By Amy Wenk

“Everything went smoothly,” Mayor Eva Galambos said, when the Chattahoochee River 911 Authority (Chatcomm) that provides emergency response services to Sandy Springs and Johns Creek went live just before midnight on Sept. 1.

But “it was no small feat,” City Manager John McDonough said at a City Council meeting less than 24 hours after the 911 center’s launch. “We are confident the citizens of Sandy Springs and Johns Creek are going to see an improved level of service.”

Excited over the ChatComm success, staff segued into a discussion of new service delivery strategies, namely the city’s control over elections and water.

Currently Fulton County conducts Sandy Springs’ elections, and the city of Atlanta provides residents with water. But tired of high costs and at times less-than-stellar service, Sandy Springs is eager to take over the duties.

At the meeting, council agreed to fund a study to determine the feasibility of holding municipal elections. The city now pays the county $400,000 for the service but thinks it could spend less on its own.

McDonough also gave an update on the renegotiation of its water service delivery agreement with Atlanta that commenced this summer. Sandy Springs officials are proposing new language to give the city the right to decide how water treatment, distribution and billing services are provided.

“We have officially now reached an impasse over water with the city of Atlanta,” McDonough said, noting the next step is mediation.

He said briefings will take place over the next several weeks.