Brookhaven and DeKalb officials have yet to reach an agreement on how much the city is to pay for police and parks services the county has provided for the past six months.
On July 9, Brookhaven City Council again deferred a vote on an intergovernmental agreement with DeKalb County after City Manager Marie Garrett reported she had not received any word from county officials about the city’s most recent offer.
“I’m running out of patience,” Councilman Joe Gebbia said.
Strained negotiations between the two jurisdictions came to a head June 19 when County Attorney O.V. Brantley wrote Mayor J. Max Davis, threatening legal action if the county did not receive payment. In the letter, Brantley requested $525,000 a month for police and $400,000 for 11 months of parks services.
“Last week, you informed the county that Brookhaven did not intend to pay anything for parks services, and only intended to pay a total of $500,000 for six months of police services,” Brantley wrote in the letter.
“This is not a tenable legal position, and is contrary to the parties’ negotiations and previous course of good faith dealing.”
DeKalb declined the city’s offer of $3 million for the services, asking for $3.8 million instead. The city’s most recent offer, as of July 9, was $3.1 million.
The offer, which Garrett said the city would pay in one lump sum to DeKalb, also stipulates that the city would take over parks services Sept. 3, two months earlier than originally intended.
Garrett said the payment “includes almost a 100 percent increase over what our [police] chief determined was a fair price for services we were receiving.”
Brookhaven officials, however, still question the need to pay the county anything for parks.
“None of the parks right now are for exclusive use of the citizens of Brookhaven,” Davis said. “Why should we be the only ones to pay that burden?”
Davis said though he doesn’t agree with it, the city’s offer does include money for parks in an attempt to reach a compromise. “We’re not obstinate and hard-headed,” Davis said.