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What Will Suwanee Receive from Gwinnett in SDS Funds in 2013?

The new Gwinnett budget is days away from becoming official. What effect will it have on Suwanee?

The Gwinnett Board of Commissioners is scheduled to vote on the fiscal year 2013 budget on Thursday, January 3. And that will have several implications for the City of Suwanee.

This will be the first full-year Gwinnett budget to be passed since the Service Delivery Strategy (SDS) agreement was reached in February 2012 between the county and its cities. And so the county has to factor SDS payments to cities into the budget.

And for Suwanee, it will mean about $660,000 again in 2013, according to City Manager Marty Allen. This is about the same amount Suwanee received when payments began in 2012, after the deal was reached and approved by the presiding judge.

This is a significant sum: It equals about 5.5 percent of Suwanee's current $12 million budget.

Allen explained that there are two components to Gwinnett's payments to so-called "police cities":  Communications and Dispatch, and General Police Services. The first component is based on the cities' actual communications and dispatch expenditures, as it is a reimbursement (so it may vary slightly from year to year). The second component is established by the SDS agreement.

Suwanee already has received a $2 million, one-time payment under the SDS settlement. The city has parked that money until a specific use has been identified.

The SDS payments to cities are a settlement for the double-taxation factor that was at the core of the dispute. The cities contended that they were unfairly paying the county for services they did not use or request, such as police.

Gwinnett's FY 2013 budget is about $1.3 billion, down about 8.5 percent from the current figure.

-- What are your thoughts on the Gwinnett budget, and the use of SDS payments? Share your thoughts on the comments below.

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