a statement; they criticized the county’s proposal as lacking transparency but did not reject mediation outright.

Issues on the table include county road construction and maintenance, libraries, parks and recreation, certain bond payments and the creation of special service districts, according to the county’s resolution. The county and cities missed a deadline to file a service delivery agreement with the state and are now subject to sanctions.

“The Board of Commissioners strongly believes that the continuation of the statutory dispute resolution process … is the only viable process through which a cooperative resolution of the service delivery dispute can be achieved,” the county said in a prepared statement.

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